Tag Archives: Falcon Theater

2015 League of Cincinnati Theatres Awards

On Monday evening, the League of Cincinnati Theatres recognized the outstanding achievements of their member companies. Honored shows received the most accolades from the League panelists during the 2014-2015 season. 

Below is the transcript of the awards, provided by Joshua Steele and the League.

Dale Hodges as Daisy Wertham & Reggie Willis as Hoke. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Dale Hodges as Daisy Wertham & Reggie Willis as Hoke. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The Carnegie’s excellent DRIVING MISS DAISY seemed hard to beat, but WEST SIDE STORY with its passionate and vibrant magic, just topped it. The ensemble understood the beauty and power of this timeless classic, highlighted by the captivating and charismatic Layan Elwazani as Anita, and Jay Goodlett’s exciting reinvention of the original choreography despite the limited space of the Carnegie. LCT is proud to honor The Carnegie’s production of WEST SIDE STORY.

Ryan Garrett, Katie Langham & Owen Alderson. Photo by Richard E. Hess.

Ryan Garrett, Katie Langham & Owen Alderson. Photo by Richard E. Hess.

CCM Drama’s production of Stephen Karam’s deep play SPEECH AND DEBATE, three misfit high school students form a debate club and band together to disclose the truth about a drama teacher who preys on his male students. Richard Hess’ outstanding direction brought together the perfect balance of angst and whimsy, artfully enabling a marvelous trio of actors, led by sophomore Katie Langham’s brilliantly comic performance. LCT is proud to honor CCM Drama’s SPEECH AND DEBATE.

Sara White as Jean, Mindy Heithaus as Karen, Leah Strasser as Johnna, Nathan Neorr as Steve,  Carol Brammer as Barbara & Kevin Crowley as Bill.

Sara White as Jean, Mindy Heithaus as Karen, Leah Strasser as Johnna, Nathan Neorr as Steve, Carol Brammer as Barbara & Kevin Crowley as Bill.

In Untethered’s and Clifton Players’ first collaborative effort, the heart-wrenching drama about the dysfunctional Weston family and their secrets hit every emotional button and kept the audience riveted to their seats. Dale Hodges was particularly electrifying but every ensemble member shone in their performances. Buz Davis provided tight and impressive direction as well as a spectacular scenic design in the intimate space of the Clifton Performance Theater. LCT is proud to honor Clifton Players and Untethered Theatre Company’s production of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY.

Derek Snow as Tibbs & Mike Hall as Gillespie. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Derek Snow as Tibbs & Mike Hall as Gillespie. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

A must-see murder mystery and racial drama playing out against the backdrop of the racially charged Civil Rights Era in the deep south, Falcon Theatre’s IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT was noteworthy for taut pacing and clever staging by director Ed Cohen, an outstanding ensemble cast and superb performances by lead actors Derek Snow and Michael Hall. LCT is proud to honor Falcon Theatre’s production of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.

ANY GIVEN MONDAY was a dark comedy that investigated the consequences of infidelity, the newly separated Lenny broods over pizza and Monday Night football with his cynical friend, Mickey. Chris Kramer and Daniel Britt slip into their respective roles with ease, providing plenty of moral questions and surprising twists to keep the audience involved to the bitter end. LCT is proud to honor Mad Anthony Theatre Company’s production of ANY GIVEN MONDAY.

Michael Shooner, Reggie Willis & Renika Williams. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Michael Shooner, Reggie Willis & Renika Williams. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

In an emotional roller coaster of a ride, New Edgecliff took on David Mamet’s controversial story of a billionaire accused of raping a black woman. The strong ensemble included Renika Williams and Bob Allen, with particularly memorable and compelling performances by Michael Shooner and Reggie Willis as the racially diverse lawyers who agree to take on the case. LCT is proud to honor New Edgecliff Theatre’s production of RACE.

