Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nashville Opera Gets $350,000 Grant

From a press release:

Nashville Opera completes prestigious Kresge Challenge Grant

Company received a $350,000 award after satisfying the conditions set forth by the Kresge Foundation

• Nashville Opera to retire the debt on the award-winning Noah Liff Opera Center
• Strong financial support for Nashville Opera’s Raise Your Glasses Capital Campaign throughout the community
• Company able to meet funding and timetable goal during historically sluggish economy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 20, 2011) - Nashville Opera announced the company had satisfied all of the conditions established by the Kresge Foundation in their 2008 Challenge Grant and were awarded $350,000 this past week. Kresge offered to provide the grant if Nashville Opera was able to raise a total of $11 million for its Raise Your Glasses capital campaign by September 30, 2011. Established in 2007, the Raise Your Glasses Campaign was created to underwrite two key initiatives: construction of the new Noah Liff Opera Center in Sylvan Heights and the establishment of the Fund for Artistic Excellence. Reaching the funding benchmark established by the Kresge Foundation, combined with receiving the award, will allow Nashville Opera to retire the remaining debt on the construction of the Noah Liff Opera Center by January 31, 2012.

“Nashville Opera is grateful for the outpouring of support from the corporate sector, philanthropists and community leaders, and our Board of Directors,” said Carol Penterman, Nashville Opera CEO. “Satisfying the rigorous conditions set forth by the Kresge Foundation in their $350,000 Challenge Grant allows the Noah Liff Opera Center to not only become a self-sustaining asset, but will also provide the company with greater financial security.”

“The recent economic downturn has proven to be particularly difficult for arts organizations across the nation,” says Andy Valentine, Chairman of the Nashville Opera Board of Directors. “Indeed, several renowned and well-established companies have been forced to drastically reduce their seasons, or in some cases, cease operations. It is particularly gratifying that Nashville Opera was able meet the strict Kresge Challenge Grant criteria with such broad support throughout the entire community in spite of the devastating floods and the current economic downswing. I am proud of the efforts of my fellow board members and the staff of Nashville Opera in meeting this important goal.”

The 26,000 square foot Noah Liff Opera Center opened in 2008 to serve as Nashville Opera’s executive offices and rehearsal facility. Designed by architect Earl Swensson and his company, ESa, the Urban Land Institute presented its 2009 Excellence in Development Award to the Center citing the building’s innovative design, harmony with the existing neighborhood, and its role as a catalyst for conscientious re-development within the surrounding community. Nashville Opera has utilized the capabilities of the building to capture additional revenues through rentals for private parties and corporate meetings. The Noah Liff Opera Center became a profit center for the organization within the first two years of operation.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private foundation that supports communities in the United States and around the world by strengthening the nonprofit organizations that serve them. Nashville Opera had to demonstrate sound financial management, community enrichment, and a commitment to creating the highest quality productions to even be considered for the grant.

The foundation was established by Sebastian Spering Kresge in 1924 “for the promotion of human progress.” With an initial gift of $1.6 million, he launched what would become one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations. Over the years, the Kresge Foundation has helped build the nation’s nonprofit infrastructure – libraries, community centers, schools, hospitals, art museums, food banks and countless other facilities.

Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the nation, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and play to over 17,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches an additional 25,000 students in 18 counties in Middle Tennessee.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry Files Qualifying Papers

From a press release issued by the candidate:


(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk Howard Gentry today filed qualifying papers for the March 6, 2012 Democratic Party county primary seeking the office he now holds.

Gentry also announced that his campaign has raised more than $50,000 so far.

“It’s an honor to serve the citizens of Davidson County and our criminal court system,” Gentry said. “I ask voters for the privilege of allowing me to continue that service working alongside office staff, attorneys and judges.

“I greatly appreciate the support of those who’ve already contributed to my campaign, and humbly ask for others to join us as we work to make the Davidson County Criminal Court Clerk’s office everything it can and should be.”

Gentry’s campaign chairman is Bo Roberts. His campaign co-treasurers are Jack Cawthon and Steven Turner.

“Howard’s record of public service and his personal integrity give Davidson County a Criminal Court Clerk we can all believe in,” Roberts said. “I think the strong support he’s already receiving indicates that many fellow Nashvillians also believe he’s the right man for the job.”

The winner of the March 6 primary will be on the Aug. 2, 2012 Metro general election ballot. Early voting runs Feb. 15-28.

Gentry, 59, took office Aug. 30 after the Nashville-Davidson County Metropolitan Council selected him on the first ballot from a five-person slate. He was an at-large member of the council from 1999-2002 and Vice Mayor of Nashville from 2002-2007.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Les Waters Takes Actors Theatre Helm

A really fine choice. From today's press release:

For Immediate Release
November 29, 2011


Louisville, KY– Todd Lowe, Chair of Actors Theatre of Louisville’s search committee, today announced on behalf of the Board of Directors of Actors Theatre of Louisville that Obie Award-winning Director, Les Waters has been named Actors Theatre’s new Artistic Director. Waters, who for the past eight years has been the Associate Artistic Director at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California will begin transition to his new post effective January 9, 2012 and assume full-time duties at Actors Theatre in late March.

The extensive national search was only the third search of its kind in almost 50 year of history at Actors Theatre. Waters joins a prestigious lineage of leaders who have led Actors Theatre of Louisville from its humble beginnings to a nationally recognized regional theatre and a major force in American playwriting.

Waters has more than 30 years of experience in theatre and has forged a formidable career as a director. A strong proponent of contemporary work and adaptations of classic material, Waters has an impressive track record of collaborating with some of theatre’s most prominent playwrights, including Caryl Churchill, Charles Mee and Sarah Ruhl, and he has been a champion of important new voices such as Will Eno, Jordan Harrison and Anne Washburn.

“Following an extensive national search and an impressive slate of candidates, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of Les Waters to Artistic Director,”said Actors Theatre Search Committee Chairman Todd Lowe. “Les Waters brings with him an outstanding artistic track record and a devotion to both contemporary work and the re-envisioning of classic texts. He has demonstrated a real passion for the commissioning and production of work by important new voices and shares Actors Theatre’s commitment to supporting the innovation and imagination of the American playwright. I believe he will be the perfect partner with Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein to lead Actors Theatre into its next phase of organizational and artistic excellence.”

Ted Nixon, President of Actors Theatre Board, said, "Les Waters will inherit almost half a century of incredible artistic accomplishments and institutional growth at Actors Theatre.His appointment will ensure that Actors Theatre continues to fulfill its commitment to support theatre artists, promote new work and present quality artistic experiences for the citizens of Kentucky and beyond.”

“Les Waters will be an incredible asset to both Actors Theatre and this community,” said Jennifer Bielstein, Managing Director, Actors Theatre of Louisville. “In addition to an impressive list of artistic accomplishments, he is a proven mentor and advisor to emerging theatre artists, playwrights and directors. Actors Theatre is an artistic home to a wide array of artists and as an institution values and supports the careers of many young theatre professionals through our prestigious Apprentice/Intern Company. I believe he will bring a new passion and energy to our season programming and is the perfect person to champion Actors Theatre within the region and nationally. Les will bring exceptional qualities to this leadership role and I very much look forward to partnering with him as Actors Theatre continues to make a significant impact on American theatre in years to come.”

Les Waters said, “It is an honor and a privilege to take up the reins at Actors Theatre of Louisville, an organization I’ve long admired. I’ve had the opportunity to direct twice at Actors Theatre, and I was deeply impressed with the theatre, its staff and the community at large. I am excited to begin working with the board of trustees, staff, volunteer core and Actors Theatre’s extended family of theatre artists. I am committed to making theatre here that is passionate and intelligent, funny and heartfelt and to leading Actors Theatre to new artistic endeavors. I look forward to being a part of this community, to making a new home in Louisville, and to continuing Actors Theatre’s incredible legacy of local and national acclaim.”

Throughout Waters’ eight year tenure at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, his shows garnered great critical acclaim, routinely ranking among the year’s best by critics in The New Yorker, New York Times, Time Out New York, Time Magazine, and USA Today. In 2009, he made his Broadway debut with renowned playwright Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), which premiered at Berkeley. His other productions at Berkeley Repertory Theater include the world premieres of Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West, Fêtes de la Nuit, Finn in the Underworld, Girlfriend, and To the Lighthouse; the American premiere of TRAGEDY: a tragedy; the West Coast premieres of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice and Three Sisters; and extended runs of The Glass Menagerie, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Pillowman, and Yellowman. Waters has numerous credits in New York, his native England, and at theatres across America. He led the MFA directing program at UC San Diego where he continues to teach. Waters is an associate artist of The Civilians.

The extensive search process was led by a committee of Actors Theatre of Louisville board members comprised of Chair Todd Lowe, Beth Davis, Laura Douglas, Phil Eschels, Ted Nixon, Bruce Merrick, Marsha Roth, Ted Rosky and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein.

They were assisted by Greg Kandel, Partner in Management Consultants for the Arts, one of the premier executive search firms in the theatre field.

Waters replaces Marc Masterson who stepped down in May 2011 after eleven years to take the position of Artistic Director at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, California.


