Monthly Archives: November 2015


Cincinnati Native Broadway Veteran, Theatre Producer Premiere Sizzling Vocal Band with Free Concerts

MISC_No Promises

Standing: Matt Croy (Findlay), Charlie Harper (Anderson), David Baum (Blue Ash) & Joshua Steele (Pleasant Ridge). Kneeling: John Slate (Dayton), Jeff Grooms (Cold Spring). Mike Robertson (Marysville & Adam Wheeler (Dayton).

CINCINNATI, OH – In the late 90s, guests at King’s Island could enjoy the a cappella strains of a cheeky young barbershop quartet on summer break from Sycamore High School, featuring teenagers David Baum and Joshua Steele. A few years later, Baum’s acting training took him to a stage and film career in New York that included multiple Broadway shows, while Steele stayed home to run the theatre at The Carnegie and perform locally. Cheekier than ever, the two have reunited as part of Ohio’s new professional a cappella ensemble NO PROMISES.

Cincinnati audiences can enjoy the concert premiere of NO PROMISES free this holiday season with “An A Cappella Christmas,” Thursday, December 17 at Montgomery’s Community of the Good Shepherd (8815 E. Kemper Road), and Friday, December 18 at New Thought Unity Center in East Walnut Hills (1401 E. McMillan Street). Both concerts are at 7:30. Admission is free, and reservations are not required. Freewill donations will be accepted.

Warm your holiday spirits with soaring vocal arrangements of popular and sacred holiday favorites, alongside hits by the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder and Ambrosia. A family-friendly, one-hour concert introducing the incomparable voices of NO PROMISES. More information and media at

Performances Thursday, December 17, 7:30pm | The Community of the Good Shepherd Complimentary Reception Immediately Following 8815 E. Kemper Road | Montgomery Friday, December 18, 7:30pm | New Thought Unity Center $10 Suggested Contribution 1401 E. McMillan Street | East Walnut Hills

NO PROMISES is a new professional a cappella ensemble bringing exhilarating vocals and breathtaking harmonizations to popular favorites of jazz, Motown, classical and adult contemporary music. Hailing from across Ohio, the eight men of No Promises are jazz pianists, Broadway veterans, slumlords, theatre producers, hair stylists and dads, with a passion for fine a cappella singing.

While Steele and Baum realized their friendship in their teenage years singing “Under The Boardwalk” beside “The Beastie,” NO PROMISES is a culling of outstanding musicians from among men who had mostly never met. A graduate of SCPA and Cincinnati Boychoir Alum, Anderson’s Charlie Harper (no relation to the artist, except in public adoration), spent time touring and in regional theatres before settling down with his family and into a business career. And New Richmond native Jeff Grooms is a lifelong singer who makes time for the May Festival Chorus and local theatrical productions while running his own salon. Grooms cut Steele’s hair before Steele decided recently to go bald; Harper didn’t know anyone in the ensemble prior to an open audition for the group.

Hailing from the Dayton area are professional instrumentalists John Slate and Adam Wheeler. Both boast outstanding voices (Slate the group’s lowest bass, and Wheeler a dynamic lead singer), but have made their careers primarily as a pianist and percussionist, respectively. The two offer a jazz act Friday nights at Carver’s in Centerville, a regular gig maintained amid Slate’s work as a Dayton-area church music director and radio host, and Adam’s performances in pit orchestras of the region’s professional theatres. Wheeler played with Steele in the Steely Dan tribute band, Aja, and later at Steele’s wedding.

Steele’s college years helped populate the rest of the ensemble. Matt Croy of Findlay, OH and Michael Robertson of Marysville, OH sang with Steele until 2008 as part of Columbus-based High Street A Cappella, an offshoot of The Ohio State University Men’s Glee Club. Croy is a property manager who has supplied bass singing for multiple European choral tours, while Robertson is a middle school principal and former choir and theatre director.

