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In The Blood

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · May 17th, 2006 · Curtain Call
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  The Cincinnati Playhouse is auditioning kids to play Tiny Tim and other roles in December's A Christmas Carol.
Sandy Underwood

The Cincinnati Playhouse is auditioning kids to play Tiny Tim and other roles in December's A Christmas Carol.



In a recent letter to CityBeat (issue of May 10-16), John Heideman asked, "Who is Rick Pender anyway?" Having attended the same preview performance of the Know Theatre Tribe's production of In the Blood, he sent a well-written letter that disagreed with my assessment of the show. His question prompts me to offer two responses. The first is to explain why I have opinions about theater productions: I've been reviewing shows for 20 years here in Cincinnati, and I see more than 100 productions annually. That doesn't mean I'm an expert, but I do have a reasonable foundation for my commentary. Most critics I know love theater; I approach every performance I see with a sense of optimism, hoping to be pleased at least, perhaps to be surprised. But my second response to Heideman is to say that criticism is just one person's opinion: I never think of my review as the only or final word on a show. In fact, I hope my reviews prompt readers to go to the theater and form their own opinions. Heideman and I attended the same performance at Know Theatre's new facility, demonstrating how differently audience members can react. Your state of mind, events of the day, your familiarity with the play, the playwright or the performers, even your companion or those sitting near you -- all are factors that can affect your take on a performance. Add to that the fact that live theater varies from night to night, typically evolving and deepening during the run of a show. In my review, I suggested that In the Blood might have suffered from Know Theatre's frantic preparation of its new theater space in time for the April 27 opening. But after several weeks of performing (the show continues through Saturday), some of the issues I commented on in my review might have improved: For certain, the actors will have grown in their roles. Because CityBeat wants to provide readers with timely commentary on theater productions, I almost always attend opening night (sometimes I attend a preview the night before a show opens, if the theater company permits it). I try to frame my critiques with a sense of this fact. And I never suggest you skip a show: Just because I don't like something doesn't mean you will agree. And if I praise a show, you might not feel the same enthusiasm. One of the joys of live theater is that no two performances are ever the same.

(In the same set of letters on May 10, Jane Durrell described attending In the Blood with several women from the First Step recovery program. Their responses were based on their own experience, not unlike the character of Hester. Part of Jane's enjoyment was being in the audience with these women.) To answer Heideman's question -- "Who is Rick Pender anyway?" -- I'm someone who loves theater and hopes you give it a chance, too. A good choice for this weekend is Know Theatre's In the Blood. Tickets: 513-621-2787. ...

The Cincinnati Playhouse is looking for nine children to play speaking and non-speaking roles in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Roles are available for boys and girls 8-13 years old in addition to the part of Tiny Tim, requiring a boy 6-7 years old. Description of experience and a photo -- school pictures or family photos are OK -- should be sent by June 9 to Michael Haney (marked ATTN: AUDITIONS) at the Playhouse, P. O. Box 6537, Cincinnati OH 45206. Children selected will be called to schedule an audition on July 8 or 9. ...

The 2006 CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL is just two weeks away, and they're looking for volunteers. If you'd like to get some free tickets to these edgy performances (May 31-June 11), plus a chance to meet some new people and support the arts in Cincinnati, you can sign up at www.cincinnatiadvance.com/fringe.



contact rick Pender: rpender(at)
  The Cincinnati Playhouse is auditioning kids to play Tiny Tim and other roles in December's A Christmas Carol.
Sandy Underwood

The Cincinnati Playhouse is auditioning kids to play Tiny Tim and other roles in December's A Christmas Carol.



In a recent letter to CityBeat (issue of May 10-16), John Heideman asked, "Who is Rick Pender anyway?" Having attended the same preview performance of the Know Theatre Tribe's production of In the Blood, he sent a well-written letter that disagreed with my assessment of the show. His question prompts me to offer two responses. The first is to explain why I have opinions about theater productions: I've been reviewing shows for 20 years here in Cincinnati, and I see more than 100 productions annually. That doesn't mean I'm an expert, but I do have a reasonable foundation for my commentary. Most critics I know love theater; I approach every performance I see with a sense of optimism, hoping to be pleased at least, perhaps to be surprised. But my second response to Heideman is to say that criticism is just one person's opinion: I never think of my review as the only or final word on a show. In fact, I hope my reviews prompt readers to go to the theater and form their own opinions. Heideman and I attended the same performance at Know Theatre's new facility, demonstrating how differently audience members can react. Your state of mind, events of the day, your familiarity with the play, the playwright or the performers, even your companion or those sitting near you -- all are factors that can affect your take on a performance. Add to that the fact that live theater varies from night to night, typically evolving and deepening during the run of a show. In my review, I suggested that In the Blood might have suffered from Know Theatre's frantic preparation of its new theater space in time for the April 27 opening. But after several weeks of performing (the show continues through Saturday), some of the issues I commented on in my review might have improved: For certain, the actors will have grown in their roles. Because CityBeat wants to provide readers with timely commentary on theater productions, I almost always attend opening night (sometimes I attend a preview the night before a show opens, if the theater company permits it). I try to frame my critiques with a sense of this fact. And I never suggest you skip a show: Just because I don't like something doesn't mean you will agree. And if I praise a show, you might not feel the same enthusiasm. One of the joys of live theater is that no two performances are ever the same. (In the same set of letters on May 10, Jane Durrell described attending In the Blood with several women from the First Step recovery program. Their responses were based on their own experience, not unlike the character of Hester. Part of Jane's enjoyment was being in the audience with these women.) To answer Heideman's question -- "Who is Rick Pender anyway?" -- I'm someone who loves theater and hopes you give it a chance, too. A good choice for this weekend is Know Theatre's In the Blood. Tickets: 513-621-2787. ...

The Cincinnati Playhouse is looking for nine children to play speaking and non-speaking roles in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Roles are available for boys and girls 8-13 years old in addition to the part of Tiny Tim, requiring a boy 6-7 years old. Description of experience and a photo -- school pictures or family photos are OK -- should be sent by June 9 to Michael Haney (marked ATTN: AUDITIONS) at the Playhouse, P. O. Box 6537, Cincinnati OH 45206. Children selected will be called to schedule an audition on July 8 or 9. ...

The 2006 CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL is just two weeks away, and they're looking for volunteers. If you'd like to get some free tickets to these edgy performances (May 31-June 11), plus a chance to meet some new people and support the arts in Cincinnati, you can sign up at www.cincinnatiadvance.com/fringe.



contact rick Pender: rpender(at)citybeat.com
 
 
 
 

 

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