Lisa grew up participating in community theater groups such as
Cincinnati Young People's Theater (CYPT) in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, both
in front of and behind the scenes. After completing her undergraduate degree
in Elementary Education/Special Education at the College of Mount St. Joseph
there, Lisa relocated to Columbus, Ohio to complete her Master of Arts
degree at The Ohio State University. Now a mom to four children, she is back
in the local theater scene introducing her own next generation of theater
goers to the arts. Lisa currently works as an online educator and runs the
"Mom Taxi" shuttling her kids around Hilliard. In addition to musical
theater, she enjoys soccer, singing, and going to the bathroom without
SUMMER STAGES: Top 5 Summer Picks for Columbus Theatre
June 14, 2013
Great theater abounds in Columbus and summer is a great time to step outside your regular theater-going routine and try a new venue. We all know that CAPA's Broadway in Columbus Series is stellar, and while the extremely popular, 'Wicked' sets up shop in Columbus June 5-23, if you are looking for some sizzling summer sensations, exploring local theater groups will also result in fabulous entertainment that the whole family can enjoy, and you won't break your summer fun budget!
BWW Reviews: Shadowbox Live's THE ROCKY HORROR SHOWS Does the Time Warp with Perfection
June 10, 2013
If you haven't seen 'The Rocky Horror Show', there's really no way to adequately describe what you are missing, other than to say that you simply must see it at least once, or ten times, in your lifetime. If you are already a fan of the campy, transgender masterpiece by Richard O'Brien that is known as much for its cult-like audience participation as it is for its bizarre storyline and outrageous characters, then you are in for quite a treat, as Shadowbox Live brings a masterful version to the Brewery District.
BWW Reviews: 'ShoNo' Shortage of Talent in Short North Stage's HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
June 8, 2013
Straight from a sold-out Boston run of the glam-rock musical in which JJ Parkey won the Broadway World Boston award for Best Actor, the Emcee from Short North Stage's previous 'Cabaret' performance is back as an East German-born drag queen yearning for her 'missing half'. Gracing the Short North Stage as a prequel to Pride Saturday, this production is what the 'ShoNo' is all about- acceptance of individuality, both artistic and sexual- at its finest.
BWW Reviews: WICKED is Delightfully Good on Columbus Tour Stop
June 7, 2013
There are a handful of musicals that define Broadway- consistently good talent, amazing sets and costumes, scores that leave you humming their tunes for days, and themes so universally appealing that their fans base extends from children coming to the audience for their first show up to senior citizens seeing the show for their 8th time. One of these iconic few, Stephen Schwartz's 'Wicked' played to a nearly sold-out crowd at the Ohio Theater last night, where it runs for a lengthy 3 weeks, now through June 23rd. On the anniversary of its first green girl, role originator Idina Menzel, winning the Tony Award for Best Actress, fans coming to the show expecting an equally phenomenal touring cast would not be disappointed last night.
BWW Reviews: Actors' Theatre of Columbus- Shakespeare at Schiller Gets Warm Reception Despite Chilly Evening
May 24, 2013
Actors' Theater of Columbus opened its 32nd summer season with its Annual Opening Night Tent Dinner last night in the Schiller Park amphitheater. Despite the uncooperative weather canceling the performance of "King Arthur and the Sword of Britain", the crowd was abuzz with excitement over this season's line-up of free summer theater productions in the park.
BWW Reviews: Gimme Some 'Moe' of CATCO's FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE
May 3, 2013
If you liked Short North Stage's recent production of "Passing Strange", you'll love CATCO's current show, "Five Guys Named Moe". Both musicals, each show features a young, lost, African-American man who gets a schooling from some older, wiser musicians. While the former was a good show in its own right, CATCO's "Five Guys Named Moe" production is an entire ensemble as smooth as the jazz tones the characters sing, in glorious harmony.
BWW Reviews: Get 'Real' with Short North Stage's PASSING STRANGE
April 19, 2013
Short North Stage opened the regional premiere of the Tony-Award winning 'Passing Strange" last night in the gorgeous Garden Theater. Directed by Mark Clayton Suthers, "Passing Strange", with book and lyrics by Stew, tells the story of a young black musician on his artistic journey of self-discovery from his start in middle-class, South-Central Los Angeles in the late 70's, to the hash bars of Amsterdam, and the post-punk scene of Berlin, where he finds a temporary family in a group of German radicals, and struggles desperately to find his own "artistic soul".
BWW Reviews: Shadowbox Live's TABOO is Universally Entertaining
April 14, 2013
Shadowbox Live continues its reputation for having no topic off-limits, with its new sketch comedy and rock n' roll show entitled, "Taboo". The witty sketches poke fun at virtually everyone and everything, to the point that the show is "equal opportunity" offensive, and surprisingly enough, none of its jabs cut too deeply.