Full Biographies

David Baum (Blue Ash, OH) most recently finished a long run on Broadway in Disney’s MARY POPPINS. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, he has been seen in MTV’s The American Mall (Stavros) and in the Original Broadway revival company of A CHORUS LINE as Roy (u/s Mike, Al, Greg, Bobby). Additional New York credits include Encores! productions OF THEE I SING, NO NO NANETTE, and DAMN YANKEES. Other regional credits include The Kennedy Center, MUNY, Music Theatre of Wichita, North Shore Music Theatre and others. David received a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. David also has worked as a choreographer – winning the 2014 League of Cincinnati Theatres award for his work on The Carnegie’s production of CHICAGO.

In addition to his work as an actor, David is currently working on completion of his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Xavier University. With his personal experience as a professional actor and knowledge of psychology, he hopes to help others to master peak performance while achieving success in the difficult performing arts profession.

Matt Croy (Findlay, OH) is a property manager in Findlay, OH where he resides with his wife Heidi and their daughter, Lucy. Matt has previously sung with The Ohio State University Men’s Glee Club, the Statesmen, and was a founding member of the award-winning octet, High Street A Cappella. Matt also sings with Fior Angelico, an early music ensemble in Columbus, OH, and recently sang in residence at the Lincoln Cathedral in the United Kingdom.

Jeff Grooms (Cold Spring, KY) has been a singer since the age of five. His first solo was “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’” and he hasn’t stopped singing since. Jeff studied voice at Berea College, has a degree in Theatre Arts from NKU and spent 15 years singing with The Cincinnati May Festival Chorus. He is thrilled to have this opportunity to sing a cappella music with such a talented group. Music keeps one young, happy and alive, and that’s good because he is the most senior member of the group.

Charlie Harper (Anderson) Charlie Harper is happy to be singing with No Promises. He is most often heard in musical theater, but he’s performed a wide variety of music, having appeared with the Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Pops, the Cincinnati Choral Society, and the Vocal Arts Ensemble. Charlie has sung in Carnegie Hall, New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Olympiahalle Munich, Salzburg Cathedral, and the Vienna Konzerthaus. He’s glad to be back making quality vocal music after a long hiatus. Charlie sometimes shares the stage with his three children, and lives with them and his wife in the Cincinnati area.

Mike Robertson (Marysville, OH) spent eleven years as a music educator teaching choirs and directing musicals in the Marysville School District. After transitioning to administration, he is loving the chance to sing on the stage as a part of No Promises. He holds a degree in Music Education from The Ohio State University. Mike would like to thank his wife for keeping their kids alive while he schleps to and from Dayton to rehearsal on Tuesdays.

John Slate (Beavercreek, OH) is a lifelong professional musician and director of music at Parkview United Methodist Church in Miamisburg, OH. He obtained a degree in Vocal Performance from Wright State University and studied jazz piano at the University of North Texas. John plays a number of instruments but has a special place in his heart for the Hammond B-3 organ. He is able to share his love of jazz on his weekly radio show, Jazz Perspectives, on WDPS. When he is not in church you can find him playing with his trio of 13 years, the Shawn Stanley Trio, or with his organ trio, the John Slate Trio.

Joshua Steele (Cincinnati, OH) is the fearless and handsome leader of No Promises. A lifelong a cappella singer, Joshua previously led and arranged for Columbus-based ensemble High Street A Cappella. He is a voice instructor at Northern Kentucky University, and a featured vocalist with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and Community of the Good Shepherd in Montgomery, OH. He’s also appeared with the Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Opera, and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, as well as many theatre companies. Joshua is president of the League of Cincinnati Theatres, and served as Managing Director of Theatre at The Carnegie for seven years. A fifth-generation Cincinnatian, Joshua holds Masters degrees in arts administration and business management from the University of Cincinnati, and a degree in voice performance from The Ohio State University. He lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Brooke, and daughter, Daphne.

