Happy birthday, Ohio Theatre!

March 17th, 2016 by CAPASMM

Today at CAPA we have another reason to celebrate, aside from St. Patrick’s Day, it is also the 88th birthday of the Ohio Theatre! The Ohio is not only a world-class venue that is both a state and national landmark where we get to arrange and watch entertaining shows year round, but it is also the reason why CAPA exists in the first place. Our history with the Ohio only goes back to 1969 but we would like to take the time to celebrate and remember just what a dramatic history the Ohio has been through.

After opening day on March 17, 1928 the Ohio gave the stage to many talented vaudeville era performers including Milton Berle, Jean Harlow, and a young emcee with a violin Jack Benny! The Ohio was originally built for silent movies, and then when talking movies took over completely in 1934 it stopped holding live performances. However many movie stars traveled with their movies to promote them, Jean Harlow and Judy Garland both made appearances at the Ohio!

After WWII, times started changing for the Ohio, attendance was dropping, which couldn’t support a large movie house for long until 1969 when the theatre was sold from Loew to a real estate firm. Many believed at the time that this would be the final curtain for the Ohio, since it was threatened to be put under the wrecking ball to build a new state office tower. A few groups banded together to save the Ohio, but CAPA was the only one successful enough to raise $2.5 million, to buy back and restore it.

Since the successful rescue of the Ohio, there has been nothing but success, it was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, then declared a National Historic Landmark in 1978, and named “Official Theatre for the State of Ohio.” Columbus resident Mary Bishop, who led the restoration effort from 1969-1984, was honored by the National Trust for keeping the Ohio close to the original set up Loew, Lamb, and Dornan envisioned 88 years ago.

So the next time you walk into the Ohio for a performance by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Broadway in Columbus, the Summer Movie Series, or any of the other great shows our theatre hosts, take a look around and remember the struggles and sacrifices from the creators, the founders and employees of CAPA, and volunteers that got the Ohio to where it is today. Lastly, remember that it is you, the audience, that has given the Ohio the recognition and home it deserves. The Ohio continues to be a center piece of art and culture in Columbus for 88 years because of the people who love to come here and treat it like home. Thank you for making it possible for all of us at CAPA to say “Happy birthday, Ohio Theatre!”

And now, a clip to show you the history that the Ohio has experienced!

Volunteer Spotlight: Don McDowell

March 15th, 2016 by CAPASMM

Volunteers are a very important resource to many non-profit organizations, donating their time, energy, and hard work to help an organization meet its mission, goals, and objectives. Here at CAPA, we are beyond fortunate to have a dedicated core of volunteers that help make us possible. We would like to shine the spotlight on our longest-standing volunteer, Don McDowell.

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I served in the army for two years in the Korean War, ending up as an occupation force in Europe, 10 miles outside the Alps. After I got out of the army, I worked for Ohio State Bank, but wasn’t totally satisfied with it. So, I branched out and got a job with Columbus Public Schools as a film librarian, distributing films throughout the school system. That worked out very well. For 65 years, I also taught piano and violin at my parents’ music studio part-time to help keep it going. It’s been a lot of fun.

How long have you volunteered with CAPA?
This year will mark 46 years! In 1969, CAPA was formed and saved the Ohio Theatre, and I wanted to help. Since I knew my way around the movie industry, I booked two or three films which were shown at the Ohio in 1970. It grew into the CAPA Summer Movie Series from there, and in 2016, it will celebrate its 46th year too!

Can you describe some of the things you do for us?
I did the movies for seven years, for a while it was just my wife, Debbie and I volunteering as an usher and in concessions – it’s grown since then. After that, I became an usher and still do that to this day.

What is your favorite memory from working with CAPA?
Getting the movie series going. It was no easy task. It’s important to show the older movies to college-age people.

