A Moment In The Ohio Theatre

June 7th, 2010 by Elena Perantoni-Fehr

By Elena Perantoni, Venue Rental Coordinator

One dreary Thursday afternoon a couple weeks ago, I decided to take break from a hectic day and sit in the balcony of the Ohio Theatre for a moment. But I wasn’t alone. I had forgotten about the tour scheduled for that afternoon—a tour that included a light show and demonstration of the original Robert Morton theatre organ. I was soon in awe of what I was seeing and hearing. I’ve scheduled such tours, but never had the opportunity to experience one myself.

I often take for granted that a gorgeous, 82-year-old historical landmark is 50 feet from where I sit every day. The more I work in theatre, and especially now with CAPA, I find that it’s not just the shows and the audiences that make live theatre so spectacular. The theatres themselves contribute quite a bit to the atmosphere and enjoyment of the performances we’re seeing.

Audiences of the CAPA Summer Movie Series get the opportunity to take advantage of three behind-the-scenes tours on Saturday, June 12, Saturday, June 26, and Saturday, July 10 at 4:30pm each day. These one-hour tours give insight into the rich history of the Ohio Theatre including its original construction and the massive campaign to “Save the Ohio” in 1969. Tour-goers will also be treated to the many magnificent sounds of the “Mighty Morton” theatre organ.

Tours are free, but reservations are necessary and space is limited to 100 guests per tour. Reservations can be made by visiting www.capasummermovies.com or by leaving a message at 614-719-6743. Please be sure to specify the tour date you prefer. Tours do involve stairs.

The coolest history lesson you’ll ever get followed by classic movie magic in the gorgeous Ohio Theatre is an unbeatable combination for a summer evening in downtown Columbus.

See you at the theatre!

Celebrating the Lincoln Theatre

May 27th, 2010 by Rolanda Copley

By Rolanda Copley, CAPA Publicist

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since the Lincoln Theatre reopened. But here we are, one year later, and all three floors of the Lincoln are going strong. That is something Columbus can be proud of.

The Lincoln is unlike any other theatre CAPA owns or manages, and in fact, is a rarity in this country. The Egyptian Revival-style décor the Lincoln wears so beautifully became very popular in the late 1920s after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb fascinated the world. Sadly, today there are very few Egyptian Revival-style theatres left.

Secondly, the Lincoln Theatre is multi-functional in that all three floors can operate independently and simultaneously on any given day. No other theatre in Columbus has as much versatility, let alone modern amenities. She is truly a marriage between history and technology.

Come and see for yourself how truly special the Lincoln Theatre is as we celebrate the one year anniversary of her renovation and reopening. On Monday, May 31, the Lincoln (769 E. Long St.) will hold an open house from 12-4 pm. Take a free, self-guided tour and enjoy a short video in the main theatre about the renovation of this historic gem.

Several of the Lincoln’s resident arts groups will be in the second-floor Cardinal Health Ballroom with literature and information about upcoming classes and programs, and The Jazz Arts Group’s Jazz Academy will also be offering tours of its top-floor facilities and have information available about upcoming classes and programs.

At 1 pm, there will be an induction ceremony in front of the theatre under the marquee to debut the first name on its Walk of Fame, awarded to Columbus native and award-winning author and journalist Wil Haygood, followed by the cutting of the Lincoln Theatre’s first birthday cake by Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

It will be a day to remember!

A Look Back at the 2010 CAPA Gala

May 21st, 2010 by admin

by Dustin Grovemiller, Donor Relations Manager

One of my responsibilities here at CAPA is the planning and coordination of the annual CAPA Gala. The Gala is really the only major fundraising event that CAPA holds on an annual basis. As you can imagine, if you’re only doing one big shindig a year, it’s really got to be something. Thankfully, I work with many individuals who have really great ideas and are dedicated to making this a great event. Our Gala chairs, planning committee, and fellow staffers really stepped up to pull off a fantastic evening in support of CAPA, which raised about $135,000.

A Look at the CAPA GalaThis year’s Gala was held on Friday, April 30, at the Southern Theatre and the Grand Ballroom at the adjoining Westin Columbus. We always hold the Gala at one of our theatres (it’s been at the Ohio for the last two years and at the Palace in 2007), but this was the one I had been waiting for. The Southern is my favorite of the CAPA theatres, not to mention that it’s a jaw-droppingly beautiful space and it’s in the same building as an equally beautiful hotel.