Adam Wheeler (Miamisburg, OH) is a freelance drummer and vocalist from the Dayton area. He has performed internationally as music director for the Las Vegas-based musical comedy show, “Stephen Sorrentino’s Voices In My Head.” Adam also regularly performs with The Shawn Stanley Trio, national recording artist, Eric Jerardi (Eric Jerardi Band), and The Bacchanal Steel Drum Band. He is a founding member of the celebrated Cincinnati-based “Aja: A Tribute to the Music of Steely Dan,” and “Savoy Truffle: Beatles Album Tracks.” Adam performs as a percussionist for many area theater programs including Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, University of Cincinnati CCM, Wright State University, Human Race Theatre, Northern Kentucky University, Cincinnati Landmark Productions (The Covedale), and The Carnegie. He studied orchestral percussion under Professor Jane Varella (Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra), and lives in Miamisburg with his wife, Courtney, and their three children.


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Xavier University Theatre Presents THIS IS OUR YOUTH Dec. 3‐6

XU_This is Our Youth promo

Mac Blais as Dennis & Griff Bludworth as Warren.

(CINCINNATI, Nov. 18, 2015) Xavier University Theatre continues its 2015-16 season with Kenneth Lonergan’s THIS IS OUR YOUTH, directed by Ed Stern. Performances will take place in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center Theater on Dec. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2:00 p.m. matinee showing on Dec. 6.

THIS IS OUR YOUTH follows three wayward young people as they navigate 1982 New York, recreating their broken homes in both their dysfunctional friendships and their bungled attempts at finding love. THIS IS OUR YOUTH is a living snapshot of the moment when young people first find themselves on the threshold of adulthood, when they are far more sophisticated than their parents realize and far less effectual than they themselves can possibly imagine. THIS IS OUR YOUTH reminds audiences why The New York Times calls Kenneth Lonergan, arguably the most important American playwright of the last 20 years, and why Slate calls him the most potent dramatic voice of his generation.

The cast for THIS IS OUR YOUTH includes Mac Blais (Dennis), a junior theatre major from Lancaster, Ohio; Griff Bludworth (Warren), a senior theatre; Honors Classical Studies; Philosophy, Politics & the Public; and Philosophy quadruple major from Cincinnati, Ohio; and Tatum Hunter (Jessica), a senior English, theatre and economics triple major from Lebanon, Ohio.

Ed Stern makes his Xavier directing debut with THIS IS OUR YOUTH. From 1992-2012, Stern served as producing artistic director for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. During his tenure at the Playhouse, Mr. Stern led the theatre to two Tony Awards, one for Best Regional Theatre and one for a production of COMPANY, directed by John Doyle.

Stern is excited to be working on the production. “I have always wanted to direct THIS IS OUR YOUTH,” he says. “It examines the painful transition from youth to adulthood. Each character is vulnerable but puts on a veneer of strength by seeming adult. THIS IS OUR YOUTH is a play that combines drama and comedy in a masterful blend.”

“We could not be more thrilled to have Ed working with us on this production,” says Stephen Skiles, Xavier’s director of theatre. “It is a tremendous opportunity for our students to work with such an influential and brilliant director. Xavier Theatre is built on the idea of creating professional relationships and opportunities for our students. Ed Stern perfectly exemplifies this type of collaboration.”

Other members of the creative team for THIS IS OUR YOUTH include Joe Beumer (set and light design), Bruce Cromer (fight choreographer), Dee Anne Bryll (choreographer) and Kathleen Hotmer (costume designer). The stage manager is Nicole Santiago.

Tickets for THIS IS OUR YOUTH are available now through the Xavier University Theatre Box Office. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students, as well as Xavier faculty and staff. To purchase tickets, visit or call 513-745-3939.

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Auditions Announced for THE LAST FIVE YEARS at The Carnegie

The Carnegie Announces Auditions for THE LAST FIVE YEARS!
Directed by Lindsey Mercer Music Direction by Erin McCamley

TC_L5Y LogoPlaying April 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 & 24
Friday & Saturday Evenings at 7:30pm, Sundays at 3:00pm

Rehearsals evenings and weekends March 1st – April 8th

THE LAST FIVE YEARS follows the joys and sorrows of Jamie and Cathy, a young couple struggling to find balance between career and relationship. In a creative twist that makes this show pure magic, we venture through their story following Jamie from the beginning of their romance to the end and following Cathy from the end to the beginning. However, their storytelling overlaps for just a moment, on the day of their wedding, for one of the most beautiful duets ever written for the musical theatre.