Do you have a favorite show or performance you’ve seen while with us?
A lot of what the CSO does is magnificent. They’ve progressed in recent years where they are a major orchestra now. My favorite Broadway show is Les Misérables. It has very few spoken scenes. Except for the battle scenes, everything is sung. That’s an opera where I come from, but nobody will admit it.

What made you want to start volunteering with CAPA and what have been some of the benefits?
I’m too cheap to buy tickets and found a way around it. If I bought tickets to everything I wanted to see, it’d be too much. I like people in general. I love to banter with the audiences.

What would you tell others to encourage them to volunteer with CAPA as well?
They need to enjoy theatre and people. And throw in music and ballet, for that matter. It’s been a very rewarding experience for me. And you never get tired of it because there’s such a variety coming through all the theatres, not just the Ohio Theatre.

If you would like to join CAPA’s volunteer team and create some great memories of your own, contact Janet Rife at
volunteer@capa.com.

A Celebration of Motown Records’ Influence

February 19th, 2016 by CAPASMM

The life of Berry Gordy, songwriter and founder of Motown record label, is the focus of Motown the Musical, coming to the Ohio Theatre February 23-28. Motown was the first African-American record label to reach national acclaim. Five of its most prominent artists went on to have a profound effect on 20th century culture and music.

In celebration of Black History Month and the social changes inspired by Motown, we highlight five artists embodied in the Broadway musical, and their influence on the music industry.

1) Michael Jackson
The Jackson 5 had a slew of chart toppers from “I Want You Back” to “ABC”—and they brought us one of the greatest musical artists of all time, Michael Jackson. Michael went on to sell more than 750 million records worldwide, and break barriers at MTV with his masterpiece, Thriller. He influenced many other artists who have tried to emulate the King of Pop’s genius for singing, songwriting, dancing, and style.

2) Stevie Wonder
Signed to the Motown label at the age of 11, Stevie Wonder was recognized immediately by Berry Gordy as a future star. In 1973, he released Innervisions, rated among the greatest albums of all time. From a man of music to a leader for change, Stevie fought to establish Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national holiday and also collaborated on the “We Are the World” fundraiser to prevent hunger.

3) Marvin Gaye
Signed in the ‘60s to Tamla, a Motown subsidiary, Marvin Gaye started as an in-house session musician and later transitioned into solo work, scoring several hits like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” He is regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time, with albums such as the socially aware What’s Going On and the provocative Let’s Get It On.

4) Smokey Robinson
Signed to Tamla Records in 1959, Smokey Robinson of The Miracles, was Gordy’s first act signed to the label. After racking up hits like “Better Shop Around” and “Tears of a Clown” with The Miracles, he joined Motown’s management as vice president, a testament to his business acumen and prolific songwriting talent. He came back to music as a solo artist in the late ‘70s with solo hits “Cruisin’” and “Being with You.”

5) Diana Ross
Diana Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of The Supremes, signed to Motown in 1961. They went on to be the most commercially successful Motown act and America’s most successful vocal group with 12 No. 1 singles such as “Where Did Our Love Go?” and “Baby Love.” Their album The Supremes A’ Go-Go was the first album by an all-female group to reach the US Billboard 200. Their success paved the way for such label mates as The Jackson 5 and The Temptations.

Motown The Musical will be at the Ohio Theatre, February 23-28. Tickets are still available here or at the CAPA Ticket Center.

Volunteer Spotlight: Eric and Rachel Johnson

February 12th, 2016 by CAPASMM

Volunteers are a very important resource to many non-profit organizations, donating their time, energy, and hard work to help an organization to meet its mission, goals, and objectives. Here at CAPA, we are beyond fortunate to have a dedicated core of volunteers that help make us possible. For Valentine’s Day, we would like to shine the spotlight on volunteers Eric and Rachel Johnson, who not only fell in love with CAPA but each other as well!

 

Could you tell us the most recent show you volunteered for?
We worked both the Saturday matinee and evening performances of The Sound of Music.
[Eric] The female lead had a very good voice and I very much enjoyed the songs.
[Rachel] I really like the energy at the Broadway shows. They tend to be busy, and people are pretty excited to be there.

