Show stopper

Sugarcoating is for suckers. And this isn't a candy store.

A little preview. . . August 29, 2010

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Get ready for a plethora of playbills to hit because Belmont University’s Theater Department is in full swing getting ready for the 2010-2011 theater season, and there are additional highlights from local to international artists. For all you theater lovers and goers here’s a preview of a few things Belmont stages have to offer.

Tartuffe, written by the 17th century comedic playwright, Jean Baptiste Molière, is about an impostor who claims to be a zealous, pious man while boarding at the wealthy Orgon’s home. Instead, he’s a deceiver who tries to swindle Orgon out of the deed of his house by winning the respect of his wife and attempting to marry his daughter. Evening performances, all in Troutt Theater, are at 7:30 p.m . Oct. 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9; matinees are at  3 p.m. on Oct. 2, and at 2 p.m. Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.

Troutt Theater will host an entirely different production Oct. 30 when the Bunraku Bay Puppet Troupe offers the extravagant Japanese puppet theater known as “ningyo joruri” or bunraku. The troupe trained in Japan with artists who are part of the puppetry troupes that date back to 1684. The Asian Studies Program sponsors this event. Performance time and ticket information will be announced..

The week before Thanksgiving break will be the performance of 33 Variations in the Black Box Theater. 33 Variations is about two different stories that occur 200 years apart in two far off places: America and Austria. It is a dramatic American play written by Moisès Kaufman about what motivates someone to create. Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 and 21; matinees are at 3 p.m. Nov. 13, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 and 20.

The Nashville Ballet will grace the Troutt Theater’s stage with their new ballet based on Anne Frank’s life story. Dr. Mark Volker, a Belmont music faculty member, composed the music. Performances will be Nov. 19-21; times and ticket information will be announced.

The Actor’s Bridge Ensemble and perform Eurydice, playwright Sarah Ruhl’s re-telling of the classic myth. The play presents the story of Orpheus, a popular Greek musician, through the eyes of his wife. The golden ticket of this play? Eurydice “will have an amazing raining elevator and water pool on the set,” said Paul Gatrell, department chair of the theatre and dance department. Evening performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 24, 25 and 26; matinees will be at 2 p.m. Feb. 20, 26 and 27.

The Government Inspector will be on stage in the Black Box Theater in April. The Government Inspector is a satirical play written by Russian and Ukrainian playwright Nikolai Gogol about corrupt officials in a Russian town. They get into a tizzy when they hear an undercover inspector will visit to investigate them. They scramble to make their work seem decent and punishments necessary. Their attempts are interrupted when a mysterious visitor has already checked into the inn.The visitor is not an inspector but a civil servant, Khlestakov, who has a wild imagination. It should be a high-spirited and witty play, the perfect way to end the theatre season. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 8, 9, 14 and 15; matinees are at 2 p.m. April 9, 10, 16 and 17.

The dance department will round out the theater and dance department’s season with their annual Dance Production where students will showcase their talent and new techniques. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 29 and 30 and May 1.


Just Dance August 19, 2010

Filed under: theater — amandastrav @ 1:18 am
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Calling all dancers! You better get on point if you’re in the tri-state area.

In honor of the National Dance Day, the Ballerina Girls from the Tony Award-winning show Billy Elliot will be outside the Imperial Theater September 31 from 12:45pm to 1:15pm. They will be giving a warm-up routine for free.

Billy Elliot is the hit Broadway show about a boy’s incredible dream to be a dancer. You laugh, you cry, you dance! It has won 10 Tony’s including Best Musical. Elton John composed the music and Peter Darling was the choreographer.

This is a great opportunity to rub some elbows with Broadway kids. Get your dance shoes and well, just dance!


Music of the Night August 18, 2010

We got ourselves a new phantom and prima donna, everybody!

You should all know by now how very much I am in love with this musical/opera. Phantom of the Opera was the first Broadway show I ever witnessed. My love for the play has sparked and fueled my desire to write about Broadway and become obsessed with that beautiful dream of being on one of its glorious stages…

Back to the reality of the news at hand.

John Cudia and Jennifer Hope Willis are stepping down from their roles as the phantom and Christine. In their places will rise Hugh Panaro and Sara Jean Ford. Panaro has played the phantom and Raoul (which he has played 1,000 times). His impressive credits include Les Miserables, Showboat and Side Show. Sara Jean Ford will play Christine which she played on the national tour for over a year. She premiered on Broadway as Christine and the Mirror Bride in 2007. The change of the titles will happen September 7.