Auditions by Appointment on January 24th 7pm-9pm or January 25th 6pm-10pm To schedule a time slot, please contact Jessica Picado,

Callbacks if needed will be held on January 26th from 6pm-8pm. You will be contacted promptly following the initial audition if you need to attend the callback date.

Please Prepare ONE of the following options for your audition:

  • Sing 2 contrasting songs accompanied by pianist provided.
  • Sing 1 song accompanied by pianist provided and one song self-accompanied on piano or secondary instrument that you bring to the audition with you.
  • Sing 1 song and perform a 1 minute contemporary monologue.

Please bring sheet music in the correct key for the accompanist. Total audition time must not exceed 5 minutes.

Also note:

  • Resume listing theatrical experience and headshot/picture are required to audition. Please bring with you to the audition, do not send in advance.
  • Cast members do not have to be the actual ages of the characters, but must be able to look age appropriate and act accordingly.
  • All roles are paid. Not AEA eligible.

Auditions will take place in The Otto M. Budig Theatre at The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd. Covington KY, 41011

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Knox Music Series Presents Handel’s MESSIAH on Dec. 19

Knox Music Series
presents Handel’s MESSIAH
December 19

knox_logoCincinnati’s only presentation of the full oratorio this season features 50-voice choir, chamber orchestra, soloists G.F. Handel’s Messiah will be presented by the Knox Music Series of Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday, December 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church, Michigan & Observatory Avenues in Hyde Park.

This will be the Cincinnati area’s only presentation of the complete Messiah oratorio this holiday season.

Admission is free; donations will be accepted. or call 513-321-2573 for additional information.

Earl Rivers, Director of Music, conducts the 50-voice Knox Choir, Chamber Orchestra, and Knox Soloists Erin Keesy and Jackie Stevens, sopranos, Theresa Merrill and Debra VanEngen, mezzo-sopranos, T.J. Capobianco and John Humphrey, tenors, and Thom Dreeze and Michael Young, baritones.
Messiah, an oratorio in three parts, is a representation of the fulfillment of redemption through the redeemer, Messiah. Messiah celebrates of the totality of Christ’s work with the anticipation in the prophecies of the Old Testament, continuing through Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, death, and resurrection, and culminating in the promise of bodily resurrection and redemption. Premiered in Dublin in 1742, Messiah has become the most popular oratorio in the world.

Greet friends during the Messiah “Intermission and Refreshments” in the Knox Commons

About the Knox Music Series
The Knox Music Series is an outreach program of Knox Presbyterian Church and is recognized for its outstanding contributions to the quality of life in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Magazine has cited the Knox Music Program as the “Best Church Music” in Cincinnati.

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Cast Announced for THE ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT – THE SMELL OF THE CROWD at Dayton Playhouse

Book Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley

January 22 – February 7, 2016

Directed by Jim Lockwood

Written in 1965 this is a parable disguised as a comic allegory about the class system in England. It depicts the conflict between Sir, a portentous individual who is always on the winning side, and Cocky, a meek partner and Sir’s foil, who always seems to be on the losing end of the “game” the two incessantly play. Who Can I Turn To, A Wonderful Day Like Today, The Joker, and Where Would You Be Without Me. Understandably nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score.


  • Cocky – Ted Eltzroth
  • Sir – J. Gary Thompson
  • Kid – Christy Carson
  • Girl – Krissy McKim-Barker
  • Negro – Naman Clark
  • Bully – Matt Cardosi
  • Urchins – Malcolm Casey, Kathleen Durig, Andrea Hansgen, Jamie
  • Pavlofsky, Carrin Ragland, Stacey Ward

Director – Jim Lockwood
Assistant Director – Richard Brock
Music Director – Judy Mansky
Choreographer – Allison Eder
Accompanist – Dean Brown
Set Designer – Chris Newman
Costumer – Kathleen Carroll
Stage Manager – Melanie Brenner

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