Ordway Blog: Stay connected here with what is happening at Ordway and take a look at what is going on behind the scenes.
Wed, Jan 11, 2012 4:24 PM by Marinda Bland
The Ordway collected ball gowns during the run of our production of Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella - and nearly 200 dresses were donated! On January 11, 2012, Operation Glass Slipper Director Pam Philipp, Cinderella star Jessica Fredrickson, and volunteers helped pack up the gowns, shoes, veils, and other accessories for transport to Operation Glass Slipper headquarters.
Wed, Jan 4, 2012 9:38 AM by Danielle Schumann
Playing for Change Artists Announced
Blues, Gospel, Reggae, and Afro-pop all come to the Ordway for a one-night concert, Playing for Change. This worldwide phenomenon started as a PBS documentary with a mission to inspire, connect, and bring peace through music. Then a group of the film’s musicians came together for a live performance, and the show was so successful that Playing for Change is now on an international tour produced by Grammy-award winner Mark Johnson. Playing for Change will be at the Ordway on February 12, 2012, and we will open up the dance floor! The artists for this performance have just been announced, so here is your first chance to meet the performers.
Grandpa Elliott has been a New Orleans street icon for decades, playing the harmonica and singing vocals. His music and comforting presence have touched countless hearts throughout the years. When you think of the French Quarter you think of Grandpa.
Clarence Milton Bekker comes from Suriname, and moved to Amsterdam at the age of six. He started his singing career with legendary Dutch band, Swing Soul Machine, and he lives in Barcelona, Spain, collaborating with bands like 08001 and local DJs like Taito Tikaro.
Mermans Mosengo assembled a highly regarded multi-cultural band, Afro Fiesta, in Cape Town after playing with the Young Bakuba Band as a drummer and bass guitar player and various solo projects.
Jason Tamba was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has been playing guitar since the age of seven, when he made his own instrument out of wood and four strings. Teaching himself guitar for a decade, he began to study classical guitar at age 20, finally earning a degree in classical guitar. Jason is now a member of Afro Fiesta, a group that is widely considered as innovators in the entertainment industry.
Ruth "Titi" Tsira is a young woman hailing from Gugulethu, an African township in the Western Cape. Raised by a mother who was an actor and a father who was a singer, Titi began singing at a very early age. Her music is a mix of soul and pop fused with African influences. She is excited to add her unique and powerful voice to the Playing for Change movement.
Peter Bunetta is a drummer, producer and entrepreneur with three decades of success in the music business. He brings an impeccable reputation and a rich musical legacy to the Playing for Change organization. With a hand in more than 75 million records sold, Peter has collaborated with some of music's most talented and storied figures including John Prine, Steve Goodman Smokey Robinson, Patti LaBelle, The Temptations, Ringo Star, and Tina Turner.
Reggie McBride is widely known for his bass playing on albums and live performances since 1969. His credits include Stevie Wonder, Parliment Funkedelics, Rare Earth, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Keb' Mo', Ry Cooder, B.B. King, Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs, Rick Springfield, Herbie Hancock, John Lee Hooker, and many others. Reggie continues to ignite the airwaves with his style and technique of bass playing.
Mohammed Alidu was born into the Bizung lineage of talking drum chiefs of Northern Ghana. By the age of five, Mohammed was accompanying his father to performances at the King’s palace, and has since played for President Clinton during his visit to Ghana. Mohammed has performed in many countries throughout the world. In 2004, he spent one year in Madagascar collaborating with local artists. Mohammed composes and performs his unique blend of Afropop music - songs that are not bound by the idea of fitting into the boundaries and structures of a specific musical tradition.
Renard Poche is a multi-instrumentalist/songwriter/producer whose track record has earned him the reputation as one of the most inventive and multi-talented musicians to come from the city of New Orleans. He has worked with more than 30 Grammy Award winners and has written, collaborated, recorded and/or performed on guitar, trombone, percussion, flute, recorders, bass or vocals with artists including Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, Bono, Aaron Neville, Dr. John, The Neville Brothers, The Indigo Girls, N’Dea Davenport (of The Brand New Heavies), Irma Thomas, Professor Longhair, Allen Toussaint, Fred Wesley, George Porter, Jr., Zigaboo, and others.
We hope you’ll join us for a night of music, hope, and change. You can find ticket information on the performance page.
Fri, Dec 16, 2011 12:00 PM by Marinda Bland
Announcing an additional performance of Cinderella! Due to the popularity of the show and high demand for matinees, the Ordway is now offering a 2:00PM performance on Thursday, December 29. There are great seats available, but hurry because good seats go fast! Hope to see you at Cinderella! Tickets are available for purchase here.
Mon, Dec 12, 2011 4:58 PM by Marinda Bland
During yesterday’s Ordway Circle of Stars gala, the 150-square-foot Cinderella’s castle playhouse, the largest auction item in the history of the annual event, went to the winning bid of a consortium that generously gifted the playhouse to the Ronald McDonald House (Oak Street location). The blue and pink castle will be the newest feature in its playroom, the best possible place for the castle’s new home.
