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N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · September 14th, 2005 · Curtain Call
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(L-R) Allan Axibal, Rafael Agustin and Miles Gregley are the creators of N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK, which could bring a whiff of controversy to town next spring.
Carol Peterson

(L-R) Allan Axibal, Rafael Agustin and Miles Gregley are the creators of N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK, which could bring a whiff of controversy to town next spring.



Well, Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. In fact, it doesn't sound much like Cincinnati either: Next spring the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) will present N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK (March 31-April 1) at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater. The asterisks in that title are not an act of journalistic evasion. But it will be intriguing to see how this work gets covered locally by more prudish media -- and how audiences react. In reality, it's a show developed by three UCLA grads: one is African American, one is Hispanic, one is Asian. The piece blends theater, Hip Hop, slam poetry and standup comedy with true-life stories about confronting race in America. In fact, the performers, who are friends, say their intention is to "depower" three derogatory racial slurs in a performance that's as hilarious as it is moving. The production is also touring university campuses; after Cincin-nati it makes a stop in Oxford for Miami University students on April 13.

Also looking out on the theatrical horizon, that blank slot during January in the season calendar for ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI has been filled with a work that will also have people talking: Will Eno's smart, dark comedy THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) ought to melt a few snow drifts (Jan. 25-Feb. 12, 2006). The piece has been running Off Broadway since February: The New York Times called Eno "Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation."

Well, Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. In fact, it doesn't sound much like Cincinnati either: Next spring the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) will present N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK (March 31-April 1) at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater. The asterisks in that title are not an act of journalistic evasion. But it will be intriguing to see how this work gets covered locally by more prudish media -- and how audiences react. In reality, it's a show developed by three UCLA grads: one is African American, one is Hispanic, one is Asian. The piece blends theater, Hip Hop, slam poetry and standup comedy with true-life stories about confronting race in America. In fact, the performers, who are friends, say their intention is to "depower" three derogatory racial slurs in a performance that's as hilarious as it is moving. The production is also touring university campuses; after Cincin-nati it makes a stop in Oxford for Miami University students on April 13. ...

Also looking out on the theatrical horizon, that blank slot during January in the season calendar for ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI has been filled with a work that will also have people talking: Will Eno's smart, dark comedy THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) ought to melt a few snow drifts (Jan. 25-Feb. 12, 2006). The piece has been running Off Broadway since February: The New York Times called Eno "Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation." His other plays include The Flu Season and Tragedy: a tragedy.

The work that ETC will stage was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for drama. "I saw this one-man show in New York last year and was blown away," says ETC's D. Lynn Meyers, who will direct Thom Pain. "It shows us a man who is extraordinary in his seemingly ordinary life." He wryly describes growing up, dating and other life experiences. His life has had many frustrations and yet he concludes that it's great to be alive. ETC drew strong audiences for another one-man show last season, I Am My Own Wife, which recently won the 2005 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best local premiere. ETC draws each season's plays from works that are new or new to Cincinnati. Turn to page 64 for a review of its current production, Intimate Apparel. For more information about the current season, go to

(L-R) Allan Axibal, Rafael Agustin and Miles Gregley are the creators of N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK, which could bring a whiff of controversy to town next spring.
Carol Peterson

(L-R) Allan Axibal, Rafael Agustin and Miles Gregley are the creators of N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK, which could bring a whiff of controversy to town next spring.



Well, Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. In fact, it doesn't sound much like Cincinnati either: Next spring the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) will present N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK (March 31-April 1) at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater. The asterisks in that title are not an act of journalistic evasion. But it will be intriguing to see how this work gets covered locally by more prudish media -- and how audiences react. In reality, it's a show developed by three UCLA grads: one is African American, one is Hispanic, one is Asian. The piece blends theater, Hip Hop, slam poetry and standup comedy with true-life stories about confronting race in America. In fact, the performers, who are friends, say their intention is to "depower" three derogatory racial slurs in a performance that's as hilarious as it is moving. The production is also touring university campuses; after Cincin-nati it makes a stop in Oxford for Miami University students on April 13.

Also looking out on the theatrical horizon, that blank slot during January in the season calendar for ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI has been filled with a work that will also have people talking: Will Eno's smart, dark comedy THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) ought to melt a few snow drifts (Jan. 25-Feb. 12, 2006). The piece has been running Off Broadway since February: The New York Times called Eno "Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation."

Well, Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. In fact, it doesn't sound much like Cincinnati either: Next spring the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) will present N*W*C: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK (March 31-April 1) at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater. The asterisks in that title are not an act of journalistic evasion. But it will be intriguing to see how this work gets covered locally by more prudish media -- and how audiences react. In reality, it's a show developed by three UCLA grads: one is African American, one is Hispanic, one is Asian. The piece blends theater, Hip Hop, slam poetry and standup comedy with true-life stories about confronting race in America. In fact, the performers, who are friends, say their intention is to "depower" three derogatory racial slurs in a performance that's as hilarious as it is moving. The production is also touring university campuses; after Cincin-nati it makes a stop in Oxford for Miami University students on April 13. ...

Also looking out on the theatrical horizon, that blank slot during January in the season calendar for ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI has been filled with a work that will also have people talking: Will Eno's smart, dark comedy THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) ought to melt a few snow drifts (Jan. 25-Feb. 12, 2006). The piece has been running Off Broadway since February: The New York Times called Eno "Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation." His other plays include The Flu Season and Tragedy: a tragedy. The work that ETC will stage was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for drama. "I saw this one-man show in New York last year and was blown away," says ETC's D. Lynn Meyers, who will direct Thom Pain. "It shows us a man who is extraordinary in his seemingly ordinary life." He wryly describes growing up, dating and other life experiences. His life has had many frustrations and yet he concludes that it's great to be alive. ETC drew strong audiences for another one-man show last season, I Am My Own Wife, which recently won the 2005 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best local premiere. ETC draws each season's plays from works that are new or new to Cincinnati. Turn to page 64 for a review of its current production, Intimate Apparel. For more information about the current season, go to www.cincyetc.com ...

On the final weekend of August, NEW STAGE COLLECTIVE presented several short theatrical works at the Contemporary Arts Center. One of them, All We Can Handle, by Cincinnati native and Miami University grad ANDREW DAINOFF, is getting another reading -- this time in New York City at The Public Theater. It will be presented Thursday, as part of its New Work Now! series. Reading Dainoff's piece about a musician's reaction to 9/11 will be David Harbour, nominated for a Tony Award in the much-praised Broadway production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Mini Reviews
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical EVITA has been around for 26 years -- about the age of Eva Duarte when she wangled her way into power in Argentina by wooing General Juan Peron, who was elected president largely because of her controversial popularity. Of course, Evita has been made into a film (starring Madonna), and Cincinnati has seen touring productions of it twice before (1992 at the Taft, 1995 at the Aronoff). It's back for another run; while the production has a strong company with fine choreography, some effective visuals (lots of old photos and historic film footage) and a dynamic Che Guevara (Keith Byron Kirk), the title (Kathy Voytko plays Evita) seems lacking in "star quality." The actress hits all the notes (although some are a bit screechy in her upper range) and she looks the part. But the electricity is lacking, and that makes Evita's tragic fall seem anti-climactic. (Rick Pender) GRADE: B-

 
 
 
 

 

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