The evening’s “Broadway Bound” theme highlighted CAPA’s new partnership with Broadway Across America, and we tried to add a lot of “awards ceremony” flair to the event. When guests arrived, they walked the red carpet and mingled on the Southern’s stage to enjoy a cocktail or two. The program for the evening showcased the upcoming Broadway season and featured singer Sarah Hiance and pianist Nathan Laing performing songs from those shows. The Gala patrons then moved to the Westin for a fabulous dinner (the entree was Mongolian Marinated Petite Fillet with Five-Spiced Salmon. We can’t say enough about the excellent work done by the Westin’s chef and staff), with yet more music by another talented local musician, pianist and singer Matt Munhall. Following dinner, our guests returned to the Southern for dessert and dancing on the stage, getting to cut loose to classic tunes covered by the Bill Foley Band.

By all accounts, it was a much enjoyed event. You can see for yourself at the web site of our photographers for the evening, Ben Simon and Emily Scott: http://www.bensimonstudio.com/.

A Look at the CAPA GalaThe best part of this year’s Gala, however, wasn’t that we raised money, promoted CAPA, or even just threw a great party. We had the pleasure of honoring two individuals who have made significant contributions both to CAPA and to our community–Barbara and Dr. Ralph Lach. We got to hear from family and friends about the remarkable impact that the Lachs have made. To show our gratitude for their commitment and many years of service (Barbara has been on the CAPA Board since 1980), CAPA is officially renaming the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office in their honor. As our central ticket office, it’s one of the places at CAPA that, like the Lachs, truly touches all of our theatres.

Thanks again to everyone who helped make the 2010 CAPA Gala a success.

Behind the Scenes at the Summer Movie Series

May 13th, 2010 by Rich Corsi

By Rich Corsi, Director of Programming

It’s hard to believe this is the 40th CAPA Summer Movie Series, presented by PNC. After being involved in one form or another for the past 19 years, I know it takes a lot of work and a lot of people to put it together, and I am proud to be a part of it.

We usually start looking at the movie lineup in December. Lance Carwile, consultant for the CAPA Summer Movie Series, operates as a liaison between CAPA and the big movie companies like SONY Pictures, Warner Brothers, Criterion, etc., and will contact the movie companies, book the films, and send the contracts to CAPA. Let’s just say, without Lance, this would be a much more difficult process.

Assigning dates to the films is the most complicated and time-consuming part of the process. Many 35mm prints may not be available on the dates we request, so we shuffle things around until the entire puzzle fits together.

There are two things about the Series that still amaze me even after so many years. First is the fact that after 40 years, we are still able to present “series premieres.” You would think we would have shown every movie ever made by now!

Secondly, watching the crowds arrive and seeing their excitement is still an awesome feeling. In talking to folks over the years, it seems an evening at the Summer Movie Series is much more than just attending a movie. It is an event. It’s being greeted at the front door by the CAPA ushers, listening to the magnificent “Mighty Morton” theatre organ prior to the show, and escaping reality for a little while to enjoy a great film you wouldn’t otherwise be able see on the big screen. It’s the experience the architect of the theatre wanted you to have since opening the doors of this movie show palace in 1928.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the thousands of folks coming through the doors of the Ohio Theatre for the Summer Movie Series again. Some may be attending for the first time, and some may have been here so many times, they could give a tour of the theatre themselves! Whether it’s a date night or a treat for the children or grandchildren, you just have to love the Summer Movie Series.

See you at the Ohio!

A Moment with Pilobolus

May 5th, 2010 by CAPASMM

by Joe Cortez, Web & Social Media Coordinator

When you see Pilobolus on our website, you may immediately think that it is nothing more than modern dance. What you probably don’t know about them, however, is that Pilobolus is more than dance. For instance, did you know that Pilobolus has produced short films for the past two seasons of NFL broadcasts? Or that they have performed in more than 64 countries around the world, including a performance for the Queen of England? And in addition, Pilobolus has made numerous television appearances, including CBS’ 60 Minutes, The Late Show with Conan O’Brien, Oprah, and have won an Emmy for their work in television? Sure, modern dance may be one aspect of Pilobolus’ work – but they span so much more than just what you’ll see at the Palace Theatre on Thursday night.

This week, I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the dancers of Pilobolus, and ask them about their motivations. Read from them how they got started, and their favorite performance pieces that you will see here in Columbus!

Q: When and why did you begin dancing?