BWW Reviews: CATCO Is Kids' SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE, JR. Proves 'Old School' Is Still Way Cool
April 6, 2013
Remember when the best part of your week was a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and Saturday morning cartoons? CATCO Is Kids' production of 'Schoolhouse Rock Live, Jr.' is an energy packed, fun-filled trip down Nostalgia Road that parents will adore, and children will find equally delightful. The educational messages set to catchy tunes that stuck in the heads of their original audience are just as enticing to the younger generation, who also don't mind being schooled, as long as it's disguised in entertainment.
BWW Reviews: THE PROMISED LAND Brings Middle-Class Unemployment Center Stage
March 22, 2013
A&B Theatricals and director Joe Bishara took on middle-class unemployment last night with local playwright, Bill Cook's original script, 'The Promised Land'. Those familiar with Cook's previous work, especially last year's, 'Love In An Age of Clamor', will find several similarities between the two productions, however this one, finds middle-aged, middle-class, Simon (Nick Baldasare) suddenly downsized from his life-long career as a financial analyst.
BWW Reviews: Green Day's AMERICAN IDIOT Gets You Out of Suburbia
March 20, 2013
Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day's vocalist/guitarist wrote the lyrics for 'American Idiot' in the rock opera style of 'The Who', with songs that follow three disenfranchised young men- Johnny (Alex Nee), Will (Casey O'Farrell), and Tunny (Thomas Hettrick) as they attempt to leave their stifling suburban selves in the hopes of not becoming another 'American Idiot'.
BWW Interviews: Columbus Playwright, Bill Cook on His Latest Production, THE PROMISED LAND
March 18, 2013
A& B Theatricals will present, 'The Promised Land', and original play written by local playwright, Bill Cook, opening this Friday, March 22nd at the Columbus Performing Arts Center (549 Franklin Avenue). Mr. Cook took a few momenets to chat with me about this new production, and share his excitement about its opening.
BWW Interviews: Pleasure Guild's PETER PAN - A Delight for Children and Anyone Who 'Won't Grow Up'
March 7, 2013
Central Ohio's Pleasure Guild will present its 56th annual musical production, 'Peter Pan' at The Palace Theater this weekend, March 8-10th. A benefit for Nationwide Children's Hospital's pediatric hospice and palliative care program, the proceeds from the show (last year totaling almost a half-million dollars!) are directly donated, as well as the cast and crew's generous donations of their time.
BWW Reviews: Shadowbox Live Goes Down the Rabbit Hole with UNDERLAND
March 4, 2013
With enough of a fan base to generate the nearly $20,000 needed to fully-fund its production in less than two weeks on its Kickstarter.com pledge site, Shadowbox Live's self-created musical, 'Underland' opened to a not-surprisingly sold-out crowd last night. The original script, created by Shadowbox Head Writer, Jimmy Mak, is inspired by 'Alice In Wonderland', but instead tells the tale of Albert Ice (Robbie Nance), a Vietnam veteran who is searching for his lost daughter in the 60's hippie culture of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury District. While it has the feel of Shadowbox's fabulous, 'Back to the Garden' in its opening scenes, this show immediately takes a much darker, mind-bending tone, and it's difficult to tell what is a drug-trip gone wrong, and what is Ice's completely warped post-traumatic stress-induced reality.
BWW Reviews: SRO/CATCO's HAIRSPRAY Light, Fun and Not Over-Processed
March 4, 2013
SRO/ CATCO delivered a fun and entertaining performance of the Tony-Award winning 60's-style musical, "Hairspray", playing its second of three weekends at the Columbus Performing Arts Center. The story of big-hearted, plus-sized teenager, Tracy Turnblad (Logan Eva Rathmann), who dreams of dancing on the local TV dance show, is directed by CATCO's Joe Bishara, with Musical Direction by Matt Clemens, and Choreography by Liz Wheeler.
BWW Reviews: Short North Stage's Local Premiere of ORDINARY DAYS is Extraordinary
February 22, 2013
The Short North Stage may be small in size, but the talent in the theater for their latest musical is of gigantic proportions. They opened the Columbus premiere of Adam Gwon's musical, 'Ordinary Days' last night with the production's creator in the audience, and if that lead to any nervousness, it certainly didn't show.