About Actors Theatre of Louisville

Les Waters, New Artistic Director of Actors Theatre Louisville
Jennifer Bielstein, Managing Director

Now in its 48th season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, has emerged as one of America's most consistently innovative professional theatre companies. For more than 30 years, it has been a major force in revitalizing American playwriting. Its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays is recognized as the premier event of its kind and draws producers, journalists, critics, playwrights and theatre lovers from around the world for a marathon of new works. More than 350 plays from Actors Theatre have been published, making them available to producers and readers, and creating a significant addition to the nation’s dramatic literature. Actors Theatre’s programming includes a broad range of classical and contemporary work, presenting more than 500 performances each season. The company performs annually to nearly 200,000 people and is the recipient of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre: a special Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre's international appearances include performances in 29 cities in 15 foreign countries. Currently, there are 40 books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in publication and circulation.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Actors Theatre of Louisville To Name New Artistic Director

Our friends to the north are ready to name Marc Masterson's successor:

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2011


Actors Theatre of Louisville will announce its new Artistic Director at a special press conference on Tuesday, November 29, followed by a public reception that evening to which members of the public are invited to attend.


Actors Theatre of Louisville will hold a special press conference to announce the appointment of a new Artistic Director. The Press Conference will also be broadcast live at
www.livestream.com. For a direct link visit ActorsTheatre.org.

PUBLIC RECEPTION 4.30 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

That evening Actors Theatre of Louisville will open its doors and host a public reception to welcome the new Artistic Director. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from the new Artistic Director for the first time. This event is free and open to members of the public.

About Actors Theatre of Louisville

Jennifer Bielstein, Managing Director

Now in its 48th season, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the State Theatre of Kentucky, has emerged as one of America's most consistently innovative professional theatre companies. For more than 30 years, it has been a major force in revitalizing American playwriting. Its annual Humana Festival of New American Plays is recognized as the premier event of its kind and draws producers, journalists, critics, playwrights and theatre lovers from around the world for a marathon of new works. More than 350 plays from Actors Theatre have been published, making them available to producers and readers, and creating a significant addition to the nation’s dramatic literature. Actors Theatre’s programming includes a broad range of classical and contemporary work, presenting more than 500 performances each season. The company performs annually to nearly 200,000 people and is the recipient of the most prestigious awards bestowed on a regional theatre: a special Tony Award for Distinguished Achievement, the James N. Vaughan Memorial Award for Exceptional Achievement and Contribution to the Development of Professional Theatre, and the Margo Jones Award for the Encouragement of New Plays. Actors Theatre's international appearances include performances in over 29 cities in 15 foreign countries. Currently, there are 40 books of plays and criticism from Actors Theatre in publication and circulation.


Thursday, September 1, 2011


From a presser sent out this morning:

Nashville Symphony invites community
to May 2012 Carnegie Hall concert

Performance will be the finale
of the national Spring for Music festival

NASHVILLE, TN (September 1, 2011) The Nashville Symphony invites members of the community join the orchestra when it performs at Carnegie Hall on May 12, 2012. The Saturday-night concert will be the finale of the Spring for Music festival, a celebration of America’s most innovative orchestras. Tickets can be purchased through Sailair Travel and include an invitation to a special post-performance party with Nashville’s civic and business leaders at New York’s renowned Russian Tea Room. Airfare and discounted hotel rooms are also available through the agency. Visit RoadtoCarnegie.com for additional information and to submit an order form.

The Nashville Symphony was just one of six orchestras invited to perform at the 2012 Spring for Music festival, which spotlights ensembles committed to adventuresome programming. Nashville-based electric violinist Tracy Silverman will be the featured soloist on a brand-new piece written for him by Terry Riley, the groundbreaking American composer whose music has influenced everyone from Philip Glass to The Who. In addition, the orchestra will perform the New York premiere of Charles Ives’s Universe Symphony. This breathtaking work, which involves the participation of multiple ensembles and conductors, will unite the Nashville musical community as peers from local ensembles join the orchestra in this high-profile appearance.

“The Nashville Symphony’s Carnegie Hall concert will showcase the dynamic, forward-thinking spirit of our community in front of a national audience,” says CEO and President Alan Valentine. “In Nashville, we’ve seen firsthand that audiences are eager to hear new music, and our participation in this festival is a testament to the incredible support we’ve received from our patrons, who value our commitment to creative, risk-taking programming. This is a thrilling opportunity for our orchestra, and we hope that the community will join us for what promises to be an exciting adventure.”

The May 2012 concert is the orchestra’s second time to appear at Carnegie Hall. The Nashville Symphony’s first Carnegie Hall performance, in 2000, launched the community’s effort to build a world-class concert hall for the city of Nashville. In the decade since, the orchestra has opened the $123.5 Schermerhorn Symphony Center; hired its current Music Director, Giancarlo Guerrero; and released a string of critically acclaimed recordings, which have earned a total of six GRAMMY® Awards and 13 GRAMMY® nominations.

For more information and updates about the Nashville Symphony’s Carnegie Hall concert, visit RoadtoCarnegie.com.

About Nashville Symphony
Led by Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero and President and CEO Alan D. Valentine, the Nashville Symphony has a growing international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming. With more than 140 performances annually, the 84-member Nashville Symphony is an arts leader in Nashville and beyond, offering a broad range of classical, pops and jazz concerts; special events; children’s concerts and community engagement programs. The Nashville Symphony has received far-reaching acclaim for its 19 recordings on Naxos and one on Decca, making it one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. These recordings have received 13 total GRAMMY® nominations and six GRAMMY® wins, most recently for the orchestra’s recording of works by Michael Daugherty.

About Spring for Music
Led by Artistic Director Thomas W. Morris, Spring for Music is a concentrated festival of concerts by North American symphony and chamber orchestras presented annually at Carnegie Hall at affordable prices, with an artistic profile built around innovative and creative programs. The festival is designed to allow participating orchestras to showcase their artistic philosophies through distinctive and adventurous programming in one of the world’s most competitive musical environments. Participating orchestras in the 2012 Spring for Music, which runs May 7-12, include Houston Symphony, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Alabama Symphony and Milwaukee Symphony. Nashville Symphony will perform on the closing night of the festival.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Howard Gentry's Oath of Office

Adapted from an invitation emailed out this morning:

The Office of the Criminal Court Clerk
requests the honor of your presence
as the Honorable Judge
Angelita Blackshear Dalton
administers the oath of office to

Howard C. Gentry, Jr.
Criminal Court Clerk

Metropolitan Government of Nashville,
Davidson County, Tennessee

Tuesday, the Thirtieth Day of August
Two Thousand and Eleven
3:00 p.m.
Justice A.A. Birch Building, Courtroom 1A

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My New Gig: ArtNowNashville.com

I'm very excited to be working with the good folks of St. Claire Media Group, the inimitable John Pitcher and the super-talented Adrienne Outlaw. From the release that was sent out today:


Nashville Arts Magazine Announces
The Launch Of A New Daily Arts Review Website


NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville Arts Magazine will launch a new website September 1, 2011 that will provide comprehensive daily news and reviews of the city’s vibrant and varied arts scene.

ArtNowNashville.com will publish overnight reviews of major symphony, opera, chamber music, jazz, dance and theatre performances as well as reviews on the visual arts and film scene. It will also feature timely news and preview stories about important art events. Veteran arts writers Evans Donnell (theater, opera and film), Adrienne Outlaw (visual arts) and John Pitcher (classical music, jazz and dance) will serve as the site’s chief critics, providing regular coverage along with other contributing writers.

ArtNowNashville.com gives us the opportunity to report on the thriving art scene with up-to-the-minute reviews and will keep Nashville informed on what is happening as it happens. The Nashville Arts Magazine will continue its monthly in depth look at the art world, while ArtNowNashville.com will deliver daily news and reviews. We are very excited to launch this site, as it will be a perfect compliment to the magazine, and a wonderful resource for all Nashvillians that love the arts,” says Meagan Nordmann of Nashville Arts Magazine.

ArtNowNashville.com will be a model of local arts journalism in the digital age. The site will publish the sort of thoughtful arts criticism that was once the hallmark of the traditional print media. But it will also include videos, podcasts and other digital features that will bring the arts into sharper focus.

“Nashville’s art scene has grown exponentially over the past decade,” says John Pitcher. “The Frist Center for the Visual Arts now imports some of the nation’s best shows, such as its current “Warhol Live” exhibit, the Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s New Works Festival has developed a play that will soon hit Broadway, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra will soon be exporting one of its adventurous programs to Carnegie Hall. Our new website arrives on the scene just in time to chronicle this amazing period in Nashville’s art history.”


Nashville Arts Magazine is the most focused and relevant resource for all creative endeavors in the central Tennessee region. The vibrant, colorful magazine covers the incredible wealth of painting, music, architecture, photography, theater, dance, sculpture, poetry, cooking, writing and living that makes Nashville a creative city.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Penterman Departs Nashville Opera

From a presser sent out this evening:

Artistic Director John Hoomes named Executive Director

JULY 21, 2011 (NASHVILLE, TN) – After 17 celebrated years as executive director of the Nashville Opera Association, Carol Penterman will conclude her tenure with the organization at the end of the 2011-2012 season. Nashville Opera’s artistic director, John Hoomes, will assume Ms Penterman’s duties as executive director while maintaining responsibilities in his current role.