Nile Russel, dancer: I began dancing when I was about 5 yrs old.  My mom put me into tap lessons after school with Ms. Jackie Flynn.  I went every day after school. I loved being able to move, feel rhythms, and bounce my body against the music, but it sucked being the only guy in class.  It wasn’t until high school and, more so, in college that dance became my passion, however, I think tap and Ms. Flynn have influenced my  approach to dance.

Erika Jimbo, dancer: I began dancing with my sister when I was about 5 years old.  My mother enrolled us both in a ballet program because she always wanted to learn when she was younger, but was never given the chance.  She thought it would be fun for us.

Chris Whitney, dancer: I started my formal dance training the summer following my senior year of high school.  Since the age of 11 I had been involved in theatre productions, musicals, Shakespeare, et cetera.  It was during a high school production in Cleveland that I met Bill Wade, then Director/Founder of the Y.A.R.D. (Youth At Risk Dancing) at Cleveland School for the Arts.  I spent the first six weeks of my summer taking classes at a summer intensive run by Mr. Wade and from then on was hooked.

Matt Del Rosario, dancer: It all started when I was attending the University of Hawaii.  I began as an inspired education major, but before long I started skipping class to surf.  My “Oh, I’ll go tomorrow” attitude led to me failing multiple classes.  So, I decided to take a dance class to boost my GPA.  I signed up for beginning ballet with Paul Maley, who happened to be an alumnus of North Carolina School of the Arts.  It was the hardest thing in the world, but I really enjoyed it and didn’t give up.  Paul got me in contact with NCSA and that year the dean of NCSA’s dance department flew to Hawaii to audition me at home.  After the audition she invited me to come to the school, and that’s how I got started.

Q: What’s your favorite piece to perform?

Annika Sheaff, dancer: “Rushes”, from 2007, is a piece that I was lucky enough to help create.  We collaborated on it with the Israeli choreographers Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollack, who I think are genius artists.  I was able to help create a world, and a  character within that world, that over the past three years I have become attached to.  I learn more and more about the character each time I perform the dance.  It is amazing to feel that even though I have performed Rushes hundreds of times, every performance is still new for me, and I can always dig deeper into it.

Matt Del Rosario: My favorite piece to perform would have to be “Gnomen.”  There is a sense of brotherhood and compassion that I really respect about this piece.

Our thanks goes to the dancers of Pilobolus for taking the time to talk to me about their experiences!

Its not too late to get tickets to see Pilobolus in concert! Use the password “DANCER” and you can get 50% off tickets! To order tickets, call 614-469-0939, visit the CAPA Ticket Office at the Ohio Theatre or the Palace Theatre Ticket Office 2 hours before the show begins, or click here to order from Ticketmaster!

And for all of our Facebook fans: we’ve got a special photo gallery up on Facebook right now! Click here to check it out!

Out With The Old…

April 29th, 2010 by admin

By Dustin Grovemiller, Donor Relations Manager

Life for many of us here has been interesting for the last couple of weeks, although not for the reasons you might suspect. While CAPA’s new agreement to provide administrative services to the CSO is what you might be seeing in the papers, there’s been a project of pretty big significance going on in the background for the last several months–CAPA is moving to a new database and ticketing system. The work of the last several months has reached a peak–staff are being trained, the final touches are being put in place, and oh so very soon we’ll be up and fully running on the new system, Archtics.

So what does this new system mean for you? Here are a couple of the highlights:

New online ordering: Once it’s hooked up to capa.com, Archtics will allow patrons with CAPA membership benefits to place their presale and preferred seating tickets online and pick out their seats when placing an order.

Manage your own information: Same deal–you can now go to capa.com and log into the account manager to change your contact info, email list subscriptions, or even make or renew a donation to CAPA. (Which is my favorite part, of course.)

And, just to tie it all together, let me point out that a lot of the funding for projects like this comes from donors like you. Donations made to CAPA don’t just do things like pay the bills. They also become investments that come back around to benefit you.

The Business Of Keeping Busy

April 8th, 2010 by Elena Perantoni-Fehr

By Elena Perantoni, Venue Rental Coordinator

As you sit in the dark theatre, just seconds before the show starts, you start to feel that nervous sense of excitement. You’ve had this date marked on your calendar for weeks and weeks. You’ve planned ahead of time, purchased your tickets, perhaps made the preparations for a babysitter, had a lovely dinner out with friends, etc. And as the house lights go to half and then slowly out, you shift in your seat with anticipation.