How long have you each been volunteering with CAPA and what got you to start?
[Eric] I began ushering in June 2008. I had already been volunteering at Picnic with the Pops and a co-worker encouraged me to try ushering as well.
[Rachel] I started in January 2010, so six years. I was in my second year of full-time graduate school at OSU (Atmospheric Sciences MS/PhD), and doing weather research all the time was hard for me. I wanted something to do in the evenings and on weekends. My aunt and uncle, who are heavily involved with the arts in Seattle, suggested I look for Columbus volunteer opportunities in the arts. That’s how I found CAPA.

Can you describe some of the things you do for us?
[Eric] You will more often than not find me at the front doors taking tickets, and when I am not doing that, I am usually the lead usher (captain) of the left or right balcony. Sometimes, you will find me taking patrons to their seats as a regular usher.
[Rachel] I help patrons get where they need to go in the theatre (their seats, restroom, box office, etc.). I also like to share theatre history and other shows that I’ve enjoyed.

I understand that you met through CAPA. Can you remember a moment in particular that brought you two together?
We lived and worked near each other for years, but only met through our volunteer work with CAPA. So, CAPA is very special to us.
[Eric] March 10, 2012, at the Capitol Theatre, we were both ticket takers at the second performance of Miracles and Magic performance. Rachel’s scanner malfunctioned, and after the show started, we sat out in the lobby and scanned the tickets that Rachel had to tear by hand. We talked while scanning, and ended up deciding to get dinner together.
[Rachel] It started moving quickly after that day—a CSO concert two weeks later was our first real date. We realized we had a lot in common in addition to CAPA. We’re both scientists who love the arts.

Do you guys have a favorite show or performance you’ve seen while with us?
[Eric] There have been so many great shows. The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera were great. I would have to say my favorite show that I have worked was a Japanese Taiko (drum) group.
[Rachel] Well, this one we actually attended as patrons, but Twisted (CSO/BalletMet/Opera Columbus collaboration) was fabulous. Honestly, every six months I have a new favorite show. One of the great things about Columbus is that we get amazing touring shows through here, but we also have stellar local organizations like the CSO, BalletMet, ProMusica, Columbus Children’s Theatre, and Opera Columbus. There are so many great performances being created right here in Columbus.

Aside from finding your soulmate, what are some benefits from working with CAPA?
[Eric] It is an enjoyable volunteering experience and you get to work many great shows.
[Rachel] The people and the shows. I’ve made many friends through CAPA, and seen shows I would not have attended otherwise. I love helping patrons navigate the theatres, especially the ones who are new to the venue or haven’t been there in years.

What would you tell others to encourage them to volunteer with CAPA as well?
[Eric] You get exposed to so many great performances.
[Rachel] You’re working with great people at great shows, and you can really make a difference in the patron experience. I am so happy to use my time and energy to help people have a good experience at the CAPA theatres. And the shows are wonderful. I worked The Phantom of the Opera seven times when it was here in 2014.

What show are you volunteering at next and what are you looking forward to about it?
Our next show is BalletMet’s Carmen.maquia.
[Eric] I have found that I quite enjoy BalletMet’s performances. I was not interested in ballet until my exposure through CAPA. Now I try to work all their performances, and will buy tickets to see the ones that I am really interested in. Alice in Wonderland was a great performance.
[Rachel] The artistry and athleticism of BalletMet is amazing, whether it’s a traditional ballet or a new work.

Lastly, would you recommend CAPA as a good match-maker?
[Eric] For someone who finds the arts to be an important part of their life, it’s a good way to meet other like-minded individuals.
[Rachel] As Eric says, if you like the performing arts and interacting with people, then you’ll meet similar people with CAPA!

If you would like to join CAPA’s volunteer team and create some great memories of your own, contact Janet Rife at volunteer@capa.com.

