Sunday, June 13, 2004

Theater vet nails Tonys


Former Broadway in Cincinnati exec
predicted top awards

If you were paying attention to last week's Tony Award predictions, the big winner was Clear Channel theatrical veep Brad Broecker, for years the Louisville-based head of Broadway in Cincinnati before handing it off to daughter Leslie Broecker as he took on a national role.

"I've been in this business a long time," Broecker chortled. He predicted Assassins' five Tony Awards leading the trophy count for any show, and suggested the Avenue Q upset in the Best Musical category.

"I just felt Avenue Q deserved it," Broecker says, adding favorite Wicked "deserved it in a lot of ways."

Broecker seems to have this handicapping thing down. He wasn't backing Smarty Jones for the Triple Crown. "I had my doubts," he laughs.

UC sighting at Tonys: In case you didn't notice, when the Avenue Q gang took the Radio City Music Hall stage to cheer their Tony for Best Musical, '84 College-Conservatory of Music grad Kevin McCollum, who had another big hit in Rent, was front and center as lead producer.

More CCM news: 2002 grad Jasmine Walker has joined the company of Avenue Q, understudying the role of "Gary Coleman." (Yup, the role is a send-up of the actor who starred in Diff'rent Strokes.)

Elsewhere on Broadway, Randy (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) Harrison is the third CCM grad to be in the cast of Wicked.

Cincinnati native and CCM grad Jessica Hendy has joined the cast of Aida as spoiled-princess-scorned and fashionista Amneris.

Casting news: Cincinnati's most acclaimed actress, Dale Hodges, makes her opera debut this week. She has the walk-on role of Duchess of Krakenthorp in The Daughter of the Regiment playing Thursday and Saturday. (Tickets: 241-2742 or www.cincinnatiopera.org.

Hodges will have a full theatrical season with Playhouse in the Park with roles in The Crucible and A Christmas Carol then starring in Retreat from Moscow, a role which invites comparisons to her bravura work for Playhouse in Wit. Information: 241-3555 or www.cincyplay.com.

NKU tickets going fast: If you've been thinking about catching some of the summer theater season at Northern Kentucky University, it's time to stop thinking and start phoning the box office.

The entire run of Meshuggah-Nuns, the "ecumenical" sequel to the popular Growing Up Catholic-themed comedy revue Nunsense, is sold out even before it opens Tuesday.

If you put down the paper and call this very minute, you may be able to get a Tuesday or Wednesday ticket to a revival of Neil Simon's first hit Come Blow Your Horn, playing July 6-18 and the world premiere musical Burgertown, playing July 27-Aug. 8.

Theater manager Josh Neumeyer doesn't hold out hope for picking up a returned ticket. The black box theater at NKU is small and "we generally don't have no-shows."

The theater is located in NKU's Fine Arts Center on the Highland Heights campus. Information: (859) 572-5464.

E-mail:jdemaline@enquirer.com.




TEMPO
Opera hitting high notes
Fantasy & Tragedy
Cincinnati Opera's Festival season
Summer renews Opera's tradition

ENTERTAINMENT
Charles' music was 'America'
Oxford 'Idol' emerges as soap star
Electronic music, video add to 'King' premiere
Fall calendar raises profile
Theater vet nails Tonys
Numbers jump at music festival
Film contest dictates delivery in 48 hours

PEOPLE
Mixed Media: Channel 19's LaRosa heads home to Philly

PLANNING AHEAD
Going Out: Italianfest

FOOD
Cucumbers cool hot summer foods
Helpings: Fresh strawberries
Picnics for the lazy gourmet