If you’re anything like me, despite having seen dozens and dozens, nay, hundreds of live performances be it rock concerts, theatre, orchestras, musicals, you’re still astonished and awed by what you see on the stage. In this era of immediate entertainment (DVRs, iPhones, Hulu) we’re used to having entertainment at our fingertips. There’s nothing wrong with that; technology is amazing. But nothing compares to live entertainment. It’s not immediate, and it doesn’t always work on your schedule, but there’s something about it that just gets me.

I started working at CAPA 5 months ago in the Programming Department, booking rentals into the theatres, helping arrange the schedules of our resident arts groups, etc. Since then I have had to rethink my own personal definition of the word “busy.”  A co-worker asked me to go to lunch a few weeks ago. “I’m not sure I should,” I said. “I’m so busy! I’m trying to get caught up.”

“Caught up?” she said, “Don’t get caught up! If you get caught up we’re out of business!”

Good point.

Two weekends ago, we had an amazingly busy night in CAPA’s venues.  David Gray played to an almost sold out audience at the beautiful Ohio Theatre. Disney Live! entertained thousands during its two-performance day at the Palace Theatre. The Columbus Jazz Orchestra presented I Loves You Porgy at the Southern Theatre, which was simultaneously broadcast live on WOSU. Things were heating up over at the Capitol Theatre, as hundreds gathered for an all day dance competition. And The Phoenix Theatre for Children, accompanied by ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, presented a concert version of Titanic: The Musical at the Lincoln Theatre. All in all over 7,100 patrons were present at CAPA venues.

A  good weekend for live entertainment in Columbus, if I do say so myself.  Backstage at Disney Live!, the tour manager asked about our other venues and if we’re keeping busy. “Actually, we have a show at every theatre tonight,” I said proudly. She was impressed.

Point is, we’re busy. This is a good thing. How fortunate we are as Columbus-ites (Columbians?) to have so much live entertainment in our wonderful city. I can safely say that despite the volume of work, I will continue to be awed by what I see on the stage. It takes a lot of planning for these shows to come together: scheduling, rehearsing, traveling, promoting, some of which we may tend to forget as we sit in our seats waiting for the show to begin. Not to mention the fact that while you’re sitting there, let’s say at the Lincoln at 7:58pm on a Saturday night, there are likely at least 4 other audience-filled venues just a few short blocks to the west. It’s enough to almost make your head spin (don’t worry, mine is too).

So, yes, in the past 5 months, my definition of “busy” has changed. Busy is now a very good thing. It means healthy, vibrant, exciting. It means that on any given Saturday night we have multitudes of entertainment choices to choose from, not just at CAPA’s venues, but at any large or small performance venue in our fair city and by any number of local or out ot town groups. Shows that keep us excitedly chattering away to our seat neighbors just as the curtain rises. For that, I don’t so much mind being busy.

CAPA helps Columbus Symphony Orchestra with Shared Services

March 31st, 2010 by Rolanda Copley

by Rolanda Copley, CAPA Publicist

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and CAPA will soon share more than the Ohio Theatre. Just announced today, both organizations will enter into a five-year management agreement beginning April 5.  What this means is that CAPA will begin providing many back office services to the CSO, including accounting, ticketing, and marketing, among others.

CAPA President and CEO Bill Conner will serve as the volunteer Managing Director and CEO of the Symphony, and current CSO President Roland Valliere will continue in that role, also taking on the responsibilities of Chief Creative Officer.

While there is much work ahead, this is a win-win relationship for everyone. At CAPA, we can continue to fulfill our mission to serve the arts community in Columbus. For the CSO, the cost savings will help enable them to continue to present live, classical music performances in Columbus. And the central Ohio community will be able to continue enjoying the CSO performances they’ve come to know and love whether it be pops, classical, holiday pops, Picnic with the Pops, or all of the above.

CAPA is proud to partner with the CSO, and we look forward to a bright future for classical music in Columbus!

Here’s what people are saying:

“The Symphony is one of the great cultural and arts resources in our community. The new agreement with CAPA can provide significant stability to their organization and enable them to continue serving Columbus.”
-Doug Kridler, President and CEO, The Columbus Foundation

“Collaboration is vital across all aspects of our community, and we applaud this new business model. This agreement between CAPA and the CSO is a unique, homegrown model which will leverage the strengths of these two existing community organizations while saving money and holding down costs. A healthy and sustainable orchestra is important to our city’s economic development and this plan should move us toward that common goal.”
– Alex Fischer, CEO, Columbus Partnership

“This new partnership in Columbus between a performing arts organization, the symphony, and musicians is truly unique. Coupled with a new vision of sharing music through the internet and cell phone applications, as well as traditional live concerts, this model could be a new blueprint for orchestral music in our country.”
Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, The League of American Orchestras

“This truly remarkable partnership marks a unique approach to leverage artistic and managerial resources between two significant contributors to arts and culture in Columbus. The resulting new platform is designed to create new synergies for success at the local level and marks yet another business model that orchestras and other arts providers across the nation might consider.”
-Wayne S. Brown, Director of Music and Opera, National Endowment for the Arts

“CAPA has been a great corporate citizen to Columbus. We applaud their support of the CSO and this city.”
-Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman

Ed. note: To read the press release about the operations, click here.