Phantom of the Opera was adapted from the book written by Gaston Leroux. The talented Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charlie Hart were the masterminds of the music and lyrics. The play is about a facially disformed man who lives in the basement of the Paris Opera House. He sets his heart on Christine Daae, a Swedish soprano singer, and assists in her ascent as the new prima donna. Daae is immediately trapped in a thrilling love triangle as her childhood sweetheart, Raoul, comes on the scene. Both men plead “love me that’s all I ask of you” to Daae and she is faced with a heart-wrenching choice: love the phantom in exchange for Raoul’s life or love Raoul who would lose his life. If you have yet to see the longest-running show on Broadway, it is a play just waiting to be adored and obsessed over.

I wish all the best to the new/experienced actors and pay a silent au revoir to the wonderful Cudia and Willis. We will all think of you every so often.


Voice of an angel August 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — amandastrav @ 10:55 pm

I was watching “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night with my brothers. The performers were from the Youtube search AGT conducted to bring people’s talents from their bedrooms to the stage in Hollywood. I was bored to tears with a lot of the acts. From the geeky a capella group to the Carrie Underwood wannabe (believe you me, she couldn’t hold a candle to the successful singer), I was ready to turn the channel. Judges Piers Morgan, Howie Mandal and Sharon Osbourne chose these performers. I sat on the couch wondering, “What the HECK were they thinking!?” Enough with the pop prince/princesses, one-hit-wonder sellouts. Enough with the synthesized mumbo-jumbo that starts to sound the same after listening to three songs in a row. Where’s the real talent? The kind of talent that’s God-given or cultivated for years on end?

When all hope seemed lost, 10-year-old Jackie Evancho walked on stage. She looked so tiny compared to the magnitude of the theater. That didn’t stop her from belting a beautiful, angelic performance of Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”. I was awe-struck, agape, speechless! I’m never speechless!

Evancho hails from Pittsburgh, Penn. She wanted to learn how to sing after witnessing the magical Phantom of the Opera on Broadway (hey, me too!). She bit off a huge song, performed by the original Christine Daae, Sarah Brightman. The judges were speechless after her performances as was the entire audience. Evancho gave Americans a taste of true talent and for that I immensely thank her.

If you weren’t able to catch the performance, click here.


Here comes the sun

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If you like bowl cuts, 70’s music and have the famous “Abbey Road” poster hung proudly on your bedroom wall, you’re in luck because the Beatles are coming to Broadway.

The Beatles’ discography will be performed by a group named Rain, a band that has taken years to master the stage moves and notes of the legendary Fab Four. 

Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles will be a multimedia event including interviews and stage performances of the Beatles’ from their humble beginnings to their later released music like “Sgt. Pepper” and “Abbey Road”. Very few people actually saw the Beatles in concert. This is a chance for you (yes, you) to experience the Beatles like never before.

Rain opens in the Neil Simon Theatre October 19, 2010 and closes January 2, 2011. Tickets range from $25.00 to $120.00.


Mama Mia! Here I go again! August 6, 2010

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This time to Brazil!

That’s right. The loveable ABBA-inspired musical, Mama Mia!, is heading to Brazil. A new production of the play will be performed in Portuguese and will debut at the Teatro Abril in Sao Paul, Brazil in November.

Brand new costumes and sets will be designed for the play. No casting has been announced, according to

Mama Mia! is about a young bride trying to figure out who her father is after it’s leaked that her mother had three flings all around the same time span. Songs from the Swedish super group, ABBA, make the show extra special.

If you’re in Brazil, take a chance on Mama Mia!


Promises, Promises

Filed under: theater — amandastrav @ 5:02 am
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If you don’t already know, I am a huge Kristin Chenoweth fan. I love her voice, her charisma and her bubbly personality. There’s something about her sound that is just powerful. Her range is seriously wicked. Not only is she on Broadway but she made numerous appearances on Glee, my absolute favorite show.

Now she is going from the screen back to the NYC stage in a resurrection of Promises, Promises in August.

Nominated for 4 Tony Awards including Best Choreography for Rob Ashford.  Based on the 1960 Academy Award-winning Billy Wilder film The Apartment that starred Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, Promises, Promises tells the story of the Consolidated Life Insurance Company and Chuck Baxter, one of its charming young employees. In an effort to advance at the company, Chuck lends executives his apartment for their extramarital romantic trysts. But things become slightly complicated when Fran Kubelik, the object of Chuck’s affection, becomes the mistress of one of his executives. With Simon’s funny and touching book and Bacharach and David’s hit-packed score (“I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” “Promises, Promises,” and “Knowing When to Leave”), Promises, Promises is a unique and popular part of the musical theatre canon that will now return to the stage for the first time in over forty years, for a new generation of theatergoers.

synopsis provided by


How many of you are planning on seeing this awesome play? I’m right there with ya.