Kathyrn Miller as Julia & Noah Berry as Robbie. Photo by  Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Kathyrn Miller as Julia & Noah Berry as Robbie. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

NKU’s THE WEDDING SINGER was a bold, brassy, high-energy musical that highlighted the talents of the NKU students who sang their hearts out. The production was slick, professional, and fast-paced, and show-cased Ronnie Chamberlain’s luxurious costume design bringing out the 80s vibe. LCT is proud to honor NKU’s production of THE WEDDING SINGER.

Justin Glaser as Captain Georg Von Trapp & Helen A. Raymond-Goers as Maria Rainer. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Justin Glaser as Captain Georg Von Trapp & Helen A. Raymond-Goers as Maria Rainer. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The Covedale provided a solid, enjoyable, and touching production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, thoughtfully directed by Ed Cohen and Dee Anne Bryll, and featuring a well-rounded and vocally strong Helen Raymond Goers as Maria and a graceful, mature Margot Grom as Liesl. LCT is proud to honor Cincinnati Landmark Productions’ THE SOUND OF MUSIC. 

Bruce Cromer* as The Poet. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

Bruce Cromer as The Poet. Photo by Ryan Kurtz.

A magnificent one man production based on Homer’s Iliad, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s AN ILIAD featured a powerful and emotional tour-de-force by Bruce Cromer as The Poet as well as versatile and gripping direction by Michael Evan Haney. It also was underscored by engaging lighting and sound design by Brian Mehring and Matt Callahan, respectively. LCT is proud to honor Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s production of AN ILIAD.

Lawson Young as Elle & Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett. Photography by Mark Lyons.

Lawson Young as Elle & Chris Collins-Pisano as Emmett. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Musical Theatre had four very strong productions this year, all worthy of note: BLOOD BROTHERS, PETER PAN and 110 IN THE SHADE, with LEGALLY BLONDE singled out as a powerhouse of song and dance, spectacularly directed and choreographed by Diane Lala. The talented cast did not miss a beat headlined by Lawson Young, Chris Collins Pisano, and Madeline Lynch. Scenic director Joe Leonard also deserves kudos for a masterfully designed set that was almost cinematic in its transformations. LCT is proud to honor CCM Musical Theatre’s production of LEGALLY BLONDE.

Torie Wiggins. Photo by Daniel R Winters Photography.

Torie Wiggins. Photo by Daniel R Winters Photography.

In Diogenes Theatre Company’s timely and well executed one woman production of the 1992 Rodney King trial and subsequent riots, Tori Wiggins gave an astonishing performance bringing to life over 30 characters of various ages, race, and genders, based on transcripts from the actual witnesses. LCT is proud to honor Diogenes Theatre Company’s production of TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES 1992.

Nicholas Rose as Petruchio and Kelly Mengelkoch as Kate. By Mikki Schaffner Photography

Nicholas Rose as Petruchio and Kelly Mengelkoch as Kate. By Mikki Schaffner Photography

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company put on a “really big shrew” with a boisterous, funny production of Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes, featuring multi-dimensional, passionate, and charming performances by Kelly Mengelkoch and Nicholas Rose as well as a host of impressive ensemble characters, entertainingly directed by Kevin Hammond. LCT is proud to honor Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s TAMING OF THE SHREW. 

Maranda Rossi as Belle and Sam Rueff as The Beast.

Maranda Rossi as Belle and Sam Rueff as The Beast.

A true feast for the eyes and ears, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JR just edged out CTC’s other contender, ALADDIN, providing an enchanting experience transformed by Noelle Wedig’s lavish costumes and David Center’s scenic design prowess. Angela Powell Walker directed her numerous ensemble members perfectly in a well-calculated and well-rehearsed musical treat. LCT is proud to honor The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JR.

Corinne Mohlenhoff as Offred. Photo by Daniel R. Winters Photography.

Corinne Mohlenhoff as Offred. Photo by Daniel R. Winters Photography.