 

Interview by Brian Doney.

Shaping Sound’s Travis Wall: Top 5 SYTYCD Moments

February 1st, 2016 by CAPASMM

You might know him from “So You Think You Can Dance” or maybe his choreography for “The Wedding Ringer,” “Step Up Revolution,” or “Dancing with the Stars.” Now you can see him LIVE at the Palace Theatre! Emmy Award winning choreographer and dancer Travis Wall introduces Shaping Sound, a dance experience brought to life with a dynamic company of dancers, blending a number of styles and genres. Before you go see the show this Saturday, let’s take a look back at how he got his start on “So You Think You Can Dance!”

1) Let’s start at the beginning. A young Travis Wall auditions for season two of “So You Think You Can Dance.”

2) Later in season two, here’s his legendary duet with dancer Heidi Groskreutz to Celine Dion’s “Calling You.”

3) At the end of season two, Wall was promoted to choreographer for “So You Think You Can Dance.” Here’s his first choreographed piece, “If It Kills Me,” from season five.

4) Wall choreographed a number of memorable routines for the show, often pulling inspiration from his personal life. Here is “Fix You,” a beautiful and heartfelt number expressing his mother’s emotional journey when facing major surgery.

5) In 2015, Travis Wall won an Emmy for three routines choreographed for “So You Think You Can Dance.” Here is one of the award-winning works, “Wave.”

Fans of Travis Wall and “So You Think You Can Dance” will watch in awe and wonderment as his incredible talents give shape and form to sound.

Shaping Sound will be at the Palace Theatre, Saturday, February 6, 2016. Tickets are still available here or at the CAPA Ticket Center.

Getting to know the star of The Sound of Music, Kerstin Anderson

January 28th, 2016 by CAPASMM

Broadway in Columbus and CAPA are proud to bring the brand new production of The Sound of Music, directed by three-time Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien, to Columbus! The spirited, romantic, and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp family will thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy®, and Academy Award®-winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss,” and the title song.

Early this week CAPA had the opportunity to catch up with Kerstin Anderson, the lead actress playing Maria Rainer in The Sound of Music.

The Sound of Music will be at the Ohio Theatre January 26-31, 2016. Limited tickets are still available here or at the CAPA Ticket Center.

 

Have your wedding at the Lincoln!

January 6th, 2016 by CAPASMM

We love to put on a good show, and that includes your wedding! Set the stage for a truly breathtaking experience that will have your guests saying “wow!” at the historic Lincoln Theatre.

The theatre is uniquely suited to host both your ceremony and reception. The Lincoln’s stage provides a one-of-a-kind setting, perfect for a ceremony your guests will never forget. While the second-floor Cardinal Health Ballroom hosts the perfect, glamorous encore to your “I do’s.”

The Theatre

The Lincoln Theatre stage has been home to the greats, such as Etta James, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis. Now, you can create your own history! Built in 1928, and renovated in 2009, the historic Lincoln Theatre is the perfect romantic setting for your big day.

The rich architecture creates a unique and unforgettable backdrop for your ceremony. The theatre seats up to 588 guests on the ground level and balcony. You will feel like a star saying “I do.”

Photo by Rosewood Visuals © Katie + Jason

The Cardinal Health Ballroom

The Cardinal Health Ballroom at the Lincoln Theatre is an elegant and timeless setting for your reception. The ivory walls and pine floors create a perfectly customizable space, perfect for any theme or color scheme. The balcony staircase provides a dramatic entrance and stunning photo opportunities for you and your wedding party. The ballroom also features a built-in bar, oversized windows, a small stage, and a sprung-wood dance floors.


You can select your own vendors and caterers, but we have a great list of recommendations! Check out our Pinterest board for more Lincoln wedding photos. For more information about the Lincoln Theatre and the Lincoln Theatre Association go to www.lincolntheatrecolumbus.com.

