From music and dance to opera and comedy, there are always more than enough options for entertainment in central Ohio.
As local performing arts groups prepare to kick off their 2013-14 seasons – or, for those with year-round calendars, continue their ongoing seasons – CityScene is taking a look at some of the notable shows on the schedule.
Shadowbox Live presents Nightmare on Front Street
Sept. 12-Nov. 16
Popular horror movies will be lovingly skewered by Shadowbox’s Halloween-themed fall production, with music following the same themes. “Naturally, we mostly abuse the memory of these (horror movie) characters,” says Shadowbox Executive Producer & CEO Stev Guyer. And speaking of “lovingly skewered,” Shadowbox will also be staging its own version of Spamalot, a musical loosely based on beloved medieval parody Monty Python and the Holy Grail, starting in September.
Funny Bone presents Bert Kreischer
Columbus Funny Bone
Comedian Kreischer has been making stops in Columbus for the last five or six years, and he’s bringing his popular show to the Funny Bone once again. Though Kreischer is known for his TV appearances, including as the star of the Travel Channel’s Bert the Conqueror, Funny Bone General Manager Dave Stroupe cautions that his hilarious show is for mature audiences only. “You can’t really take the TV character and put him in a comedy club,” Stroupe says.
BalletMet presents Swan Lake
The classical ballet that inspired 2010 hit movie Black Swan is back on BalletMet’s schedule after a four-year layoff, once again combining the company’s roster with that of the Cincinnati Ballet for a major collaboration. “In collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet, you have all of the dancers that the traditional Swan Lake requires,” says BalletMet Executive Director Cheri Mitchell. Also on the company’s 2013-14 agenda is The Four Seasons: An Evening with James Kudelka, a collection of contemporary works by choreographer and frequent BalletMet collaborator Kudelka, in November.
CATCO presents Fully Committed
Studio Two Theatre, Riffe Center
This one-man comedy is quite an undertaking for the one man – he plays 42 different characters, 41 of them trying to get a table at Manhattan’s hottest spot. “It’s about a reservation clerk at a five-star restaurant, and he plays not just the clerk, but all the people who call in to try to make a reservation with him,” says CATCO Producing Director Steven Anderson. The company’s December show seems like an old standard – it’s A Christmas Carol – but it’s a heavily revamped version of the holiday classic featuring a small cast, a cappella musical numbers, even some mask and puppet work.
McConnell Center presents Ladies of Longford
McConnell Arts Center
All-woman Celtic band the Ladies of Longford has developed quite a following in central Ohio – its members hail from here – and the McConnell Center is bringing it in for the first time. The group’s Celtic tunes are diverse, and the small size of the venue means patrons will be able to get close to the stage and converse with the musicians afterward. “They run the Celtic gamut, as well as (put) a contemporary spin on some classic Gaelic stuff,” says Jon Cook, executive director of the McConnell.
Opera Columbus presents Madama Butterfly
This season, Opera Columbus kicks off a new partnership with The Ohio State University, bringing in students for small roles and chorus parts through a collaborative opera class. The partnership will allow the company to use more local actors for its shows; in addition to the students, Madama Butterfly also features local performers in the roles of Sharpless and Suzuki. “Part of our mission statement is to support emerging talent. … They’ve earned it – there are some really good students,” says Peggy Kriha Dye, general manager of Opera Columbus.
CAPA presents The Irish Tenors
Vocal trio The Irish Tenors is known for its performances of popular Irish classics such as “Danny Boy.” CAPA managed to score the last opening on the group’s holiday tour. “They’re going to be singing a lot of holiday songs … and I’m sure they’ll throw some Irish classics in,” says Rich Corsi, director of programming for CAPA.
ProMusica presents A Classical Holiday
Pontifical College Josephinum/Southern Theatre
Instead of the Christmas songs that are all over the radio in December, ProMusica’s holiday show will feature works by such composers as Mozart and Haydn that evoke the seasonal spirit. It will also feature humor in the form of Thurber’s Dogs, an animated sequence by Peter Schickele. “(Patrons) like familiarity and music that is really uplifting to kick off the holiday season,” says ProMusica Executive Director Janet Chen.
Broadway Across America presents We Will Rock You
Though it’s been a big hit in the United Kingdom for 11 years, this jukebox musical featuring the songs of Queen is making Columbus one of its first U.S. stops. “It’s 24 of Queen’s biggest songs, so you’ll know the music for sure,” says Erin Senften, marketing manager for Broadway in Columbus. Other new touring shows on this season’s schedule include Flashdance – The Musical in December and The Book of Mormon in May.
McCoy Center presents The Temptations
Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts
Most people are familiar with R&B legends The Temptations, but their show at the McCoy Center will allow fans a new opportunity: to see the hugely successful band in a small, intimate venue. This is the band’s first gig at the center, but CAPA – which oversees operations for the McCoy – has brought it in before and been met with nothing but success. “No matter where you sit in that venue, you know it’s going to be a great seat,” says Corsi.
Columbus Symphony Orchestra presents Stayin’ Alive
After the rousing success of last year’s Beatles tribute the Fab Four, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra is bringing in Bee Gees tribute Stayin’ Alive as part of its Pops line-up. As iconic as the Bee Gees’ music is, putting the full symphony behind it creates an entirely new experience, says Corsi; CAPA also oversees operations for the symphony. “It’s a whole new world for the artist,” Corsi says.
Columbus Jazz Orchestra presents Don’t You Forget About Me: Molly Ringwald Sings the Great American Songbook
Though best known for her roles in such 1980s movies as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, Molly Ringwald has been a jazz fan her whole life and has turned music into her new career. Her collaboration with the orchestra will feature such American standards as “I Get Along Without You Very Well” and “The Very Thought of You,” as well as a jazzed-up version of Breakfast Club theme “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” “What I like about Molly is that there’s an authenticity and a realness in what I’ve heard her sing. … To her, (jazz music), is almost like coming back home,” says orchestra Artistic Director Byron Stripling.
New Albany Symphony Orchestra presents Let’s Go to the Movies
Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts
Recognizable tunes from major motion pictures – from Superman and The Wizard of Oz to The Lord of the Rings and Transformers – are on the playbill for the orchestra’s salute to the silver screen. In addition to movie themes, the show also features classical works that figure prominently into movies, such as a tune from The Marriage of Figaro. “That’s in a very famous scene in The Shawshank Redemption, and people would recognize that piece as something they’ve heard time and time again, but they wouldn’t know what it is and that it’s written by Mozart,” says orchestra Executive Director Heather Garner.
Other Music Venue Shows
LC Pavilion: Zappa Plays Zappa
Dweezil Zappa, son of classic rock musician and composer Frank Zappa, brings his father’s music to the stage with a small band.
Nationwide Arena: Justin Timberlake
Pop sensation Timberlake – known for his time with boy band ’N Sync and such solo hits as “SexyBack,” “Cry Me a River” and “Mirrors” – brings his The 20/20 Experience World Tour to Columbus.
Garth Bishop is editor of CityScene Magazine. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.