“Carol has transformed the Nashville Opera Association during her tenure and has left a lasting mark on the arts in Middle Tennessee,” said Elizabeth Papel, president of the Nashville Opera board of directors. “It has been so meaningful to experience the fantastic advancements under her leadership, including the development of the $7 million Noah Liff Opera Center, the Nashville Opera’s first home, as well as the establishment of a $5 million Fund for Artistic Excellence. We are eternally grateful to Carol for all she has done to propel the Opera to its current splendor and respect her decision to make a change. We are confident that John Hoomes will continue to move the Opera forward to greater heights still.”

Penterman has chosen to step out of her post at the Nashville Opera to pursue new endeavors.

“I will always treasure my time and service with the Nashville Opera,” said Penterman. “It is a remarkable organization with a talented team of visionaries, and I am excited to see the organization continue to excel and grow under John’s leadership. Serving as executive director has been an inspirational experience, but I am ready to explore new opportunities. We chose to announce this at this time to ensure a smooth and orderly transition, as well as the continued success of the company.”

Hoomes, who will assume his duties as executive director at the conclusion of the 2011-2012 season, has served as artistic director for the Nashville Opera since 1995. Also a free-lance stage director, he has directed more than 150 productions of opera and musical theatre in the US, South America and Canada. The New York Times declared his world premiere production of Elmer Gantry, “An Operatic Miracle… in Nashville.” Elmer Gantry was recorded by Naxos Records. A feature article in Opera News, opera’s premiere national magazine, said “Hoomes has proved himself one of the most interesting stage directors in the regional market today, with a seemingly limitless knowledge of repertoire.”

“It is an honor to take on the role of executive director and have the opportunity to support the growth and advancement of the arts in Middle Tennessee,” said John Hoomes. “I am grateful to Carol for our sixteen years of teamwork, and excited to embark on this new path in our lives.” Upon the departure of Penterman, the Nashville Opera Association will create a new Chief Operating Officer position to assume responsibility for employee management, accounting, fundraising and day-to-day financial administration. A search committee will be appointed to locate the ideal candidate to assume duties in summer 2012.

About Nashville Opera

Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the United States of America, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and play to over 17,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches over 30,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee. These projects are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Metro Nashville Arts Commission.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Metro District 18 Candidates Forum July 12!

From a flyer sent out on various listservs:


Tuesday, July 12, 2011 @ 7:00 P.M.

Belmont United Methodist Church 2007 Acklen Ave.

Refreshments and Meet & Greet 6:30 p.m.

Hear from candidates Burkley Allen and David Glasgow

Neighbors who live or work in District 18 are invited to
email questions in advance for consideration to District18CandidatesForum@vanderbilt.edu
Question submission deadline: June 27th

The forum is sponsored by Belmont Hillsboro Neighbors,
Hillsboro West End Neighbors, Hillsboro Village
Merchants Association, Belmont University
and Vanderbilt University.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Meet Burkley June 15!

From a email blast sent out today:

Gary Bynum ▪ Bruce Carter ▪ Evans Donnell ▪ Mark Duren ▪ Gordan Gilbreath ▪ Jon Kaas ▪ Carole Kenner ▪ Barbara Martin ▪ Barbara Moutenot ▪ Ross Pepper ▪ Nathan Phillips ▪ Joe Prochaska ▪ Bill Ramsey ▪ Lisa Ramsey

invite you to a gathering of
friends and neighbors with

Burkley Allen
Candidate for Metro Council District 18

Wednesday, June 15
6:30 - 8pm
at the home of Bill & Lisa Ramsey
1711 Sweetbriar Avenue 37212

Meet Burkley. Share your ideas and concerns.
She wants to hear from you!

RSVP: info@Burkley.org or 974.7015

If you’d like to learn more about Burkley, please visit her website at www.Burkley.org. There, you can sign up to volunteer, view the Events Calendar, and donate to the Burkley for District 18 campaign.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

FIVE Is Back!

What follows is a press release I received today. Given the talents of those involved it promises to be an extraordinary entertainment:

The ladies of FIVE are back again with MAS Nashville’s presentation of FIVE: AN ENCORE PERFORMANCE.

Due to the enormous success and warm public reception of FIVE: A Cabaret this past March at Street Theatre, MAS Nashville has decided to bring back the ladies of FIVE for one more night! FIVE: An Encore Performance will be performed at the Belcourt Theatre on Monday, June 27th, 2011. The show will be a celebration of the original but also will include some exciting new performances and lots of surprises.

FIVE: An Encore Performance will once again star Melodie Madden Adams, Megan Murphy Chambers, Cori Laemmel, Laura Matula and Erin Parker, and will feature hits from the first show as well as many new numbers. For those who were lucky enough to see FIVE: A Cabaret, the ladies are bringing back all the best from that night as well as a whole lot of new material for your enjoyment, so come on back to see what else the ladies of FIVE have up their sleeves - and shoved into their cleavage. If you missed FIVE: A Cabaret, this is your chance to come out for a night of wild performances, laughter, a few tears, and fantastic entertainment with songs ranging from Broadway to top 40.There is a little something for everyone in FIVE: An Encore Performance!

MAS Nashville is a collective of theater professionals working together to support, utilize, and showcase some of Nashville’s best talent and creativity through quality productions. MAS carries a double meaning to its members. It is a Mutual Admiration Society of individuals who desire to build up and highlight the talent and enthusiasm in each other, but also MAS – Because There’s Always Room for More. More talent, more variety, more opportunity, more support, and hopefully, reaching more audiences. Taking inspiration from 5 iconic divas, FIVE: An Encore Performance, presented by MAS Nashville, is a show full of variety and emotion set to a simple and classic piano score. Self-possessed knock out performances and a whole lot of fun are on the agenda. For more information and to purchase your tickets, visit WWW.MASNASHVILLE.COM.

[Children under 13 will not be admitted]

FIVE: An Encore Performance, presented by MAS Nashville
Monday, June 27th, 2011 at 8:00pm
The Belcourt Theatre
2102 Belcourt Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212
$15 Presale Tickets | $18 Door Tickets

* Visit www.belcourt.org to purchase tickets

Friday, May 13, 2011

Burkley Allen Campaign Kickoff Invite

From a campaign email blast:

Jan Bushing - Ginger Hausser - Ross Pepper - Bonnie Myers - Bill Myers - Jeanne Ballinger - Irwin Venick - Bill Ramsey - Barbara Moss - Tom Campbell - Joe Prochaska - John Teselle - Maria Teselle - Gary Bynum - Stephenie Dodson - Evans Donnell - Ann Donnell - Nancy Fullerton - Dan Raines - Evelyn Raines - Mark Denison - Laura Denison - Ron McNutt - Camille McNutt - Adam Hill - Emily Einstein - Sharan Martin - Tony Martin - Mike Zanolli - David Ettinger - Kitty Calhoun - Roy Gottfried - Mary Stevens - Kren Teren - George Teren - Madeline Bridges - David Bridges - Ann Roberts - Martin Strobel - Bruce Carter - Tania Carter - John Bradford - Marion Bradford - Cameron Phillips - Nathan Phillips - Chris McCain - Joyce Quirk - Preston Quirk - Mark Smith - Irish Park - Barbara Moutenot - Elizabeth Gilbreath - Gordon Gilbreath - Tim Richardson - Rita Richardson - Paula Jennings - Jan Jennings - Kate Mittelsdorf - Alan Mittelsdorf - Catherine Soudoplatoff - Fran Zinder - Melissa DuPuy

Invite you to join us for

Burkley Allen's Campaign Kick-Off
Candidate for Metro Council District 18
May 18, 2011
7 - 8:30pm

At the home of Barbara Moss and Tom Campbell
2707 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212

Please RSVP to Joyce Quirk at jaycue@comcast.net.

If you’d like to donate to the Burkley for District 18 campaign, sign up to volunteer, or learn more about Burkley, please visit her website at www.burkley.org.

And please feel free to forward this invitation to your neighbors and friends!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Nashville Children's Theatre's 80th Season

The 80th anniversary season slate for Nashville Children's Theatre is out. Here's the press release:


The country’s oldest professional children’s theatre reaches a landmark

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT) is ecstatic to reach 80 years of providing theatre, inspiration and delight to Nashville and Middle Tennessee children and families. In that time, over 2 million children have attended NCT productions, and we celebrate this upcoming monumental milestone as we build up to 3 million.

“The basic, underlying value that NCT brings to every issue and situation is that children are more important,” says Kathryn Colegrove, NCT managing director. “As long as we never lose sight of this, and of course continue to find innovative ways to stretch every dollar into ten...or twenty, NCT will certainly remain a Nashville fixture for another 80 years.”

NCT’s 2011-12 season of shows holds three titles that are new to NCT, and two previously produced classics that will encourage and inspire a new young audience.

New productions include: Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! - one of literature’s favorite precocious girls balances her uncontainable Christmas cheer with a classroom nuisance; The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 - based on the book by Christopher Paul Curtis (author of Bud, Not Buddy, one of last season’s hit plays), we travel south with a young family to see the damage of America’s civil rights war first hand; and Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type – the cows think Farmer Brown is giving them the short end of the stick, and they let him know it.

Productions from years past that NCT is proud to remount and make new include Holes - the story of young man who finds himself in a mystery to which he unknowingly holds the key; and La Belle et la Bête - NCT’s adaptation of the original French fairy tale, The Beauty and the Beast takes the audience to a world where true love leads to salvation.

Subscriptions for 2011-12 are currently on sale.

