"Artistry, athleticism, passion, positive energy!"
Ellie is an accomplished dance educator, performer and internationally recognized choreographer. Ellie Potts Barrett attended Boston Conservatory and received her BA in Dance from the University of South Florida. Out of her many accomplishments, she has composed the Modern Dance Syllabus for the Florida Dance Masters Organization, a study tool for the testing of future Modern dance teachers in Florida. Barrett danced with the Ina Hahn Modern Dance Company, Boston Dance Company and Mary Anthony in New York. She has been an associate at the Atlantic Center for the Arts to Master Artists Merce Cunningham, Meg Harper and Elizabeth Streb, as well as with Florida's prolific author, Carl Hiaasen. Barrett is the recipient of the Central Florida Lifetime Achievement Dance Award, given by the University of Central Florida. Included in her well over 100 choreographed musicals, are Orlando Philharmonic/Mad Cow Theatres' production of Guys and Dolls, which starred Broadway actor Davis Gaines, Carousel, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, La Traviata, and Mad Cow Theatres' production of HAIR, and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts productions, CURTAINS, AIDA, Urinetown, The Musical, and MY FAIR LADY
Check out my new!! Choreography Reel - for
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
Trinity Prep in Winter Park
Janine Papin - Director
Patrick Nugent - Music Direction
June - 2019
DANCE MASTERS OF AMERICA
July 1 - 3
Teaching Modern and Musical Theatre
Orlando Ballet School
Summer Intensive - July, 2019
Carol Lee's review of How To Succeed still cracks me up...here it is in full!
My Review of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
May 12, 2013 at 12:43 AM
I am FURIOUS. I will type this as fast as my tiny french manicured hands will type. I have got to let out this anger before I die very prematurely of a heart attack. To the Production Team behind The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra's Production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying:
SCREW YOU. I am sorry to use such vulgar terms, my friends, but that is just the beginning. Screw you for taking a show that is over 50 years old and performing it as if it were written yesterday.
I HATE YOU for leading Orlando Audiences to believe that every show uses a complete orchestra...we all know how many parts are written for a full Broadway show, and that is 5. The audacity of using a Harp......well la dee dah.
You SUCK for finding actors that performed the parts as if they were written for them...Leave it to a bunch of "theme park actors" to compeletely make the show about themselves and pay No heed to the tony award winning performances that came before them. Almost daring the audience to even utter the name Ferris Beuller....the nerve.
EAT IT Ensemble. For completely stealing focus by not stealing focus. Your constant need to be completely in the moment of what was happening around you was quite honestly, indignant. I refuse to be held responsible that i missed portions of the lead actors because i was busy looking for one of you to break character or lose focus and because you never did, it is your fault i have no idea where Gatch went.
DAMN YOU LEAD ACTORS! There are cast recordings of this that exist. And because of your performances tonight, I will never be able to listen to them again. Your need to be "original" is literally exhausting. Every song was sung as if I was hearing it for the first time. A wise woman once said, "if it ain't broke, put sequins on it and make it better." Well thanks to the amount of sequins you used, i now have to make an appointmet to see my eye doctor..The bill will be coming to you.
Ellie Potts-Barrett....who do you think you are? Taking a show that for the past 50 years has been revived the same way every way, with the same choreography to the same songs at the same beat...and making it your showcase for your jazz and free style and acrobatics and every other style of dance. Your desire to trust your actors and dancers is pathetic and your want to showcase their talents and not your own is unwise...."god-like"... but unwise.
Frank McClain..I've saved you for last...I hate you I hate you I hate you drop dead. Now Orlando Audiences are going to expect that kind of entertainment EVERYTIME A TOURING SHOW COMES THROUGH!!!.. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE???? But, I will never forgive you.....For not casting me in this. Not to mention the fact that you are responsible for the fact that since the down beat of the orchestra at 8PM I have not stopped smiling. It was Perfect. every detail...I haven't been this moved since the first time I sat in a Theater to see Mimi Hines in Hello, Dolly! Orlando was blessed tonight to see a Broadway caliber show, the likes of which this town hasn't seen in years. I am so lucky to have been in the audience, and even luckier to know so many people on that stage, and behind the scenes. Thank you so very much.
Carol Lee, and her friend Matthew.
and then there's her HAIR review....Just as wonderful!!
How's my HAIR (the Musical)
June 28, 2014 at 12:38 AM
What do I have to do to see a decent production of Hair? Where do I need to go to see a production of Hair that isn't a ridiculous circus of "acting stoned" and acting the way we think hippies acted in the 60's full of over dramatic "Heeeeey Maaaaaan's" and "grooooovey?" What do i have to do to get a production of Hair that has a group of people make me beleive that it is 1968? The answer is: GO TO MAD COW AND SEE HAIR BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!