“The Ronald McDonald House is the perfect place for Cinderella’s castle to end up, as it will be a gift that keeps on giving to children,” says Patricia A. Mitchell, Ordway president and CEO. “The consortium’s winning bid will go toward supporting the Ordway’s education programming by helping offer school children low-cost tickets and bus subsidies, and the gifting of the castle to the Ronald McDonald House will provide visiting families many hours of imaginative fun for years to come.”
Cinderella’s castle stands 16-feet tall and 11-feet wide. It boasts four towers complete with turrets, two stories, a play fireplace, and a royal balcony perfect for playing princess. Other features include a spiral staircase, a chandelier, a castle clock, a Dutch door on the main entrance and benches. The castle is built to withstand hundreds of stampeding kids for years and years – watch them put it together in this timelapse video.
Come see the castle in person before we disassemble it on January 3 and bring it over to the Ronald McDonald House playroom! It’ll be available for viewing during open ticket office hours and during performance of Cinderella!
Mon, Dec 12, 2011 2:31 PM by Marinda Bland
Clean out your closet for a good cause! Donate your dresses and accessories to girls who otherwise might not be able to attend prom. Items can include prom and bridesmaid dresses, wedding gowns, wedding veils, flower girl dresses, crinolines, dressy shoes, jewelry, clutch bags, wraps, and gloves.
For six years Operation Glass Slipper Inc., has been providing the opportunity for Twins Cities area high school girls to attend prom. On average, the nonprofit has outfitted more than 1,000 girls per year. The nonprofit is dedicated to providing complimentary prom gowns and accessories to high schools girls in difficult family or financial circumstances in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Operation Glass Slipper strives to unlock the beauty and confidence within girls of every shape, size, background and walks of life by enabling them to feel good about themselves. They hope to help break the cycle of hardship by instilling a sense of opportunity and possibility for them to change their lives.
Interested? Here’s how it works: Twin Cities high school girls can be referred by third parties, which include social workers, guidance counselors, teachers or clergy that have direct knowledge of the girls’ family and financial situation. High school girls who cannot afford a prom dress can speak with these types of individuals in order to get in contact with Glass Slipper.
Each girl is given a Fairy Godmother, who provides one-on-one support. In addition, Fairy Godmothers help girls pick out dresses and accessories at the annual Princess Event in the Mall of America in March. Operation Glass Slipper hosts the event and around 225 schools participate.
Monetary donations are also welcome. Operation Glass Slipper is looking for volunteers as well. Volunteers help with the collection of gowns and accessories, accept new donations, and clean and repair donated items as needed. Dresses and accessories can be dropped off at the ticket office at the Ordway during all Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella performances.
Thu, Dec 8, 2011 9:28 AM by Ryan Jones
Watch as the Arts Partnership (the Ordway, Minnesota Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and The Schubert Club) and special guests announce the transition of a downtown Saint Paul icon.
Fri, Nov 11, 2011 11:51 AM by Marinda Bland
November 16th is “Give to the Max Day,” a 24 hour event that helps grow Minnesota nonprofits by encouraging the giving of charitable e-donations. GiveMN is an organization that is moving philanthropy online – creating an easier, faster, and more convenient way to give – and over $30 million dollars have already been raised for Minnesota nonprofits. Not only does GiveMN make it easier to give, but it provides some big incentives to donate on Give to the Max Day: $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 prizes will be awarded to the three nonprofits to receive the most donations on November 16. The nonprofits in ranks 4-10 receive $5,000 each.
How can you help? Gifts start at just $10, and there are a plethora of opportunities for your gift to be amplified. Every hour, Give to the Max will select one donation at random and give $1000 to the recipient nonprofit. At the end of the 24 hours, one nonprofit will receive a Golden Ticket – a prize grant of $10,000 for one randomly selected donation given on Give to the Max Day.
As an added incentive from the Ordway to Give to the Max, all brand new $100+ donors who contribute through GiveMN on Give to the Max Day will receive one guest pass to the exclusive Securian Contributor's Lounge to use during the 2011-2012 Theater Season.
Whether your gift is big or small, every contribution counts. If you give just $10, you could help the Ordway win up to $15,000! Simply go to the Ordway's page on GiveMN.org and contribute online on November 16th.
Thanks for supporting the Ordway, and don't forget to circle November 16th on your calendar. Give to the Max Day starts at midnight on November 16 and ends at midnight on November 17.
Wed, Nov 9, 2011 3:43 PM by Marinda Bland
We are delighted to announce the full cast and creative team for our holiday production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” (Dec. 13 – Jan. 1) which features numerous Twin Cities theater favorites.
Jessica Fredrickson (Cinderella)
Our version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” will showcase local resident Jessica Fredrickson as Cinderella, along with a return engagement to the Ordway by Jeremiah James as the Prince. James was last seen playing the role of Beast in our 2009 production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Joining this duo are distinguished actors Tonia Hughes (Fairy Godmother), Reid Harmsen (Lionel), Gary Briggle (King), Wendy Lehr (Queen), Greta Grosch (Stepmother), Colleen Somerville (Stepsister Grace) and Andrea Wollenberg (Stepsister Joy).