BWW Reviews: CATCO Paints the Town RED With Local Premiere of the Tony-Award Winning Play by John Logan
February 15, 2013
The Columbus premiere of John Logan's, 'Red' fell on Valentine's Day, but the 2010 Tony Award winning play's only lover's obsession is that of artist Mark Rothko's relationship with his own art. The intensely intellectual two-man play stars Kevin McClatchy as the mid 20th Century painter, and Tim Simeone as Ken, his recently hired assistant. 'Red' details the two year span of Rothko's career in which he was working on a commissioned series of paintings for the new Four Seasons Restaurant in the posh Park AvenueSeagramBuilding. 'What do you see?' begins Rothko, and as such, the audience gets an extraordinary opportunity to see an artist seeing his own work, a perspective that proves entrancing, profound, and deeply heart-wrenching.
BWW Reviews: CATCO'S Commedia Dell'Arte Version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
January 19, 2013
In a partnership with ColumbusStateCommunity College, CATCO presents its version of Beauty and the Beast, entitled "Beauty and the Beast: Isabella e la Bestia" in Studio One at the Riffe Center now through January 27th. Set in Venice, this rendition bears virtually no resemblance to the Disney animated version bearing its name, but as it was attended by many Groveport Elementary students during its matinee, I can attest, it is still enjoyable for a younger crowd.
BWW Reviews: Shots in the Dark's Original Work- ROUGH DRAFT: A WRITER'S THOUGHT PROCESS
January 18, 2013
The premise of "Rough Draft: A Writer's Thought Process" is a jaunt through the mind of writer, Opal (played by Candice Oates), as she attempts to create a literary masterpiece. The characters that she originates include a woman named Cynthia (Emily Sellevaag), a mysterious man believed to be an injured veteran named Rupert (Bryan Hartman), and Rupert's talking pet dog, Skippy (Jeff Kemeter).
BWW Reviews: Steamy Shadowbox Live's 'Between the Sheets' will Melt your Winter Blues Away
January 5, 2013
Shadowbox Live began the run of it its latest production, "Between the Sheets" last night. In its tried-and-true sketch comedy/rock 'n roll format, "Between the Sheets" focuses on sex, love, and romance- well, mostly on the former. Aimed at heating up the chilly winter season, "Between the Sheets" is a great night of entertainment as a date night with your significant other, or a girls-night out, as many of the sketches poke fun at the Mars vs. Venus communication problems of the two sexes. The sold-out show played well to an audience who seemed in the mood for some post-holiday cheer.
Columbus' Best of 2012 and Top Picks for 2013
January 2, 2013
As 2012 draws to a close, Broadway World Columbus has a lot to celebrate! We have expanded our local coverage and participated for the first time in the BWW Regional Awards, recognizing some of the best arts performances the Columbus area has to offer. In 2013, we hope to bring you even more coverage, as well as additional special features, and interviews with local talent. We can't wait to see what our amazing local artists bring to our hometown venues this year!
BWW Interviews: Ohio Natives David Ayers and Angela Gaylor Return to Present Master Class at CCT, 12/17
December 7, 2012
Broadway veterans and husband and wife team, David Ayers and Angela Gaylor are returning to Central Ohio to conduct a Master's Level Musical Theater class at Columbus Children's Theater for one day only on Monday, December 17th.
BWW Reviews: CATCO is Kids- THE NEVERENDING STORY: Imagination is Alive and Well
December 7, 2012
Based on the novel by Michael Ende, the stage version of "The Neverending Story" bares only a minimal resemblance to the 80s cult-classic movie of the same name, but the CATCO is Kids production about a fantasy world being destroyed by a lack of imagination, offers its audience plenty of opportunity to let their imagination run wild.
BWW Reviews: CATCO's THE STORY OF MY LIFE is a Beautifully Poignant, Must-See Production
December 3, 2012
"The Story of My Life" is a two-man musical, containing music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and based on the book by Brian Hill. It is acted out in a two member cast with Joe Bishara as best-selling writer Thomas Weaver, and Jeff Horst as his best friend- small town, family bookstore owner, Alvin Kelby. It does run during the holiday season, and contains multiple references to the classic Christmas film, "It's A Wonderful Life", but director Steven C. Anderson's diamond in the rough production has themes that transcend the wistful reminiscence of this time of the year, and leave the audience moved not only to tears, but to pondering their own lives and relationships long after the curtain has closed.
BWW Interviews: CATCO is Kids - An Interview with Associate Producing Director Joe Bishara
November 26, 2012
The Contemporary American Theater Company (CATCO) was founded 27 years ago by Geoff Nelson, but in early 2010, CATCO merged with Steven C. Anderson's children's theater group, The Phoenix Theater for Children, creating its current evolution entitled CATCO Is Kids. CATCO Is Kids produces several shows each year for young audiences at both the Columbus Performing Arts Center and the Riffe Center.