In Know Theatre Cincinnati’s A HANDMAID’S TALE, Corinne Mohlenhoff, effectively directed by Brian Isaac Phillips, gave a compelling and committed performance in this one-woman adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel. Her performance was notably enhanced by a stellar design team including Andrew Hungerford’s eerie and suggestive set and lighting, and Doug Borntrager’s subtle but effective sound design. LCT is proud to honor Know Theatre Cincinnati’s production of A HANDMAID’S TALE.

In their presentation of the Sesame Street-inspired Tony Award winner, Miami University students virtually inhabited their puppets and brought out the heart of their characters in AVENUE Q. The entire ensemble was impressive, especially Kelcey Steele’s Princeton and Sean Davis’ Nicky. Special nods to Grant Lemasters and Aretta Baumgartner for puppet design and coaching, respectively, and Gion DeFrancesco’s evocative and dimensional scenic design. LCT is proud to honor Miami University’s production of AVENUE Q.

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LCT Review of ASSASSINS

LCT_VThis review has been reposted courtesy of the League of Cincinnati Theatres. For more LCT reviews click here to visit their reviews page.

The Falcon Theater specializes in offbeat performances and Stephen Sondheim’s ASSASSINS certainly fits that bill. ASSASSINS is a dark musical comedy which shines a spotlight on those quirky individuals who shot at presidents, helping us understand their motivations–to help them be happier, because, as the song says, doesn’t everyone deserve to be happy?  Doesn’t everybody has the right to their dreams? Theatrically, this is a very interesting play pitting a series of misfits against the “American Dream” with each assassin justifying their actions from their unique perspective.

Brian Berendts as as John Wilkes Booth. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

Brian Berendts as as John Wilkes Booth. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

The Falcon’s production is quite admirable, with a special strength in casting. All were convincing, but particularly outstanding was Eileen Earnest, as Squeaky Fromme–this is the role she was born to play. Other standouts were Brian Berendis as John Wilkes Booth and Patrick Carnes as Guiteau, the man who shot Garfield. Mike Dennis and Helen Raymond Gowers were also of note. The acting was strong overall. However, the cast had difficulty with the challenging Sondheim score. Dramatically, Berendis performed well but missed a number of notes which was a little jarring since he has the biggest part. The singing will, no doubt, improve as the show continues. I still find canned music to be disruptive but the singers were in sync with the score.

This was an unusually large cast for the small Falcon Theater stage and it is always an interesting challenge to choreograph the movements on and off the stage. The set, designed by Jared Doren, aptly resembled a carnival shooting gallery and the lighting was unique, especially at the moment of the successful assassinations. Overall, I recommend the show although it is a dark look at the underbelly of American society.

For more information on the production, click here.

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ASSASSINS Review

Brian Berendts as John Wilkes Booth, Patrick Carnes as Charles Guiteau, Kyle Taylor as Guiseppe Zangara, Hamilton Moore as John Hinckley, Jared Earland as Lee Harvey Oswald, Eileen Earnest as Squeaky Fromme, Mike Dennis as Samuel Byck, Danielle Muething as Sara Jane Moore & Michael Dean Conley as Leon Czolgosz. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Brian Berendts as John Wilkes Booth, Patrick Carnes as Charles Guiteau, Kyle Taylor as Guiseppe Zangara, Hamilton Moore as John Hinckley, Jared Earland as Lee Harvey Oswald, Eileen Earnest as Squeaky Fromme, Mike Dennis as Samuel Byck, Danielle Muething as Sara Jane Moore & Michael Dean Conley as Leon Czolgosz. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

ASSASSINS presented by Falcon Theatre through June 13. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Saturday performance.

Andrew Maloney as Balladeer & Patrick D. Carnes as Charles Guiteau. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Andrew Maloney as Balladeer & Patrick D. Carnes as Charles Guiteau. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Falcon closes out their season, and celebrates their 25th anniversary, by remounting the blockbuster musical, ASSASSINS. Director Jared D. Doren has assembled a strong cast to bring this Sondheim musical about those who have attempted, some successfully, to kill a President of the United States.

