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Critics and media heap more praise on BW Music Theatre

Baldwin Wallace University's nationally celebrated music theatre program just keeps on racking up the recognition.

On the heels of staging the sold-out, highly praised, academic premiere of "Kinky Boots," BW Music Theatre (BWMT) came up big in this year's Cleveland Critics Circle Theater Awards, which annually honor superior achievement by local theaters, writers, performers and technicians of productions staged by Cleveland-area professional theaters.

Winning ways

The critically praised BW Music Theatre cast of "Once," staged at Beck Center in early 2019.BW talent was all over the 2019 awards list, winning a number of categories for staging "Once" in partnership with Beck Center in Lakewood, Ohio.

"Once" garnered top prizes for Best Musical Production, Best Director - Musical (BWMT Director Victoria Bussert), Best Music Direction (BWMT Music Theatre Music Director Matthew Webb) and Best Ensemble in a Musical for the cast of talented BW students.

"I am very moved by all of the awards for 'Once' - especially Best Ensemble since that was all our students, with the exception of one child actor," said Bussert, who is also personally on a roll. Bussert recently won a 2019 Cleveland Arts Prize, the nation's oldest municipal arts award, and earned raves for her direction of a BWMT and Cleveland Orchestra collaboration on "South Pacific" in August.

The Cleveland Critics Circle Award committee voters also offered up a "special mention" for the academic premiere of "Kinky Boots," which was not eligible in the professional categories.

Blanket praise and OnStage accolades

Kinky Boots academic premiere at Baldwin WallaceIn his own year-end theatre recognition, Broadway World critic Roy Berko heaped blanket praise on BWMT including "the Collegiate Premiere of 'Kinky Boots' and its sensational production under the direction of Victoria Bussert with Gregory Daniels (Choreography) and Mathew Webb (Musical Direction). As well as their continually praised Senior Showcase in New York, where students earn their gateways to Broadway productions, and their production of 'Once' in coordination with Beck Center."

Earlier in the semester, OnStage, which placed BW Music Theatre as number one among the Best Bachelor of Music (B.M.)- Music Theatre Programs of 2018-19, produced a new list, The Top 30 College Musical Theatre Programs for 2019-2020, with BWMT again front and center.

Scottsboro Boys theatre posterUp Next

What's up next for the always high-flying BW Music Theatre? A return to Beck Center where "Once" wowed audiences and critics in early 2019.

In their ninth collaboration, BWMT and Beck will stage the 12-time Tony-nominated "The Scottsboro Boys."

The production will enjoy a limited engagement from February 7-23, 2020, in the Beck's Mackey Theater and tickets are already on sale.

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