If you are interested in scheduling a tour of the Lincoln, please contact Keisha at (614)719-6696 to set an appointment, or e-mail kdean@capa.com

by Anna Schaeffer

Volunteer Spotlight: Frank Atkinson

December 23rd, 2015 by CAPASMM

Volunteers are a very important resource to many non-profit organizations, donating their time, energy and hard work to help an organization to meet its mission, goals, and objectives. Here at CAPA, we are beyond fortunate to have a dedicated core of volunteers that help make us possible. We would like to shine the spotlight on one of our most long-standing volunteers, Frank Atkinson.

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a big computer geek. I’ve lived here in Columbus since the mid-80s.

How long have you volunteered with CAPA?
I started volunteering in ’81 at the Palace Theatre. [Almost 35 years!]

Can you describe some of the things you do for us?
I created a website which started as a way for me to keep track of my volunteer schedule [a website of all calendar events happening at CAPA theatres for the volunteers]. Then I realized others could use it too!

What made you want to start volunteering at CAPA?
I went to a show with my girlfriend at the time and saw some friends volunteering at the show. They told us how fun it was, so we decided to start volunteering too. I worked downtown for 18 years, so it was easy to volunteer after work.

What is your favorite memory from working with CAPA?
When the economy was bad, I started volunteering even more to get out and see people. All the volunteers and even the regular patrons had become like a second family, so it was nice to get out and do something with my time during the recession.

Do you have a favorite show or performance you’ve seen while with us?
Les Mis is my favorite show, and I probably never would have seen it if I wasn’t a volunteer. I’ve seen so many shows. The ones that come here are wonderful. Cirque du Soleil was fun and different to see also. I get to enjoy a lot of things behind the scenes. Mickey Rooney came and talked to volunteers at one point, I gave directions to a couple Rockettes walking downtown, and I’ve become friends with the people who work backstage.

What do you see as some of the benefits of volunteering?
Meeting people and seeing the shows are definite benefits. During the recession, when I wasn’t working, coming in to volunteer and seeing my extended family kept my sanity. I can remember people coming in when they were kids, and now they are grown up and still coming to the shows. Some even bring their own kids now!

What would you tell others to encourage them to volunteer with CAPA as well?
If you enjoy people-watching, this is the place to be. Ushers from all backgrounds are here, and are some great people. You can move from job to job, and work throughout the different theatres downtown. It’s a great experience, especially if you are keen to get out and get involved!

If you would like to join CAPA’s volunteer team and create some great memories of your own, contact Janet Rife at volunteer@capa.com.
 

Interview by Martina Cisneros

Superstitions and the Theatre

November 13th, 2015 by CAPASMM

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back…

A broken mirror means seven years bad luck…

Don’t walk under a ladder…

And just stay away from black cats!

Those superstitions pale in comparison to some that are true in the world of theatre. So on this Friday the 13th, while everyone else is avoiding open ladders and making sure to cross their fingers for good luck, we here at CAPA are keeping these theatre superstitions in mind!

1)  The Ghost Light

This ghoulish superstition is meant to keep those pesky theatre ghosts at bay. A single light bulb is placed on a wire frame on the stage after everyone has gone. It is said that this light is for the spirits of actors that used to dazzle the stage, to give them a light to continue to perform in the afterlife.  If the light is not left on, these spirits haunt the theatre and cause problems for performers. Ghosts also need some rehearsal time!

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2)  “Break a leg!”

Said to actors before they go on stage for a performance, this strange phrase is meant to bring good luck. “Break a leg” is believed to come from the idea that a performer must go on stage and hopefully perform well by “breaking through” the side curtains, known as “legs.” But let us not take this one too literally of course… we’re talking to you, understudies.