Hamilton Moore as John Hinckley, Brian Berendts as John Wilkes Booth, Mike Dennis as Samuel Byck, Jared Earland as Lee Harvey Oswald, Danielle Muething as Sara Jane Moore & Eileen Earnest as Squeaky Fromme. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Hamilton Moore as John Hinckley, Brian Berendts as John Wilkes Booth, Mike Dennis as Samuel Byck, Jared Earland as Lee Harvey Oswald, Danielle Muething as Sara Jane Moore & Eileen Earnest as Squeaky Fromme. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The roster of assassins is visually diverse and all fit their roles very well. Across the board, the individual characterizations are very strong and believable. Brian Berendts brings a great intensity to John Wilkes Booth. Patrick D. Carnes does a great job selling his character’s number, “The Ballad of Guiteau.” As Leon Czolgosz, Michael Dean Conley is spot on with his passionate “bottle speech,” and the scene he shares with Emma Goldman (played by Helen Raymond-Goers) is very well-done and emotionally strong. NKU senior Kyle Taylor impresses as Giuseppe Zangara. Jared Earland handles the role of conflicted Lee Harvey Oswald very well. Mike Dennis does solid work as sloven, Santa-suit clad Samuel Byck. CCM’s Hamilton Moore gives a strong showing as awkward and sullen John Hinckley. Eileen Earnest as “Squeaky” Fromme and Danielle as Sarah Jane Moore make a great comic duo, bringing some nice levity to dark-toned show.

The remaining cast includes Joe Hornbaker as the somewhat creepy Proprietor, there to encourage the killers’ darker natures. As the Balladeer, Andrew Maloney holds a strong stage presence and establishes a good rapport with the audience. Young Joey Olberding handles his multiple stage appearances well and throws a very believable screaming fit with mom, Sarah Jane. Solid ensemble support from Aiden Marie Sims, Raymond-Goers, Mike Fielder, Russ D. McGee and Olberding.

Mike Dennis as Samuel Byck. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Mike Dennis as Samuel Byck. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Director Doren excels in getting believable and emotionally-true performances out of his actors. He has created many visually-strong stage pictures with his blocking and the show flowed well throughout. The scene in the book depository had a great intensity to it and was a personal favorite. Performed without an intermission, the pacing worked well. There were times when the heavy subject matter slowed things down a bit. The cast should be conscious about bringing that energy level back up when the story switches to a new scene.

Due to the large cast and the limited backstage space, recorded music tracks are used. Given the carnival theme of the show, I thought the tone of the music worked. The cast, under the music direction of Steve Goers, handles Sondheim’s difficult score well. Here and there, several soloist went flat once or twice, but overall the cast sounded strong.

Eileen Earnest as Squeaky Fromme & Danielle Muething as Sara Jane Moore . Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Eileen Earnest as Squeaky Fromme & Danielle Muething as Sara Jane Moore . Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Behind the scenes, the costume design by Tara Williams, wig design by Lisa Dirkes and dialect consulting by Tyler Allessi contributed much to the look and sound of the characters. The simple set design, also by Doren, worked well and was complimented by the lighting design of Ted J. Weil.

Michael Dean Conley as Leon Czolgosz and Helen Raymond-Goers as Emma Goldman. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Michael Dean Conley as Leon Czolgosz and Helen Raymond-Goers as Emma Goldman. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

I did have a little trouble hearing Goldman during her scene with Czolgosz. Moore was a little soft at the beginning of his solo “Unworthy of Your Love” and didn’t quit match his volume to Earnest when the number became a duet. I also wondered my Oswald was the only successful assassin not to get the target sound effect and flashing lights.