This is how I feel about you

March 25th, 2010 by admin

by Dustin Grovemiller, Donor Relations Manager

As it turns out, I’ve been given the keys to the blog at a really critical point. Here we are at the junior post, I don’t have a specific goal as to what I should discuss, and let’s face it – I could just take this thing and run anywhere with it. (Well, the performing arts are supposed to be thrilling, aren’t they?) Should I introduce myself, perhaps? Talk about what I do at CAPA?

Not right now. I’m not that much of a narcissist, plus I like to maintain an air of mystery. So let’s talk about you instead.

For the last several weeks, you, the patrons of the arts, have been pretty much beating down our doors. This is just fantastic. I think that every Saturday for roughly the last month has brought more than 6,000 people downtown to experience the arts in one of CAPA’s theatres. You’ve been seeing theatre presented by both CATCO and the Phoenix Theatre for Children. You’ve been hearing fantastic performances by the Jazz Arts Group. And of course, there’s the programming that CAPA presents, like the Diavolo dance ensemble, musicians like Eddie Palmieri, and touring Broadway shows like The 101 Dalmatians Musical. We’re of course thrilled that our theatres-eight venues in all here in Columbus-have been so active. CAPA has you to thank for that, as well as our resident arts groups for putting on quality entertainment that you want to experience.

One more thought about what happens when you come downtown to visit us-think about what happens when you come to a show. Do you dine out? Certainly you park somewhere, don’t you? That’s something that’s frequently overlooked when you talk about the role that the arts play in your community-the fact that it has a huge economic impact beyond you buying a ticket. You’re driving business in local restaurants, which in turn need to be staffed, as do the parking lots, and of course, the theatres themselves require a significant amount of people to help put on a show (myself included). So think about that next time you come to the Palace, the Ohio, or any of the theatres, dear patron-you’re helping to make the downtown thrive, and oh-by the way-we’ll give you a world-class artist like B.B. King to entertain you as thanks for your participation.

Now, did you know that you were making all that happen? And that’s just when you buy tickets. It doesn’t even touch on the incredible things that can happen when people make donations, but we’ll save that for another time. Instead, let me leave you with one more thought about you-what are you going to come and see THIS weekend?

Diavolo loves Columbus kids

March 18th, 2010 by Rich Corsi

By Rich Corsi, Director of Programming.

I woke up Wednesday morning not really knowing what the next couple of days would have in store for me.

We have an LA-based dance group called Diavolo in town for a performance this Friday, March 19. We added an education component to the booking, which means the group came in a couple of days early to visit some Columbus area schools and conduct Master Class activities.

Diavolo is also conducting a special student matinee performance on Friday morning, so all the students who participated in the Master Classes, along with an additional 1,000 students, will get to see the group in action. So not only do these kids get to meet and work with the dancers in a Master Class, but they also get to see them live on stage at the Palace Theatre.

Many, many hours go into putting something like this together, yet no matter how detailed the plan, there are still those nail-biter moments when you fear it won’t all come together. We had delayed flights and other flights which were almost missed. I woke up in the middle of the night wondering if I had told the school principals that we needed a sound tie-in for an iPod and a 6’ ladder.

But I can honestly say that no matter how much time invested in calls, texts, and emails or the number of nails chewed down to the nub, when you see the joy on the faces of these students who don’t get too many opportunities to participate in something like this, it’s all worth it. I have been involved with well over 1,000 shows in my 19 years with CAPA, and I must say, this week has been one of the most fulfilling experiences in my career.

I’m really excited to see the buses pulling up to the Palace Theatre Friday morning and unloading 1,300 students. It will be the perfect ending to an extraordinary week.

Special thanks to Renee and the Diavolo dancers for making this such a great week for us! And as always, thanks to all of the school principals and teachers for such great cooperation and communication!

Until next time…

(Ed. Note: Click on the video below for a preview of Diavolo - appearing Friday, March 19, at the Palace Theatre!)