NEW - Flex Pass Subscriptions
A Flex Pass provides the freedom of single tickets while still offering subscriber benefits. For $72, a Flex Pass is redeemable for 6 tickets to use anytime in the season – for a child or an adult. Flex Pass Subscriptions are only on sale until August 8th, 2011, but once bought, Flex Pass subscribers may purchase additional tickets all season long at the $12 price.

Standard Subscriptions
For patrons who know what they want and when they want it, NCT continues to offer standard subscriptions consisting of three or more shows. New this year, patrons can choose how many tickets they want for each individual show in their subscription, giving families the freedom to customize their ticket needs based on the ages and interests of their children.

Subscriptions can be purchased online at nashvillechildrenstheatre.org or by calling the box office at 615-252-4675.

Flex Pass Subscribers and Standard Subscribers receive great benefits such as:
• Additional tickets at a discounted rate of $12 throughout the 2011-12 season
• Free ticket exchange within the run of a show
• Early-bird registration and a 10% savings on all NCT 2011-12 drama classes and camps

Sept 20 – Oct 16, 2011
Age 8 and up
By Louis Sachar from his young adult novel

When young Stanley Yelnats is sentenced (despite his innocence) to the wasteland of Camp Green Lake, he and his fellow juvenile detainees are forced to dig holes in the hot desert sun day after day after day. What is the Warden looking for? What has it all to do with Stanley’s “no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather” or with a long-dead outlaw named Kissing Kate Barlow? The wheels of justice grind slowly, but when past and present overlap, the truth will be revealed. Exhilarating adventure, twists and turns, peril and promise -- all this and buried treasure, too, can be found in...Holes.

Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!
Nov 1 – Dec 18, 2011
Age 4 and up
By Allison Gregory
Adapted from the book series by Barbara Park

Junie B. Jones is back at Nashville Children’s Theatre just in time for the holidays! Room One has lots of fun plans to celebrate the season, like Secret Santa, elf costumes and singing joyous songs. However, Junie B.’s nemesis, Tattletale May, is ruining her holiday glee. To make matters worse, Junie B. draws Tattletale May’s name for Secret Santa! Disaster! Except maybe – just maybe – Junie B. Jones will give Tattletale May exactly what she deserves.

The Watsons go to Birmingham - 1963
Jan 17 – Feb 12, 2012
Age 8 and up
Adapted for the stage by Reginald André Jackson from the Newbery Medal-winning first novel
by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watsons, an African-American family living in Flint, Michigan, are taking a road trip. Fourth grader Kenny’s older brother Byron has been hanging with a tough crowd and getting into trouble, so his parents decide to take him to live for a time with his grandmother down south. Soon, the whole family is crowded into the Brown Bomber, heading back to Alabama – and straight into one of the most shocking moments in American history!

La Belle et la Bête (The Beauty and the Beast)
Feb 28 – March 18, 2012
Age 7 and up
Adapted by Scot Copeland from the fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont

NCT’s own stunningly theatrical version of this classic fairy tale set in 18th Century France dances a thin line between dream and reality to tell a timeless story of sacrifice and redemption. Inside an exotic, forbidding palace a mysterious beast awaits, imprisoned by his own selfishness. A ruined merchant plucks a flower from the palace garden, and unwittingly binds his daughter in servitude to the beast. Only her kindness can save him, only her love can redeem him. Join us for this rich, romantic adventure and discover beauty...in the heart of the beast.

Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type
April 3 – May 13, 2012
All ages
Adapted from the book by Doreen Cronin
Illustrations by Betsy Lewin
Adapted by James E. Grote
Music by George Howe, Lyrics by George Howe and James E. Grote

Farmer Brown’s cows find an old typewriter in the barn, and next thing you know, clickclack-moo, clickety-clack-moo, Farmer Brown gets a typewritten note: “Dear Farmer Brown, The barn is very cold at night. We’d like some electric blankets. Sincerely, The Cows” When Farmer Brown refuses to comply, he gets another typed note: “Sorry. We’re closed. No milk today.” The cows are on strike, but with the help of a rabble-rousing duck, everything gets back on track...kind of. If you loved NCT’s productions of GO, DOG. GO! and GOODNIGHT MOON, then you’ll love this hilarious musical romp, ripped from the pages of one of America’s most popular picture books.

About Nashville Children’s Theatre
Nashville Children’s Theatre is a professional theatre company providing the children, families and educators of Middle Tennessee with extraordinary shared theatrical experiences that inspire imagination and develop creativity.

NCT was founded in 1931 by the Junior League of Nashville and is recognized as the oldest professional children’s theater in the country. A national leader in professional theater arts and education programs for young people, NCT was ranked by TIME magazine as one of the top five children’s theaters in the country.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Burkley Allen Enters District 18 Race

Here's this week's presser from Burkley Allen as she throws her hat in the ring for Metro Council:

Longtime neighborhood advocate Burkley Allen has filed with the Davidson County Election Commission as a candidate for the 18th District Metro Council seat in the Aug. 4 election.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of being a public servant in a vibrant progressive city like Nashville,” said Allen, 53, who has lived in the Hillsboro-West End neighborhood for 29 years. “District 18, with Nashville’s two oldest neighborhood organizations, two universities, and several thriving commercial districts, has benefited from the city’s growth and effective leadership.”

Allen has been considering running for council for several years. “I wanted to wait until my three children were grown and time could be devoted to the job,” she said. “With the recent redistricting, the residence where my husband Newton and I live was reassigned from the 25th district to the 18th district. With the seat open following Councilmember Kristine Lalonde’s decision not to seek re-election, I decided I wanted to run for this office now.”

Allen is an active member of the Hillsboro West End Neighborhood Association (HWEN) whose 25-year involvement with that group includes two terms as president in 1995-96 and 2005-08. She has also spearheaded more than 20 neighborhood annual tree planting events, and served as co-chair of the city-wide Vice Mayor’s task force that examined Metro’s sign ordinance in light of new LED technology.

Community committee work has included service on the Nashville Electric Service Citizen Advisory Committee for a high power wire project along I-440. Allen was also on the committee that gauged resident interest and then worked to institute a historic conservation zoning overlay.

She led the effort to downzone much of the area to RS to preserve the existing balance between single family homes and duplexes at a time when the housing bubble was encouraging the demolition of moderate size single family homes that are the backbone of this mid-town area. A winner of HWEN’s Betty Nixon Good Neighbor Award, Allen has worked closely with past and present council members in the 18th and adjacent districts on sidewalk installation, street-widening and many zoning issues.

“District 18 faces on-going challenges to direct growth in a smart way that preserves the character of the neighborhoods while allowing our businesses and institutions to thrive,” the mechanical engineer said. “The councilperson’s job is to create an environment of open communication so that stakeholders can hear all sides of the issue and work toward an acceptable compromise.

“I look forward to that challenge.”

For more information visit Burkley.org.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

'God of Carnage,' 'Superior Donuts' Among Tennessee Rep 2011-12 Offerings

From today's official Tennessee Repertory Theatre presser:

2011 – 2012 Season:

All My Sons
by Arthur Miller
October 1 – 15, 2011

God of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton
February 4 – 18, 2012

Superior Donuts
by Tracy Letts
March 17 – 31, 2012

Little Shop of Horrors
Music and lyrics by Alan Menken, book by Howard Ashman
April 28 – May 19, 2012


The Santaland Diaries
by David Sedaris
November 19 – December 3, 2011

A Christmas Story
by Phillip Grecian based on the motion picture by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark
December 8 - 22, 2011

David Alford’s Christmas Down Home
Featuring Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”
December 11 - 12, 2011

Subscriptions: Starting at $100. Subscription information is available at www.tennesseerep.org.

Nashville, TN— A true American classic. A Tony Award-winning comedy. A soulful contemporary drama. And one of the most-loved American musicals of all time. Plus, not one… not two… but three holiday favorites!

These plays comprise Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s 2011-2012 season of live, professional, critically-acclaimed theatre. The season, which kicks off in October, marks the 27th anniversary for Tennessee Rep.

“One of our recent hallmarks has been the intense and moving connection we felt with our audiences as we shared the experience of live theatre,” says Tennessee Rep Producing Artistic Director René D. Copeland. “As we move into Tennessee Rep's 2011-12 season, I am excited about continuing to fuel the passion Nashville has for theatre. I am excited about the talented pool of professional actors in this community. And I am excited about Tennessee Repertory Theatre's talented and brilliant staff of theatre artists. I am thrilled at the mix of shows we have in store—a classic, a comedy, a drama, a musical, and three holiday favorites. There is truly something for everyone, and every show has its own set of artistic challenges that will highlight the talent we are lucky to have here in Middle Tennessee.”

A complete list of productions and show descriptions follows.

# # #


All My Sons
by Arthur Miller
October 1 – 15, 2011
Johnson Theater, TPAC

Winner of the Drama Critics' Award for Best New Play in 1947 and multiple Tony Award-winner, All My Sons established Arthur Miller as a leading voice in the American theatre. All My Sons introduced themes that thread through Miller's work as a whole: the relationships between fathers and sons and the conflict between business and personal ethics.

In this classic American drama, Joe Keller and Herbert Deever—partners in a machine shop during World War II—turned out defective airplane parts, causing the deaths of many men. Deever was sent to prison while Keller escaped punishment and went on to make a lot of money. In a work of tremendous power, a love affair between Keller's son and Deever’s daughter, the bitterness of George Keller who returns from the war to find his father in prison and his father's partner free, and the reaction of a son to his father's guilt escalate toward a climax of electrifying intensity.