From the moment the show began, the Tribe entered and instantly I beleived that this group of hippies, beleived in Love, Peace and Happiness. Too many times Hair is portrayed by people who have no touchstone to the material, and more often today FOR people who have plenty of touchstone to the material, and it comes across as a campy period piece and lacks the heart of the original production. Few people know that i was in the original ORIGINAL production of Hair all those years ago at Joseph Papp's Public Theater in 1967, oh yes.. a full year before it opened on Broadway.. without me, but that is a story for another time. (i'm looking at you Melba Moore)
Before one sees Hair the Musical, you must know WHY Hair was so important, and you must remember, that before Hair.. very few shows had (gasp) BLACK people in them as equals, hardly a show discussed so openly not only SEX.. but DRUGS!!! and HOMO SEX!!!!! And Rock music???? NOT ON OUR BROADWAY STAGE THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! does anyone know how many Broadway theater owners REFUSED to have Hair on it's stage? (the answer is 3) You must also remember that before Hair, Boys had short hair and women had long hair and that is the way it was, and it wasn't hurting anyone... So Berger's Opening line of "is it a boy? or a girl?" might be wasted on the post 1990s Garage Band crowd, but in 1968 on Broadway... a long haired hippie kicking off a broadway show was reason enough to have the refund guy on hand from the time the curtain went up. The people that starred in the Original Cast.. were speaking their own words, were singing their own lives, they were the voices of a generation that had no voice until Hair. The people in the cast lived in fear of actually being drafted, and more often, they had seen their friends get drafted.... and not come back. So.. that said, here is my review of Hair.
Please know that I LOVE HAIR. When one loves something so much, we use a much more critical eye, (don't EVEN get me started on Barbra Streisand in Hello, Dolly!) and often will find the smallest things wrong with it because it is NOT the original (I'm looking at you Gavin Creele.) Before i tell you what was wrong with it, let me light this funny cigarette and tell you what was very RIGHT with it. I have arranged my notes under the titles of how people USUALLY fuck up Hair.
1. THE DRUG USE. too often, Hair is played by people that are "singers" so they have never ever put a joint to their lips, and then they proceed to "act" the way they THINK stoned people act.... (in the late 70's i was a drug runner between Mexico and Venice Beach, CA..i've been around stoned people..) Congratulations Cast... every single one of you had me beleiving that you were pot heads. awesome job. The Acid scene was so real and true, and so well staged, that when Claude asked "what did you put in that joint?" i actually wanted to hear his answer.
2. The Singing. Too often Hair uses the singers that audition.. Musical Theater Singers...the Groan from my belly when i have sat in a theater and heard "Yes ladies and Gentlemen.. at tonight's performance of Hair, Claude will be played by the same Josh Groban like tenor that played Freddie in My Fair Lady last year, and Berger is direct from the National Tour of Phantom of the Opera!" Hair is about Hippies.. not priveledged self indulgant kids that have an JULIARD degree on their wall. Save your perfectly trained (yet forced) vibrato, and your perfect phrasing, and your perfect diction, and your perfect "round O's" for RENT, It's not welcome in Hair. CONGRATULATIONS CAST!!! you all made me beleive that not one of you had ever stepped foot inside a voice teachers house. your singing of the material showed me you understood the material, and made us beleive that you beleived the material. Bravo.
the Hair: Much like when peolpe do, Hello Dolly!, they wear period wigs...it's accepted.. and more often than not.. appreciated. (Don't get me started on the Wigs in the movie Funny Girl...really? a Zeigfeld Follie with a bee hive?) ANYWAYS... so more often than not Hair is done with ridiculous Afros and Terrible straight (cheap) wigs and totally takes me out of the moment. CONGRATULATIONS CAST!!! every single one of you made me beleive that you had not cut or washed your hair in YEARS! Excellent!
The Costumes: Too many times Hair is done with women in ridiculous NEON Muu Muu's and men in vests, that would make Sonny Bono slam himself into a tree.. (too soon?) CONGRATULATIONS CAST! you made me think that your clothes had not been washed in weeks and were completely made of natural organic materials that only a hippie could love. here is my one negative thing to say.. and this is coming from a foot fetishist, so please take it for what its worth.. ...Ankle socks were not around in 1968..while they are the sock of my choice, they just simply weren't around... Tube socks were the thing... up to the knee, more often than not white, or no socks at all. Trust me.. i lived it.
Special Shout Out to the Director Elena Day. A beautiful use of that space, and wonderful choices, you had a very brave cast, and allowing them the freedom that you allowed them, was very brave of you.... we all know you can't trust actors but your choice to do so paid off.
Ellie Potts Barrett: I can't handle you. I would like to live in your head for just a day... i want to see what crazy messed up delightful entrancing world you live in. You are a beacon of light that shines on dancers (and non dancers) and lets them shine like the top of the Chrysler Building.
The cast. Claude, you were ridiculous. Berger.. i wish you hadn't displayed your ass so early in the show, because after i saw it, i couldn't really focus on what words were coming out of your mouth, or anything else for that matter until well into the first act. Sheila... there's something to be said for a natural beauty that can sing her face off... that thing is "...bitch" Woof, you made me wish i were Mick Jagger. Hud... your love, anger and stoner image made me scared of you, and at the same time i wanted to be your friend. Ronny, you kicked off that show the way an earth mother would, with love and pride for her tribe i fell in love with you before you even got to "jupiter and mars." Jeannie, every word you uttered was perfect, and meaningful, like it would be from a pregnant hippie. And the Tribe.. you made me want to quit my job and get naked at the "be in"
Bravo cast of Hair. You made me Long for a Different time, when not everyone was equal, and we had riots in the streets for freedom and civil liberties...wait.. that didn't sound right.... oh.. you know what i mean... damn, Berger.. what did you put in that joint?