BWW Reviews: Nebraska Theater Caravan Packs 30 Years of Tradition Into A CHRISTMAS CAROL
November 24, 2012
Opening to a picturesque scene, the likes of which traditional Christmas cards are made, complete with snow gently falling, Nebraska Theater Caravan, began its 3 day limited run of "A Christmas Carol" at the Palace Theater last night to a crowd filled with families beginning their holiday celebrations together.
BWW Reviews: A Columbus Holiday Tradition Turns 21- Shadowbox Live’s HOLIDAY HOOPLA
November 17, 2012
You know that the holiday season has officially arrived in Central Ohio when Shadowbox Live gifts us with the opening of its annual musical sketch comedy, Holiday Hoopla. Just as nutty as fruitcake, a little sassier, and so much sweeter, this is hilariously fun how has become so wildly popular that in its 21st revision, it has already sold out many nights a month ahead.
BWW Interviews: Darien Crago Returns Home for the Holidays in IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS
November 16, 2012
Westerville Native, Darien Crago has been dreaming of her "White Christmas" for quite some time,having been dancing since the age of 2.She is now touring as an ensemble member and understudy for Rhoda in "Irving Berlin's White Christmas", coming to the Ohio Theater, November 20-25th.
BWW Reviews: 'A Tale As Old As Time' Brings Lots of Young Fans to the Palace Theater with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
October 10, 2012
This musical is a wonderful opportunity to introduce a young child to an old classic tale, and allow them to fall in love with the fairytale come true that is not only the story of Beauty and the Beast, but of the Broadway stage itself, right here in Columbus.
BWW Reviews: Skip the Haunted House- Come Howl at Shadowbox Live's 'Full Moon'
October 6, 2012
Shadowbox Live is back with a new sketch/comedy, rock and roll production in its classic format, themed this time in a ghoulishly delightful Halloween show called 'Full Moon".
BWW Reviews: Shadowbox Live Shows Plenty of 'Razzle Dazzle' in CHICAGO
September 10, 2012
It's been a Broadway favorite since it's 1975 opening, and the Academy Award winning 2012 movie version did little to detract from its fame, but if you weren't fascinated with Chicago's musical tale of sex, lies, and corruption before now, Shadowbox Live's stellar cast will definitely give you enough of the ol' "Razzle Dazzle" to make you a fan.
BWW Reviews: Shadowbox Live's VAMPIRES Is Something to Sink Your Teeth Into
August 30, 2012
The creative genius that is Shadowbox Live in downtown Columbus' Brewery District, opened its original production Stage 2 production, "Vampires" , August 23rd, with all of the thrills, chills, and mind-blowingly good talent of its previous shows, blending its grungy rock-band core with fabulous music and dance.
BWW Reviews: BEST OF SHADOWBOX LIVE 2012 is a Columbus Best Bet
July 23, 2012
Approaching the 1 year anniversary of moving into their new Brewery District space, it seemed an appropriate time for Shadowbox live to roll out a calm, laidback revue of the past year. However, much like their new edgy warehouse space, the "Best of Shadowbox Live 2012" serves not to relax and reflect, but to accelerate the talent machine that is Shadowbox Live to even higher levels of comedic and musical brilliance.
BWW Reviews: Idina Menzel Makes Stunning Columbus Debut
June 24, 2012
Idina Menzel marked her Columbus debut last night, with the Columbus Symphony's Picnic with the Pop's series at the new Bicentennial Pavilion. Opening to a crowd of over 7,000 people on a perfect summer night.
BWW Reviews: Getting Addicted is Easy at Shadowbox Live's REEFER MADNESS, Sundays Now through July 8, 2012
April 30, 2012
Shadowbox Live presented the completely campy REEFER MADNESS again last night, and in Julie Klein's warped little director's brain, it was pure "mockumentary" delight. REEFER MADNESS is a wacky musical adaptation of the 1936 exploitive propaganda film by the same name that became a cult classic.
'REEFER MADNESS!' Opens at Shadowbox Live Tonight
April 22, 2012
PROTECT YOUR DAUGHTERS! PROTECT YOUR SONS! SPREAD THE WORD!
Beware, for an unspeakable evil has begun to creep into our lives! Shadowbox Live is here to warn you of the dangers . . . with song and dance. Educate yourself and save your children! Come see Reefer Madness, opening on April 22nd!
Catch An Icon As WEST SIDE STORY Arrives at the Ohio Theatre Thru 4/22
April 18, 2012
When the national touring production of WEST SIDE STORY made its way to the OHIO THEATER last night, I embraced the opportunity to re-visit this 1957 Arthur Laurents' adaptation of Shakespeare's 'ROMEO AND JULIET' and experience the delight of what is truly timeless about classic musical theater.