Copeland Says:

This show has been on my dying-to-do list for a long time. The time seems right because the subject of this intense family drama is more relevant than ever, as we struggle harder than ever as a society to figure out what the parameters of personal responsibility are. We are split politically over ideas related to the goals of the individual vs. the good of the community: are we only beholden to our own interests, connected to no one but whoever is in our own back yard, or are we part of a larger web of responsibility? If we do something that is good for ourselves, but other people we don’t even know may suffer as a result, where does the moral compass fall? When heads of corporations place the highest priority on their personal bottom line, if employees are left without pensions or healthcare or even jobs, is that OK? After all, they’re just pursuing our American definition of success--make as much money as possible, and by the way, don’t be shy about it. This play, through the story of the Keller family, explores with gut-wrenching results questions of personal responsibility and integrity and the interconnectivity of all of us. I think this play will stir your heart and your thinking, and I look forward to the conversations it will ignite.

God of Carnage—Tennessee Premiere
by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton
February 4 – 18, 2012
Johnson Theater, TPAC

The other day in the neighborhood park, little Ferdinand whacked his playmate Bruno with a stick, breaking two teeth. So it is important that the parents of the boys set the right example and sit down to discuss the matter calmly and reasonably, right? After all, nothing will be gained by behaving like children…

Human nature, red in tooth and claw. Yasmina Reza—the writer who drew maximum laughs from Minimalist art in Art—uses her corrosive wit to strip away the thin veneer of civilization in this Tony Award-winning comedy of manners… without the manners.

Copeland Says:

This is the one play I knew we’d do the moment we could get rights for it—sharp dialogue and characters requiring exceptional acting that makes us really look at ourselves and our behaviors. Two sets of parents get together to calmly discuss the bad behavior of their young sons (one hit the other) and they soon descend into an immaturity that by contrast with what they SAY they are trying to be is perfect parody of self-important politically correct grown-ups. What are we REALLY like underneath, when on the outside we’re pretending to be adults in a civilized society? What happens if we are driven to drop the façade? What would happen if we all said what we really think, unfettered by the constraints of politeness? God of Carnage is an acting tour de force, and I am especially excited by a play that offers four meaty roles. The best part of my job is getting to work with terrific actors in amazing roles, so I look forward to sharing with you the acting talent that can drive this one home. Human nature needs to be poked with a sharp stick now and then—I Iove the way this play does that. Quite simply, this Tony winner is one of the most scathingly funny plays out there today, revealing and reveling in human nature, and one that Middle Tennessee deserves to see in its own backyard.

Superior Donuts—Tennessee Premiere
by Tracy Letts
March 17 – 31, 2012
Johnson Theater, TPAC

Welcome to Superior Donuts—a forlorn donut shop in a diverse, slowly gentrifying uptown Chicago neighborhood. Both sweet and substan­tive, Superior Donuts tells the story of how an unlikely friendship can emerge in the most unexpected places as a downtrodden donut shop owner hires a street-savvy, aspiring young writer with hustle and bright ideas. Filled with humor, humanity, and characters found in our every­day lives, Superior Donuts stirs up the challenges of embracing the past and the redemptive power of friendship while analyzing the American Dream… and what living in America can do to it.

Copeland Says:

When circulating plays to consider for the season among the staff, there is always one that the staff falls in love with: Darwin in Malibu, Yankee Tavern, and this season, Superior Donuts is the one that won our hearts. These smallish, not-widely-known contemporary plays that we as theatre artists get so excited about also tend to be the contemporary plays that arouse a lot of curiosity and response from our patrons. Like Yankee Tavern, even if you’ve not heard of it before, Superior Donuts is being embraced by regional theatres across the country and appeared this year on the Top Ten most produced plays list published by Theatre Communications Group. And like Yankee Tavern, I predict this is the play you’ll enjoy so much you’ll be patting yourself on the back for trusting us on this one. Few contemporary playwrights manage to blend brilliant dialogue and compelling characters as well as Tracy Letts, who also wrote August: Osage County. This is a very different kind of play, for those of you who came to hear August at our last REPaloud, but like August, there is insightful, character-driven humor in unexpected ways. Besides its wit, the best part about Superior Donuts: it tells a great story about courage and friendship, and your heart will not go unaffected.

Little Shop of Horrors
Music and lyrics by Alan Menken, book by Howard Ashman
April 28 – May 19, 2012
Johnson Theater, TPAC

Seymour Krelborn is a nerdy orphan working in a flower show with a huge crush on Audrey, a bleach-blond in spike heels. But there's one problem: Audrey has a boyfriend, a dentist in a black leather jacket with sadistic tendencies. So what's Seymour to do?

Enter Audrey II, an anthromorphic cross between a Venus flytrap and an avocado that Seymour finds. Audrey II offers help… but for a cost; the plant seems to have a craving for blood and soon begins to sing for its supper. Will Audrey II take over the world? Will Seymour and Audrey wind up together?

Little Shop of Horrors is one of the most beloved American musicals of all-time with instantly recognizable songs like “Suddenly Seymour,” “Somewhere That’s Green,” and “Skid Row (Downtown).”

Copeland Says:

I admit freely that Little Shop of Horrors is one of my guilty pleasures. There are very few musicals whose music I enjoy more—it’s fun and it’s witty and you really can’t resist singing along. I also have a soft spot in my heart for dark and twisted comedy. The plot of this story, if you don’t know it, is dark, twisted, and very funny. It is also very insidious—if you’re not careful, you’ll actually be prompted to serious thought, after you’re finished laughing. What are YOU willing to do to protect the one you love? What sacrifices are you willing to make to appear successful? What lengths will you go to to achieve your idea of a perfect life? How much do you hate your dentist? Comedy, romance, a talking plant, and great music… what’s not to love about this American cult classic? This is another show that the staff was uniformly very excited about—it’s exciting to think about the combination of the talented musical theatre actors here in Nashville with the delicious scenic and technical opportunities—you won’t want to miss what Gary Hoff will do in the Johnson Theatre for this, and you certainly won’t want to miss meeting Audrey II.


The Santaland Diaries
by David Sedaris
November 19 – December 3, 2011
Johnson Theater, TPAC

He wears yellow velvet knickers, a forest green velvet smock, and a perky little hat decorated with spangles. This is his work uniform.

Yes, it’s Crumpet the Elf from The Santaland Diaries, David Sedaris’s sardonic look at his employment as an elf at Macy’s during the holiday season.

This hilarious one-man show has been one of Tennessee Rep’s most requested holiday productions. Out of work, our slacker decides to become a Macy’s elf during the seasonal crunch. At first the job is simply humiliating, but once the thousands of visitors start pouring through Santa’s workshop, he becomes battle weary and bitter. Taking consolation in the fact that some of the other elves were television extras on One Life to Live, he grins and bears it, occasionally taking out his frustrations on the children and parents alike.

A Christmas Story
by Phillip Grecian
Based on the motion picture A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark
December 8 – 22, 2011
Johnson Theater, TPAC

NASHVILLE’S NEWEST HOLIDAY TRADITION! Humorist Jean Shepherd's memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his unflappable campaign to get Santa (or anyone else) to give him a Red Rider carbine-action, 200 shot range-model air rifle. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself, at Goldblatt's Department Store. The consistent response: "You'll shoot your eye out." This irresistible piece of Americana is guaranteed to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.

David Alford’s Christmas Down Home
Featuring Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”
December 11 – 12, 2011
Johnson Theater, TPAC

David Alford returns to Tennessee Rep’s stage to share a warm-hearted evening of holiday song and story, with a very special centerpiece: Truman Capote's “A Christmas Memory” as told by David Alford with accompaniment by Paul Carrol Binkley.

Copeland Says:

The holidays are a special time of the year, and let’s face it, during that time we want special holiday entertainment. Part of the joy of the season is about getting out, seeing something to put you in the mood, sharing experiences with families or friends or co-workers in the theatre that add to the celebration of the season. Another big part of the season is enjoying tradition, and considering how vital a certain holiday show has become to many of you, I admit I’m delighted that something we do has come to mean so much to you. So I decided to offer a small “buffet” of holiday choices, satisfying varying degrees of tradition. For those feeling a little naughty, we have David Sedaris’s sardonic take on the holidays The Santaland Diaries. For those feeling a little nice we are serving A Christmas Story. To complete the buffet, we have a limited engagement of David Alford’s Christmas Down Home, featuring his one-man version of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory,” a piece which for a few years was an important, regular part of the Nashville holiday season. Artistically it is a satisfying combination since the three choices are wildly different in tone and content, each with its unique voice, internal integrity and ability to connect. And I literally get asked about these three holiday stories all year long, so it is nice to be able to serve them up in one very special holiday season.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2011-12 Slate

Here's today's Actors Theatre of Louisville presser that outlines the upcoming season as Marc Masterson prepares to depart for California's South Coast Repertory. Former ATL Producing Director Jon Jory is coming back - to direct a show:


From classic storytelling to thought provoking writing, From an off-Broadway premiere to a Tony Award-nominated drama, Marc Masterson's Final Season Line up Promises a Diverse Array of Exciting Productions

Louisville, KY - Artistic Director Marc Masterson and Managing Director Jennifer Bielstein are pleased to announce Actors Theatre's 48th season lineup.