Jeremiah James (Prince Charming)
Making up the “Cinderella” ensemble: Jack Ahern, Traci Allen, Chad M. Anderson, Lisa Bartholomew-Given, Marnie Buckner, Kym Chambers, Craig Daniel, Emily Herringshaw, AJ Hughes, Jennifer James, Jake Klinkhammer, Joel Liestman, Ivory McKay, Bridget Noltimier, Andrew Rasmussen, Shane Rhoades and Linda Talcott Lee.
Our “Cinderella” creative team is comprised of Nick DeGruccio (Director), Bob Richard (Choreographer), Alexander Farino (Stage Manager), Sharon Bach (Assistant Stage Manager), Katie Hawkinson (Assistant Stage Manager), Raymond Berg (Musical Director), Chad Van Kekrix (Set Designer), Marcus Dilliard (Lightning Designer), Lynda L. Salsbury (Costume Designer), Reid Rejsa (Sound Designer), Robert A. Dunn (Hair & Make-Up Designer), Laura Wilhelm (Puppet Designer), Rick Polenek (Props Manager), Randy Ingram (Production Designer) and Jason Allyn-Schwerin (Technical Director).
“I can’t wait to get started on this beautifully romantic show,” says DeGruccio. “The Twin Cities are full of fantastic actors and many are going to be in this show.”
For more information on the performance and for ticketing information, visit our “Cinderella” performance page.
Tue, Aug 2, 2011 9:56 AM by Ryan Jones
Here's your first chance to purchase single tickets to all of the buzzworthy 2011-2012 Ordway events. Come down to the Ordway on Aug. 21 to secure tickets to your favorite events and enjoy tasty refreshments, unique season performances, register-to-win opportunities, and special promotional deals just for our in-person ticket buyers. WLTE will be on site to celebrate the festivities with us too. Doors will open at 11 a.m. and the ticket office will open for sales starting at Noon. The first 100 sales will receive a complimentary gift bag filled with giveaways and prizes. Online ticket sales will begin at 8 p.m., so purchase your tickets in person before anyone else gets to!
August 21 Single Ticket On Sale Event
Ticket Office Opens: Noon
Phone Sales: 5-8pm
Online Sales: 8:00pm
Fri, Jul 22, 2011 10:44 AM by Jamie Engstrom
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is excited to announce the cast for the first production of the 2011-2012 theatrical season, “Come Fly Away”.
Direct from the original Broadway cast of “Come Fly Away” and the Las Vegas production of “Sinatra Dance With Me” are principal dancers Matthew Stockwell Dibble, Cody Green, Laurie Kanyok, Marielys Molina, John Selya and Ron Todorowski.
Also starring in the tour as principals are Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Martin Harvey, Ramona Kelley and Christopher Vo.
The ensemble includes Anthony Burrell, Mallauri Esquibel, Marina Lazzaretto, Meredith Miles, Marceea Moreno, Candy Olsen, Julius Anthony Rubio, Amy Ruggiero, Justin Urso, Tanairi Sade Vazquez, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Michael Williams.
Conceived, choreographed, and directed by Tony Award-winner Twyla Tharp (“Movin’ Out”) and by special arrangement with the Frank Sinatra Family and Frank Sinatra Enterprises, “Come Fly Away” follows four couples as they fall in and out of love during one song and dance filled evening at a crowded nightclub. Blending the legendary vocals of Frank Sinatra with a live on-stage big band and 14 of the world’s finest dancers, “Come Fly Away” weaves an unparalleled hit parade of classics, including “Fly Me To The Moon,” “My Way,” and “That’s Life,” into a soaring musical fantasy of romance and seduction.
Charles Isherwood of The New York Times calls “Come Fly Away”, “SPECTACULAR and DAZZLING! This is a MAJOR new work, with a stage full of BRILLIANT performers. Twyla Tharp’s ELECTRIFYING celebration of the music of Frank Sinatra will sweep you up in a complete spell.” Linda Winer of Newsday calls the show “A DANGEROUSLY GORGEOUS DANCE ADVENTURE,” while Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press calls the show “ASTONISHING -- A love letter to romance, not to mention the man and his music, with eight MARVELOUS leads and an orchestra of STERLING musicians.” And Richard Zoglin of Time Magazine states simply, “‘Come Fly Away’ delivers the PUREST JOLT OF PLEASURE to be found on a Broadway stage.”
“Come Fly Away” will be appearing at the Ordway from October 11-16, 2011.
This blog is a group effort by Ordway staff, actors, artists, musicians, dancers and all those involved in the creative process of performances, programs and events at the Ordway to provide a behind the scenes look at what happens onstage, backstage and in support of the work presented at the Ordway. We also hope to discuss pertinent topics in our industry.
The purpose of this blog is to engage with you in the blogosphere. We wish to let you know that our posts do not go through any official editorial process for spelling, grammar or fact checking, therefore errors may occur – please be kind! Every blog post is open for public comment, questions or suggestions and the Ordway chooses not to pre-screen these responses. That being said, we do reserve the right to remove any offensive, illegal, or inappropriate content at the Ordway's sole discretion.
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