About Christopher Blank
BiographyChristopher Blank has been the arts reporter and theater critic for the Commercial Appeal since 2001. Prior to his journalism career, he taught theater skills to inner city children and was a stage actor in Florida. He is a USC/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow and was the first editor of the magazine Florida Trend’s NEXT. Recently, he was a finalist for a Green Eyeshade Award in criticism.
Fleshdance: What's wrong with musical theater?
Published 09/23/2013 at 8:21 p.m.
Commentary: Authenticity trumps big and glossy in local theater
Updated 08/22/2013 at 5:05 p.m. 1 Comment
Being a performing arts critic in a close-knit town like Memphis has its moments, most of them awkward. Like traveling in the same social circles as the artists I review. Picture an iron maiden sitting down to drink with heretics ...
Broadway role puts Memphis native in line for Supreme honor: Tony nomination
Published 06/09/2013 at midnight
Born in the Bluff City, weaned on the music of the Motor City, and now a rising star in New York City, the Broadway actress Valisia LeKae combines the best of three musical worlds in her latest role — a ...
Black Arts Fest aims to build awareness from grass roots up
Published 05/16/2013 at 12:45 p.m.
Arts advocate and producer Ekundayo Bandele is realizing just how big the lack of awareness is for African-American arts groups in the city, including his own.
Stage review: Playhouse's 'Saigon' works in softer focus
Published 05/16/2013 at midnight
There’s more than one way to stage a hugely popular musical. Sure, Broadway may provide a convenient blueprint. But regional theater audiences should expect more than cheap imitation. They should want a show that is more personal. Or “local,” if ...
Project: Motion's evening of site-specific dance explores rich heritage of Victorian mansion
Published 05/16/2013 at midnight 2 Comments
Memphis dance troupe Project: Motion may call itself a modern dance company, but this weekend’s performance comes wrapped in an antiquarian package.
Dance review: Ballet Memphis performers soar in 'Taking Flight'
Updated 05/13/2013 at 12:03 a.m.
A dusky sliver of moon and the beaming planet Jupiter hovered over the shoulders of Ballet Memphis dancers as they bounded across the Peabody hotel rooftop Saturday night. Celestial objects made a fitting backdrop for “Taking Flight,” a three-act concert ...
'Rock of Ages' provides joyous elixir for fans burned out by live-music events
Updated 05/11/2013 at 11:17 p.m.
On a recent lamentable weekend, I spent three days wallowing in mud while getting soaked to the bone and frozen by arctic winds just to hear a lot of unfamiliar music played far too loudly and with very little sense ...
Familiar theater name makes high-profile debut
Published 05/10/2013 at 3 a.m.
For more than a year, while Jordan Nichols toured the country playing the role of Marius in “Les Miserables,” there was another musical constantly repeating in the back of his mind.
Memphis rapper Al Kapone working hard for Beale Street Music Fest fans
Updated 05/05/2013 at 7:19 p.m.
Memphis rapper and Oscar-winner Al Kapone was the hardest working man in Memphis show business on Sunday as the Beale Street Music Festival entered the home stretch.
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