"The 2011-2012 upcoming Brown-Forman series is an exciting multi-faceted program which includes the staging of two classic novels; a heartwarming and honest exploration of the personal impact of war; a three-time Tony Award-nominated play about love, longing, and science, and the regional premiere of an Off-Broadway hit. Plus, an exciting line up of new plays in the 36th Annual Humana Festival and the return of three holiday favorites", said Masterson on his final season selection as Artistic Director of Actors Theatre. "Actors Theatre has a fantastic team of staff with whom I have worked with for many years and in whose experience and incredible expertise I have confidence to successfully realize my final season."

Jennifer Bielstein, Actors Theatre's Managing Director adds, "The 2011-2012 Season represents a vibrant mix of classic storytelling, critically lauded new plays making a splash with audiences around the country, timely contemporary work that help us to take a closer look at the human experience and the issues that are central to our lives today, and the warmth and humor of our annual holiday shows. It's precisely the mix of entertaining and challenging programming that audiences in Louisville have come to expect and enjoy from Marc's eleven seasons at the Actors Theatre. At a time when the role of the arts is more vital than ever, we are thrilled to be able to provide an outlet for laughter, love, collaboration and exchange to the citizens of Louisville."

We open the 2011-2012 Season with Jon Jory's brand new adaptation of Jane Austen's beloved story of sisterhood and the search for the perfect match in Sense & Sensibility (August 30 through September 24). Jory's adaptation was recently described in the Chicago Tribune as "truly excellent" and we are thrilled to announce that he will return to Actors Theatre to direct this Austen classic.

In October, Mark Twain's popular American tale is brought to life in Laura Eason's magical new adaptation, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (October 4 through October 29). Sure to be a hit with the entire family, this production is presented as a co-production with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Kansas City Repertory Theatre and will be directed by Jeremy B. Cohen, Artistic Director of Playwright's Center, Minneapolis.

Next up a play that has been receiving praise from audiences and critics alike around the country. Opening November 15 and running through December 17 in the Bingham Theatre, Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez's acclaimed play ReEntry explores the true personal impact of war of those immediately affected by it; veterans and their families.

Actors Theatre slams into the New Year with The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (January 3 through February 4, 2012). Making its first stop since its Off-Broadway premiere, Kristoffer Diaz's comedy about power, race and class in the world of professional wrestling will be directed by Associate Artistic Director, Sean Daniels.

The season continues with Sarah Ruhl's scintillating and marvelously entertaining play In The Next Room or the vibrator play. Three-time Tony Award nominee, including Best Play, and a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Ruhl's drama will run in the Pamela Brown Auditorium (January 24 through February 18, 2012).

The season will culminate in the 36th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays, February 26 through April 15, which continues to be the country's leading opportunity to see groundbreaking, brand-new work by the American Theatre's most talented living writers. The festival is underwritten by The Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana, Inc. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Plus, back again by popular demand are the holiday classics A Fifth Third Bank's A Christmas Carol (December 6 - December 23), A Christmas Story (November 8 - 27) and the return of Louisville's Halloween cult-thriller, Fifth Third Bank's Dracula (September 14 - October 30).

2011-2012 season ticket packages are on sale now starting as low as $121 and are available online at actorstheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at 502-584-1205.

Actors Theatre of Louisville's 48th Season lineup:

Sense & Sensibility
adapted and directed by Jon Jory from the novel by Jane Austen
August 30- September 24, 2011

A lack of family fortune means limited marriage prospects for the Dashwood sisters - two girls who are only alike in their hope to find a husband. Scandalous secrets and tumultuous twists line the path to true love in Jon Jory's brand new adaption of this classic tale of flirtation and folly, in which the two sisters find that neither Elinor's common sense nor Marianne's passion may offer up the key to happiness.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Laura Eason adapted from the novel by Mark Twain
directed by Jeremy B. Cohen
October 4- October 29, 2011

Reconnect with Mark Twain's incomparable classic in a magical new production, perfect for the whole family. In idyllic 1840s Missouri, Tom and his friends revel in all that is grand and glorious about childhood. This mischievous rascal, joined by Huckleberry Finn, can charm Aunt Polly, save the town from a local criminal and win the heart of fair Becky Thatcher, all in the course of one small-town day. Produced in association with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Kansas City Repertory Theatre

by Emily Ackerman and KJ Sanchez
directed by KJ Sanchez
November 15- December 17, 2011

Inspirational, honest, and heartwarming; frank, funny, and long overdue. This surprising and acclaimed new play, based on interviews with combat veterans and their families, puts aside politics and Hollywood alike to probe the unvarnished and powerfully personal truths of those who serve and sacrifice. How do you shift from battlefields to backyard barbecues? What is the price paid by families at home when husbands, mothers, sons, and sisters go to war?

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
by Kristoffer Diaz
directed by Sean Daniels
January 3 - February 4, 2012

A comic powerslam of a play, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity - in its first stop since its Off-Broadway premiere - is a theatrical event that dares to throw political correctness out of the ring. Macedonio "The Mace" Guerra is a pro wrestler who recruits his ticket to the big time: a charismatic, trash-talking Indian kid from Brooklyn who's the perfect foil to the All-American champion, Chad Deity. But when their rivalry is used to exploit racial stereotypes in the name of ratings, all three men find themselves fighting for much more than the championship title.

In The Next Room or the vibrator play
by Sarah Ruhl
directed by Laura Gordon
January 24 - February 18, 2012

This critically lauded play about love, longing, and science takes place in a proper Victorian home where a doctor invents a most extraordinary device for treating "hysteria." As his wife overhears the treatment of his patients in the next room, long dormant thoughts and feelings begin to stir. This smart, classy and touching Tony Award-nominated play about marriage and intimacy, and how the invention of electricity fused them together, is sure to be the buzz of the city! Co-production with Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

The 36th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays
February 26- April 15

The Humana Festival is the premier event of its kind in the nation, debuting new plays right in your backyard! Catch groundbreaking world premieres that represent many generations, many voices and many views-including yours. The festival runs the gamut from comedies to dramas to plays that forge new theatrical territory. Combined with world-class design and performances, this celebration of American playwrights' innovation and imagination has something in it for everyone.


Fifth Third Bank's Dracula
originally dramatized by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston from Bram Stoker's world famous novel, Dracula, as adapted & directed by William McNulty
September 14 - October 30, 2011

Experience the gothic story as you've never seen it before, with recently redesigned sets, costumes, lighting and sound-plus thrills and chills that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

A Christmas Story with support provided by Fifth Third Bank
by Philip Grecian based on the motion picture A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Rob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd
directed by Sean Daniels
November 8 -27, 2011

In this Christmas adventure like no other, a boy's ardent campaign for a Red Ryder BB gun against all odds ("You'll shoot your eye out!") unfolds amid seasonal shenanigans involving a leg lamp, a bunny suit and a tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole. Relive a family tradition or start one anew by joining Ralphie and his family for this stage adaption of the beloved film inspired by Jean Shepherd's classic American story of Christmas-and growing up-in the Midwest.

Fifth Third Bank's A Christmas Carol
adapted by Barbara Field from Charles Dickens
directed by Sean Daniels
December 6 - December 23, 2011

Louisville's biggest and best holiday tradition-the classic story of Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the spirits of Christmas, told with the warmth of holiday music and visual splendor.


Season tickets are on sale now and are available or online at www.actorstheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at 502-584-1205.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tennessee Williams at 100

Tennessee Williams was born 100 years ago today. That seems so hard to believe, just as it's hard to fathom that he's been dead for 28 years. I'm reminded of a passage from Tom's closing monologue in The Glass Menagerie, "...for time is the longest distance between two places...".

Why? Maybe it's because the mix of soulful lyricism, scathing satire and raw violence found in more than a few of his plays is an American cocktail that continues to intoxicate us. His plays are seemingly performed here, there and everywhere on a regular basis, so while he may have left us his creations certainly have not.

I won't be seeing a Tennessee Williams play today. I'm also too far away from the Big Easy to attend this week's 25th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. To mark the occasion I'm going to continue perusing a remarkable boxed set from The Library of America that recently arrived at my door. The non-profit publisher issued The Collected Plays of Tennessee Williams on March 14.

The two volumes were originally published in 2000. An elegant shot of the playwright (as shown in photo above provided by the publisher) with cigarette holder in hand adorns one side and the closed end of the black box that holds those two books; a picture from the original 1947 stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire is on the other side.

Inside that box you'll find 32 of Williams' plays grouped from 1937-1955 in the first volume and 1957-1980 in the second. The late author and New York Times drama critic Mel Gussow edited these editions along with Tennessee Williams Journal editor Kenneth Holditch. Their chronology and notes alone are worth purchasing these books if you want to delve deeper into the man Holditch has called "...the poet...of the outcast."

From Spring Storm to A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur you feel the exhilarating, and sometimes terrifying, rollercoaster ride that Williams and his creations took over the span of more than 40 years. If there are flaws - and arguably there are many in his later, often more experimental works - those flaws are part of a rich, achingly etched dramatic mural.

The box set has a list price of $80 but there are several sites offering discounts on the set including Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. If you love American theater, you have to have these volumes.

