July 20, 2008

Students Counting on Musical ‘Nine’

By Michael Grossberg, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio

Jul. 20--The Otterbein College Theater and Dance Department will give central Ohioans a chance next season to see an acclaimed Broadway show making its first appearance here.

Nine, the 1982 Tony winner for best musical, was revived on Broadway in 2003 but has never toured Columbus or received a major local production.

Composer Maury Yeston (Grand Hotel, Titanic), author Arthur Kopit (Wings) and choreographer-director Tommy Tune adapted Fellini's autobiographical film 8 1/2 , about a famous film director struggling to conceive his next movie while coming to terms with all the beautiful women in his life.

Known for its musicals, often staged in conjunction with the Music Department, Otterbein will offer two during its 102nd season.

In addition to Nine, Smokey Joe's Cafe, a revue set in an idealized 1950s, will be presented in October. The collection of 39 Leiber and Stoller rock and pop songs includes Stand by Me, Jailhouse Rock, On Broadway, Kansas City and Spanish Harlem. The show closed in 2000 after 2,036 performances, making it the longest running revue in Broadway history.

Shakespeare will be revived with a futuristic twist in the college's first production of Julius Caesar.

Director Ed Vaughan will update the drama about the ill-fated Roman emperor to a post-apocalyptic A.D. 4000, when civilization is beginning anew, gender roles have changed, life is born through artificial insemination and there are no heterosexual relationships. While a male actor will play the title character, an actress will be cast as Brutus, Caesar's betrayer.

The other plays: The Crucible, Arthur Miller's drama about the Salem witch trials; and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dale Wasserman's adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel about an inmate fighting for his freedom in a mental hospital.

[email protected]

2008-09 lineup

--Smokey Joe's Cafe -- Oct. 9-25, Campus Center Theatre, 100 W. Home St.

--Julius Caesar -- Nov. 6-15

--The Crucible -- Feb. 5-14

--Dance Concert 2009 -- March 5-8

--One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest -- April 30 to May 9, Campus Center Theatre

--Nine -- May 21-30

Unless otherwise noted,

shows will be presented in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., on the Westerville campus.

Subscriptions cost $70 to $95. Single tickets, on sale Sept. 22, cost $15 to $25.

Call 614-823-1109 or visit



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