Overall a strong and engaging production. I expect the remainder of the run to sell out, so reserve your tickets early. It might be time for Falcon to think about adding a Sunday matinee and/or Thursday performance to their runs. :) Congratulations on a job well done.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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Auditions Announced for SILENCE THE MUSICAL at Falcon Theatre

FT_logoFalcon Theatre announces open auditions for SILENCE! The Musical
Directed By Ted Weil, Music Directed by Sherry McCamley

Tuesday, June 23 & Wednesday, June 24
7:00-9:00 PM

  • Bring 16 bars of a song (along with sheet music for the accompanist) and be prepared to read from the script.
  • No appointment needed.

SILENCE! The Musical is a spoof of the film The Silence Of The Lambs and, as such, is performed with a comedic leaning toward the actors in the original film.  We aren’t looking for faithful imitations, but the production will strive to highlight certain characteristics that defined the roles.

  • Recommended Cast Requirements (these are suggestions only…actual casting may vary):
    Clarice Starling 25-35, Caucasian female. She is a mix of tough and sexy. West Virginian accent. Belt/mix to C (optional to E-flat). Alto/Mezzo-soprano.
  • Dr. Hannibal Lecter 40s-50s, Caucasian male. An intelligent, psychiatrist with a taste for all things of class and high society, not to mention all things human. Tenor/Baritenor, to A-flat with a strong lower register. Think Evil Gilbert & Sullivan.
  • Buffalo Bill 30s to early 40s, Caucasian male. Must be an extremely strong comedic actor who can do a Mid-Western accent. Baritone to G (opt. to A) with a strong lower register.
  • Catherine/Senator Martin/Lamb 20s-30s, Caucasian female. Strong comedic actress. Larger physical build a plus, but not necessary. High belter with strong soprano to A/B.
  • Crawford/Papa Starling/Lamb 40-50, Caucasian male. Head of FBI. Baritone/Bass to E- flat.
  • Dr. Chilton/Cop/Lamb 30s-50s. Male, any ethnicity, to play the smarmy Dr. Chilton and multiple roles. Baritone to E-flat, with strong upper register.
  • Ardelia/Lamb 20s-40s, African-American female, to play multiple roles. Mezzo- soprano/Alto.
  • Pembry/Lamb 20s-40s. Male, any ethnicity, to play multiple roles. Tenor to A.

Production Dates:  Sept 25-Oct 10, 2015

For questions, contact Ted Weil at tweil@falcontheatre.net.

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Regional Premiere of SILENCE! The Musical Opens Falcon’s Next Season

FT_logoFalcon Theatre is proud to announce a change to our 2015-2016 season. We have just secured the rights to product SILENCE! The Musical.

SILENCE! The Musical
Music and Lyrics by Jon Kaplan & Al Kaplan
Book by Hunter Bell.

This unauthorized parody of Silence of the Lambs premiered in 2005 as part of the New York International Fringe Festival and went on to an Off-Broadway run, garnering awards, including Time Magazine’s Top 10 Plays of 2011 and the 2012 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical.

Falcon will open our season with SILENCE! The Musical in September 2015 and we’re thrilled to be the first in the area to produce this musical. “Falcon has been following the amazing journey that SILENCE! The Musical has taken from a New York Fringe Festival piece to Off-Broadway, and we’ve been excited about the prospect of bringing this show to the Greater Cincinnati area from the very beginning. We’ve waited through the show’s meteoric rise in New York and, now that we’ve finally been able to bring the show to our stage, we knew it was a perfect season opener” says Ted Weil, Falcon’s Artistic Director.

In case you need your musical fix earlier, don’t forget that ASSASSINS, the classic Sondheim musical, wraps up our 2014-2015 season starting May 29 and running through June 13 2015.

Don’t forget the rest of our 2015-2016 Season:

SILENCE! The Musical
NEXT FALL
THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LENANNE
PRELUDE TO A KISS
THE MYSTERY PLAYS

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