Here's a rare TV interview with Tennessee Williams that begins with his thoughts on the poet Hart Crane. Like so much in his star-crossed life, Tennessee's wish to be buried at sea "near the bones" of the man he so admired wasn't honored at his death; his brother Dakin insisted that Tennessee's remains were buried next to his mother's grave at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nashville Opera Announces 2011-12 Season

The upcoming season slate is out for Nashville Opera. Here's the presser:

March 14, 2011 (NASHVILLE, TN) — Nashville Opera‘s 2011-12 season will feature three beloved opera productions: Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, Ruggero Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, and the Nashville Opera premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West). 3-show, 2-show, and FLEX voucher season ticket orders are available online at www.nashvilleopera.org, or directly from the Nashville Opera’s Box Office by calling (615) 832-5242. Individual reserved seats will be available for purchase on Monday, August 29. Nashville Opera subscription packages offer significant discounts over the published single ticket prices which range in price from $19 to $95, plus other exclusive perks. Nashville Opera now offers a convenient installment payment option for subscribers which is available online or through the Nashville Opera Box Office.

“We are proud to continue Nashville Opera’s tradition of creating legendary productions,” says John Hoomes, Artistic Director. “The 2011-12 season, our 31st since the company’s founding in 1981, features three unique and popular operatic works, and will display the best and brightest opera talent throughout the year.”

Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata will be performed on Thursday, October 13 at 7 pm and Saturday, October 15 at 8 pm at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall located at 505 Deaderick Street in Downtown Nashville. The opera is sung in Italian with projected English translations, and features the Nashville Symphony under the direction of Maestro Christopher Larkin. Principal artists include Emily Pulley, soprano as Violetta; Joshua Kohl, tenor as Alfredo; Grant Youngblood, baritone as Germont.

Emily Pulley is a frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, and has performed such legendary roles as Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Musetta in La bohème, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Thérèse in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, and Die Zauberflöte directed by Julie Taymor. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimi in La bohème.

Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata is a glamorous and heartfelt portrait of a worldly courtesan forced to give up the man of her dreams, and has become the third most popular opera in the world behind only La bohème and Madama Butterfly. Produced by Nashville Opera for the first time in eight years, this tale of love and selfless sacrifice weaves an amazing range of emotions into a nearly perfect dramatic confection. The memorable score positively glows with poignant preludes, inspired ensembles, and marvelously crafted duets. An irresistible classic!

Ruggero Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci will be performed Friday, December 2 at 8 pm; Saturday, December 3 at 8 pm; and Sunday, December 4 at 2 pm at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater. Principal artists include Allan Glassman, tenor as Canio; Elizabeth Caballero, soprano as Nedda; and Todd Thomas, baritone as Tonio. Pagliacci is sung in Italian with projected English translations, and features the Nashville Opera Orchestra under the direction of Maestro William Boggs.

This famous play-within-a-play-where the clown who makes others laugh is sobbing inside, because onstage and off, his actress-wife is having a torrid affair with a younger man-is high-testosterone Italian opera at its best! Full of irony and some of the most powerful music ever written, Pagliacci cemented the new, more realistic (read shocking and gritty!) verismo opera into the art form’s canon. Based on the lives of real people, verismo opera was calculated to stir an emotional reaction from audiences, and Pagliacci has been doing just that since 1890!

Tenor Allan Glassman, a regular at the Metropolitan Opera, triumphed as Herod in a new production of Salome starring Karita Mattila in 2004, and has since been heard in the MET’s productions of Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Boris Godunov, The Great Gatsby, Carmen, Elektra, Káta Kabanová and The Ghost of Versailles, among others. He has also been a frequent guest at New York City Opera, where he has performed the title role in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Don José in Carmen and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, among many other productions.

Giacomo Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West) will be performed Thursday, April 12 at 7 pm and Saturday, April 14 at 8 pm in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall. Principal artists include Othalie Graham, soprano as Minnie; Roy C. Smith as Dick Johnson, reprising his critically-acclaimed Chicago Lyric Opera role; Malcolm MacKenzie as Jack Rance. The Girl of the Golden West is sung in Italian with projected English Translations, and features the Nashville Symphony under the direction of Maestro Dean Williamson.

Everyone loves a good Western: a handsome outlaw in disguise, the sheriff in hot pursuit, and a garter-snapping, pistol-packing, poker-playing heroine who knows when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em to save the man she loves. Puccini was fascinated by the American West, and California during the Gold Rush was perfect for the adventures of one of his most memorable leading ladies. Rough-and-tumble characters, soaring arias, and a harmonically sumptuous score in the original “spaghetti Western” inspired by a 1905 play about Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. A company premiere!

Roy Cornelius Smith is fast becoming known for his voice of great natural beauty, his compelling dramatic interpretations, and his fine musicianship. He has already been heard on some of the world’s great operatic stages including the Metropolitan Opera, Salzburger Festspiele, Volksoper Wien, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Nashville Opera, and the New Israeli Opera. He has also appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal and with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

About Nashville Opera
Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the United States of America, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and play to over 17,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches over 30,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee. These projects are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the Metro Nashville Arts Commission.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Amun Ra Theatre's New Season

Some interesting news from Amun Ra Theatre today as they announced their new season: this year is the last one in which they'll produce plays using adult performers. Here's the presser:


NASHVILLE - (January 28, 2011) - Amun Ra Theatre (ART) is proud to
announce the 2011 Season, themed "This Far By Faith," which includes the
Nashville professional premiere of Mahalia, A Musical, by Tom Stolz,
directed by Kenetha carr; the Nashville premiere of The Old Settler, by
the legendary John Henry Redwood, directed by Artistic Director Dr. jeff
obafemi carr; and the Nashville Premiere of Jar The Floor, by modern giant
Cheryl West; this year for the holidays, Music City audiences will be
treated to an all-star performance of Fats Waller's Broadway Musical smash
Ain't Misbehavin'.

In celebration of 10 years of providing opportunities for minority actors,
playwrights, directors, and theater technicians, ART announces that
commencing in 2012, Amun Ra Theatre will evolve into a full time,
year-round arts training and performance institution for youth and teens,
building on the success of its Youth Performing ARTs Academy. Young people from ages 7-18 will take the reins of writing, acting, and performing
seasonal plays, building sets, designing lights, and learning the
foundations of dance, music, and visual arts, all under the guidance of
professional artists.

Founder and Artistic Director Dr. jeff obafemi carr states, "It's awesome.
This is a huge move, but it's a timely and needed one. When I first moved
back here from New York to start ART, it was because there was a drought
in cultural offerings in Nashville for black actors and I wanted be a part
of offering a solution. I'm proud to say that over the last decade, we've
trained and given opportunities to over 100 adult aspiring artists,
several of whom have moved on to work at many of the union houses in
Nashville and abroad. Now it's time to turn a page and pass this on to the
children so that they can be equipped to grab their dreams by the horns.
They will have a building, a reputation, and a group of what we're calling
ART Alums to mentor them to higher heights."

One of the benchmark events for 2011 will be ART To Africa. The Youth
Performing ARTs Academy children and ART staff will travel to the Village
of Champions Orphanage, located outside of Accra, Ghana in July. There
they will participate in a cultural exchange with the youth while building
a physical addition onto the facility, resulting in a permanent
performance space that will be christened with a joint performance by ART
and the Village of Champions young people. The performance will feature
music, drama, dance, and visual art.

"We're acting really 'grown' for a 10-year old," carr added. "But if we
are going to hand over a theatre like Amun Ra--with its established
national reputation--to young people, they need to know that the stakes
are high and so are our expectations. In the meantime, the adults are
promising Nashville a 2011 that will be long-remembered in their minds and
hearts." All proceeds from all shows this season will benefit the youth
programs of ART.


Written by: Tom Stolz
Dates: February 25th - March 13th

Mahalia, A Gospel Musical is a tribute to the late, great gospel warrior
who captivated the nation and audiences around the world with her
distinctive soulful voice and effervescent delivery. Her legacy is so
profound that her first name alone conjures up enough stirring memories to
bring a church crowd to its feet, and might even save a wayward soul or
two. This production will feature ART favorite Vera Warrick (The Colored
Museum, Black Nativity) in the title role.

The Old Settler
Written by: John Henry Redwood
Dates: May 13th - May 29th

"Redwood's gentle, sweet-natured comedy about life in Harlem in 1943. It's
a play that chooses to remember the good without the bad, being about the
relationship of two aging, church-going sisters.and what happens when a
handsome young fellow, newly arrived from the Deep South, rents a room in
the apartment they share.For all of its decent sentiments, THE OLD SETTLER
avoids sentimentality. It has the authenticity and lack of pretense of an
Early American sampler." -NY Times.

Jar The Floor
Written by: Cheryl West
Dates: September 16th - October 2nd

A quartet of black women spanning four generations makes up this
heartwarming dramatic comedy. The four women, plus the white woman friend
of the youngest, come together to celebrate the matriarch's ninetieth
birthday. It's a wild party, one that is a lovable lunatic glance at the
exhilarating challenge of growing old amidst the exasperating trials of
growing up.

Ain't Misbehavin'
Written by: Fats Waller
Dates: December 2nd - December 18th

The outrageously prodigious comic and musical soul of 1930s Harlem lives
on in this rollicking, swinging, finger-snapping revue that is still
considered one of Broadway's best. Ain't Misbehavin'' evokes the
delightful humor and infectious energy of this American original as a
versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs he made famous in a
career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to
Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

All productions will be held at the Amun Ra Theatre Playhouse, located at
2508 Clifton Avenue, unless otherwise noted.