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3)  No Whistling

Contrary to the beliefs of Snow White and her seven companions, whistling while you work is NOT welcome at the theatre. Long ago, whistling was used by stage hands to signify the changing of an act. If actors or audiences whistled during a scene, it caused major confusion for all involved, most likely resulting in some big problems. Though this practice was discontinued many years ago, it is still considered bad luck to whistle at the theatre.

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4)  No Peacock Feathers

Beware of this deadly fashion accessory! Peacock feathers are generally banned in the theatre due to their history of bringing back luck. It is said that the evil eye in the peacock feather is blamed for bringing destruction to many a theatre production.

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5)  Don’t Say “Macbeth”! (But we can type it, right?)

Probably one of the most iconic theatre superstitions, the curse of Macbeth is sure to scare even the most steadfast actor. Dating back to the 17th century, there are dozens of theories about when, where, and why performers started avoiding the play’s title—instead referring to the drama as “The Scottish Play.”  Some believe that the play’s fictional incantations—“Double, double toil and trouble…” etc.,—are authentic examples of witchcraft, and should be avoided like the plague. But not to fear!  If a mistake is made and the word is said, there is an antidote: Exit the theater, spin three times, spit, and utter a Shakespearean insult (or an equally vulgar profanity). No damage done!

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6)  Bad Dress, Good Opening

Perhaps this one may be more to the encouragement of some bad acting, but many stage actors swear that a bad dress rehearsal foretells a great opening night. This superstition’s origins are unclear, but it’s certainly a beacon of hope for stage managers and directors alike.

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7)  Sleep with Your Script Under Your Pillow

Can sleeping with a script under your pillow help you learn your lines faster? Science says no, but theatrical superstition says yes! The practice is said to help actors learn “by diffusion,” but we suggest you hedge your bets and memorize those lines with some good old fashioned practice.

 

Don’t worry, we are certain all the actors in our upcoming shows are taking extra precautions and leaving that ghost light on!

By Alli Sweeney

 

 

A Holiday Season for All, and for All a Good Night!

November 6th, 2015 by CAPASMM

Snow is impending, the hot weather has ceased,

Families are planning their holiday feast.

As we all prepare to gather ‘round the Thanksgiving table

Holiday commercials are already on cable!

Everyone is preparing for the season’s inception,

And we here at CAPA are no exception!

Our holiday show list is ready and roaring,

To help you find the spirit to get the eggnog pouring.

So get the chestnuts roasting, ‘cause we’ve got some great reasons,

To get you excited about this holiday season!

 

Dr.Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Everyone’s favorite green meanie is set to steal Christmas, November 24-29 at the Ohio Theatre. With 10 opportunities to see this classic, there is more than enough holiday cheer to go around. So come to the show, and we know what you’ll say—your heart will grow 3 sizes that day!

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Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

This iconic Christmas tale is sure to warm hearts all over Columbus. Bring family, friends, and even your favorite Scrooge to the Palace Theatre November 27-29, and experience the timeless tale of Tiny Tim, the Christmas spirits, and the meaning of the season. It’s been a Columbus tradition for more than 30 years, and you won’t want to miss it!

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Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour 2015

Nothing quite encompasses the sounds of the season quite like a smooth saxophone. On December 9, multi-Grammy® nominee and saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz brings Johnathan Butler, Candy Dulfer, and the legendary Bill Medley with him to dazzle audiences at the Palace Theatre with a celebration to get you in the spirit. Don’t miss this special spin on your favorite holiday classics!

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Peter and the Starcatcher

Give the gift of outstanding theatre this holiday season with CATCO’s Peter and the Starcatcher. Bring the whole family to experience the prequel to the iconic story of Peter Pan and Wendy. Discover how Peter got his name, how Captain Hook lost his hand, and why the crocodile stalks them both! Showing in Studio One at the Riffe Center December 2-20.

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So, come celebrate the season with those that matter most,

In some of the most gorgeous theatres Columbus has to boast.

Let the joy of theatre help you spread some holiday cheer,

As you ring in the season and a happy new year!

By Alli Sweeney