J.C. Smith, Founder and Producing Director of Closed Door Entertainment began producing musicals in and around Chattanooga 6 years ago. ‘The Music Man’ will be CDE’s first production at the Tivoli theatre. With a cast of 24 and an orchestra of 20, Smith promises that this production will be very different from the one people remember seeing in high school.
Wade Hinkle is a gamer’s gamer–he’s been playing video games since the days of Pong. He’s turned his love of games into the Web site GamingUnwrapped.com, which is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and features game news and reviews. He wants to grow the site into one of the Internet’s prominent gaming destinations, similar to GameSpot or IGN. And if that’s not ambitious enough, he also wants to start an E3-style gaming conference in Chattanooga.
CTC opens Hair on the Circle stage on June 15th, 2012. The following is from the press release:
Book and Lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni. Music by Galt MacDermot
Meet The Tribe, a group of politically active hippies of the “Age of Aquarius” living a bohemian life in New York City and fighting the draft in the rock-musical, Hair. The show grew out of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, and the musical’s profanity, its sexuality, and its irreverence caused controversy when it debuted off-Broadway in 1967. After moving to Broadway the following year, it ran for 1,750 performances and its songs became anthems of the peace movement. A Broadway revival opened in 2009, earning strong reviews and winning the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best revival of a musical. Age has not lessened the powerful impact of this four-decades-old musical, as Time magazine reports: “Today Hair seems, if anything, more daring than ever.”
Hair, the theatrical love-in is one of a kind. The play came out of the Greenwich Village theater scene in the late 60’s and rose quickly to the Broadway stage with its experimental art forms and rock songs that became top 40 hits. Hair was banned from debuting in Chattanooga in the early 1970’s for what Memorial Auditorium board members believed were obscene acts within the play. The musical had been banned by other cities, including Boston. Lawsuits were filed in both cities and both worked their way to the Supreme Court. It was ruled in the Chattanooga case that that the Auditorium Board had shown unlawful prior restraint. To read more about the case, click here.
45 years later, this tribal rock musical is more popular than ever. CTC’s Artistic Director Scott Dunlap calls ‘Hair’ a, “Perfect little time capsule,” of the late 1960’s with it’s many and varied references from the perspective of the Hippie culture rising out of the ashes of the Vietnam War. This musical revival may be a kind of euphoric lament in 2012, having found no utopic,”Age of Aquarius,” to speak of.
Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil
Listen to the interview with CTC’s Artistic Director Scott Dunlap and Musical Director Andrew Chauncey about Hair:
Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga Director Garry Posey came across the concept album that this musical is based on many years ago. To his delight, the songs from Jeremy Schonfeld have been used in the making of a musical with lyrics and music by Schonfeld and the book by Craig Pospisil. ‘Drift’ was given a good review when it premiered at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2006. ETC will be one of the first Regional Theatres to mount a production of this, “New, edge rock musical,” says Posey. He says that ‘Drift’ contains very little dialog, instead relying on songs, staging and theatricality to tell the story of it’s protagonist David who is going through a divorce. The play opened this weekend on the Black Box stage of the St. Andrew’s Center.
Here’s more about this production from the ETC website:
June 1 – 17
“Jeremy Shonfeld, the writer, is insistent about the story being told through the music, there is very little dialogue in the 90 minute show,” says director Garry Lee Posey. “A component from a previous production utilized videography, something that I believe could really enhance the story telling, so we are using that convention as well. To help us direct the use of this convention in the most effective way possible, we are focusing on music videos for inspiration.”
Drift marks the 25th production that Garry Posey has directed with ETC. “To me, Drift is a musical that finds its protagonist trying to survive in two different worlds- fantasy and reality. In the musical, recently divorced David lives (and sings about what is) in his mind. His ex, Laura conversely finds herself trying to pull David back into reality. Ironically, the plot of DRIFT and my tenure thus far with ETC are almost mirror images of the other.”
Drift is directed by Garry Posey. Cast members include Maggie Bradshaw, Damon Buxton, Dana Colagiovanni, Kyle Dagnan, Ryan Laskowski, Ellen Poole, Justin Wahlne and Jeremy Wilkins. The stage manager is Casey Keelen.