Tickets may be purchased online at brownpapertickets.com or reserved by
calling 1-800-838-3006. For local information, and to inquire about group
sales discounts, call (615) 329-iACT (4228).

Amun Ra Theatre is a not-for-profit, 501 (c)(3), professional performing
arts ensemble. Founded by film and stage actor jeff obafemi carr ("The
Second Chance"), the company's mission is to expose audiences to the
wealth of African-American culture through dance, music, drama and spoken word. To learn more about Amun Ra Theatre, visit www.theamunratheatre.org.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011/2012 Nashville Symphony Season

Here's today's release from Nashville Symphony about next season:

Nashville Symphony Announces 2011/2012 Season
Yo-Yo Ma, Béla Fleck, Wynonna and a trip to Carnegie Hall among the highlights

NASHVILLE, TN (January 27, 2011) The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony continues to celebrate its triumphant return to Schermerhorn Symphony Center with the announcement of its 2011/12 season. Beginning with a special appearance by Yo-Yo Ma on September 9, 2011, and culminating with a performance of Orff’s enduringly popular Carmina Burana on May 31-June 2, 2012, the season will feature a wide array of world-class guest artists, including banjoist Béla Fleck, electric violinist Tracy Silverman, vocalists Wynonna and Kathy Mattea, trumpeter Chris Botti, guitarist Larry Carlton and The Cleveland Orchestra. One very special highlight for the orchestra will be a performance at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Details will be announced in mid-February.

“The 2011/12 season is a celebration of the Nashville Symphony’s incredible strength, resilience and expanding national profile,” says President & CEO Alan Valentine. “We feel so fortunate to have Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero’s artistic leadership, and this season is very much a reflection of the new heights of artistic achievement the orchestra has realized under his guidance – highlighted by our appearance at Carnegie Hall next May. We also are incredibly thankful for the support of this community, and I can’t think of a better way to express our appreciation than by offering a year’s worth of first-class musical excitement.”

SunTrust Classical Series and Classical Special Events
The 2011/12 SunTrust Classical Series features some of today’s leading classical soloists, including pianists Emanuel Ax (October 6-8, 2011), Garrick Ohlsson (January 26-28, 2012) and Jonathan Biss (February 9-11, 2012); violinists Cho-Liang “Jimmy” Lin (March 8-10, 2012) and Augustin Hadelich (April 19-21, 2012); and soprano Hila Plitmann (November 17-19, 2011). Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero will conduct 10 of the 14 classical concerts, Associate Conductor Kelly Corcoran will conduct one concert (February 23-25, 2012), and renowned guest conductors Peter Oundjian (December 1-3, 2011), Stanisław Skrowaczewski (January 26-28, 2012) and Gilbert Varga (March 29-31, 2012) will each step up to the podium.

The Symphony’s repertoire will include classic works by Brahms, Chopin, Copland, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and others, along with more recent works by such composers as John Adams, Roberto Sierra and Daniel Bernard Roumain (who is a Vanderbilt University graduate). “New American music is a big part of who we are,” Guerrero says. “Classical music is a living, breathing entity, and it’s our responsibility to keep it growing for future generations. At the same time, this music is even more meaningful when audiences are able to hear it in the context of those pieces we all know and love.”

In addition to Yo-Yo Ma’s season-opening appearance, which will feature the cellist performing two works by Dvořák, Schermerhorn Symphony Center has several other classical special events planned for next season. One major highlight is the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (April 24, 2012), a widely recorded ensemble famous for performing without a conductor. Other special concerts will include Handel’s Messiah (December 15-17, 2011) and the return of The Cleveland Orchestra (March 19, 2012), who will be conducted by Guerrero.

Classical conversations are offered in the Balcony Lobby prior to each SunTrust Classical Series concert. These informal 30-minute talks with our conductors and guest artists begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To learn more about Classical Conversations and the 2011/12 season, please visit NashvilleSymphony.org/videos

Bank of America Pops Series
Nashville Symphony continues to bring some of the best-loved names in popular music to Nashville. The Pops Series will showcase the talents of country artists Wynonna (September 15-17, 2011), Kathy Mattea (March 22-24, 2012) and Steve Wariner (April 5-7, 2012); conductor Marvin Hamlisch (February 2-4, 2012); trumpeter Chris Botti (May 17-19, 2012); and Broadway “Wicked Divas” Stephanie J. Block and Julia Murney (November 10-12, 2011), who will perform music from the hit stage show Wicked. Christopher Cross (October 20-22, 2011), whose appearance last year was cancelled due to flood damage, returns as well.

Adams and Reese Jazz Series
A Middle Tennessee resident for the past 15 years, renowned guitarist Larry Carlton headlines the first concert of this popular series (September 30, 2011), which brings the best of jazz to local audiences. Carlton is famous for his unmistakable sound, heard on recordings by John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Jerry Garcia, Dolly Parton, Quincy Jones and others, along with a string of successful solo releases. Two additional concerts slated for January and March will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Pied Piper Series
Four kid-friendly concerts make up the Nashville Symphony’s series for families, beginning with The Composer Is Dead (October 29, 2011), based on the popular children’s book by Lemony Snicket. This hilarious whodunit will be narrated by Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, with one performance presented in English and a second presented in Spanish. Additional concerts in the series include The Holiday Music Instrument Workshop (December 17, 2011), a musical trip into Santa’s workshop; Music, Noise & Silence (February 18, 2012), a theatrical romp featuring the Magic Circle Mime Company; and Pied Piper Fantasy (April 14, 2012), composer John Corigliano’s flute concerto bringing the legendary tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin to life. Pre-concert activities include an Instrument Petting Zoo and interactive art projects. For more kid-friendly information, visit NashvilleSymphony.org/nsokids.

Nashville Symphony World Premieres, Commissions and Recordings
New music is an integral part of every Nashville Symphony season, and the 2011/12 season promises several electrifying world premieres and commissions, beginning with a concerto written by and for banjoist Béla Fleck (September 22-24, 2011). The orchestra will also debut Darkness in the Ancient Valley, a new work by Richard Danielpour (November 17-19, 2011), and a concerto written especially for electric violinist Silverman by modern music pioneer Terry Riley (May 3-5, 2012).

Long recognized as one of the most active recording orchestras in the country, the Nashville Symphony will continue to expand its sizable discography in the 2011/12 season. Danielpour’s Darkness in the Ancient Valley, featuring soprano Plitmann, and two works by composer Roberto Sierra (April 19-21, 2012) will be recorded for future release on Naxos, the world’s leading classical label.

Subscription and Ticketing Information
Season subscriptions are available now. Prices for the 2011/12 SunTrust Classical Series start at $486 (all 14 concerts); the Bank of America Pops Series (8 concerts), $314; the Adams and Reese Jazz Series (3 concerts), $130; and The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust Pied Piper Series (4 concerts), $116 for adults and $71 for children. Tickets to individual concerts will go on sale in mid-July. For more information or to purchase subscriptions, please call 615.687.6400 or visit NashvilleSymphony.org.

Groups of 10 or more receive discounted rates, priority seating and personalized service. Contact Group Sales Specialist Meredith Benning at mbenning@nashvillesymphony.org or 615.687.6537 for more information and to book a group today.

Dining Options
Located in Schermerhorn Symphony Center’s East Lobby, Arpeggio offers a sumptuous four-course buffet before all evening series concerts and most special performances. Reservations are preferred. For updated information, visit NashvilleSymphony.org/arpeggio or call 615.687.6400.

Located in the West Lobby, the Symphony Café offers a bistro-style à la carte menu beginning two hours prior to the performance. The Café is also open from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Parking and Shuttle Information
The Pinnacle at Symphony Place, located across the street from Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Third Avenue, offers discounted pricing with 987 well-lit and secure parking spaces. Symphony patrons may pre-purchase $10 parking vouchers from our box office for use on dates when the Symphony is performing.

Valet parking is available for all Symphony performances on Symphony Place, on the north
side of the building. Cost is $20. We also offer pre-paid valet parking for all performances. For more details, call our Patron Services department at 615.687.6401.

For $10 cash per person, round-trip shuttle service is available for SunTrust Classical Series and Bank of America Pops Series concerts. First come, first served. Shuttles leave from Belle Meade Plaza, Brentwood’s Peartree Village Shopping Center and The Factory at Franklin. For more information, call 615.687.6542. Service provided by Anchor Trailways and Tours.

Nashville Symphony concerts are made possible through the generous support of our sponsors: SunTrust Bank for the Classical Series, Bank of America for the Pops Series, Adams and Reese for the Jazz Series, and The Ann & Monroe Carell Family Trust for the Pied Piper Series. Nashville Symphony programs are also supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.


The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has a growing international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming. With more than 140 performances annually, the 83-member orchestra is an arts leader in Nashville and beyond, offering a broad range of classical, pops and jazz concerts, special events, children’s concerts and community engagement programs. As a national and international ambassador for the citizens of Tennessee, the Nashville Symphony has received far-reaching acclaim for its 18 recordings on Naxos, making the ensemble one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. These recordings have received 13 total GRAMMY® nominations and, in 2008, three GRAMMY® Awards for Made in America, a recording of works by American composer Joan Tower.