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

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

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 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 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

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

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.