By Natalie Bieser
May 4, 2012
Doo-wop, Sh-Boom, Rama Lama Ding Dong! The regional premiere of Life Could Be a Dream at the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) on May 2nd was a feel good show-stopper!
Transporting you back to the 1960’s this sing along, tap your feet musical follows a high school singing group who gets one more chance at fame and fortune by winning a radio contest and making it big.
The quirky and dorky boy band starts off with Denny (Nick Laughlin), Eugene (Lee Slobotkin) and Wally (Will Selnick) who have great chemistry, charm and determination but are just missing that one boy band element—the hunk. Enter Skip (James Oblak), the tall, dark, handsome mechanic “from the wrong side of the tracks.” Now swoon.
The boy band cast is rounded out by Lois, the band’s glue played by Cassie Levine who has an amazing voice and stage presence. Her rendition of “Only Have Eyes For You” is chilling. The ensemble cast, jumps, jives and wails to classic songs including “Stay” (Just a Little Big Longer a la Dirty Dancing), “Tears on My Pillow,” “Unchained Melody,” “Earth Angel” (a la Grease) and so many more! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming along.
For the Opening Night event, the Ensemble Theatre literally rolled out the red carpet as a number of local celebrities, politicians and art supporters were in attendance. The premiere also revealed ETC’s newly painted facade which looked fresh and sophisticated and brought attention to their first multi-dimensional branding campaign in over 26 years featuring a new website and signage on Vine St.
ETC plans to renew its focus on its Next Stage Capital Campaign, a $6.5M renovation plan intended to make significant improvements to the organization’s facilities, which span 1117-1127 Vine Street. Once completed, the campaign (which was initially announced in 2008 only a few months preceding the economic recession) will expand lobby space, upgrade electrical and HVAC equipment, and improve overall patron experience and accessibility with new seats and other amenities.
If you have never been to the Ensemble Theatre before, you are in for a treat. Every seat in the house is great, pre-show announcements are made without a microphone AND you can bring drinks into the performance. Plus, the theatre size provides for an intimate environment to enjoy with both old and new friends alike.
What’s most exciting about Life Could Be a Dream is that all four of the young actors have a local connection. Three out of the four actors (are making their Ensemble debuts and will receive their Equity cards through this production. Cassie Levin and Lee Slobotkin are both juniors at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and Will Selnick is a Cincinnati native who has worked on a number of ETC productions.
Life Could Be A Dream performances run Tuesday through Sunday through May 20th at the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website: www.ensemblecincinnati.org.to top ↑