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Every Christmas Story Ever Told

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · November 29th, 2006 · Curtain Call
  Katey Blood (left) and Sidney Ashe star in Ovation Theatre Company's production of The Miracle Worker.
James Czar

Katey Blood (left) and Sidney Ashe star in Ovation Theatre Company's production of The Miracle Worker.

It's the time of year when actors have a hard time dodging around productions involving Scrooge and Santa. So the creative folks at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company have decided to embrace the whole avalanche with one show that encompasses EVERY CHRISTMAS STORY EVER TOLD. They'll offer it in the heated courtyard at Arnold's Bar & Grill (210 E. Eighth St., Downtown) starting on Sunday evening -- continuing through Dec. 19 on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. (Dinner and drinks are available for an additional fee starting at 6 p.m.) Three actors perform the send-up that skewers just about every holiday story you've seen onstage, on TV, on the big screen and in books. They play part of a company that mutinies at the prospect of performing A Christmas Carol for yet another year. Instead they deliver a 90-minute jog through every holiday story and character they can remember. Favorites like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman get the treatment, in addition to classic stories like O.

Henry's "The Gift of the Magi." And of course, A Christmas Carol gets the Dickens teased right out of it. This show is being offered by CSC in addition to its mainstage production of Oscar Wilde's witty Victorian comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, which opens on Dec. 7. Tickets: 513-381-2282 ... Elsewhere in this issue you'll find lots of information about holiday entertainment, which begins at several theaters this week (see page 26). But don't lose sight of the fact that other productions can be seen on local stages. How about a staged reading of a new play? You can catch THE HAWKSHAWS at Know Theatre on Monday evening. Talon Bunn's play is based on a true story from the winter of 1927 when there was a media frenzy over a giant killer hawk (including tales of infant abductions). Was it a hoax or was there some truth behind the story? This two-actor play offers us Harvey Lime and Max Lyme, the "Hawkshaws" (1920s slang for "detectives") who try to plumb the facts of the case. It's being presented at Know's Underground, an intimate cabaret space on the first floor of Know's new facility at 1127 Jackson St. in Over-the-Rhine, for one night only. Multiple CEA-nominee Charlie Clark joins forces with actor Matthew Gunnels to play 12 characters in 90 minutes. Sounds like a hoot. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. The performance is at 7:30; the house (and Underground's bar) open at 6:30 p.m. 513-300-5669. ...

If your theater tastes are in a more classic vein, you should check out Ovation Theatre Company's production of THE MIRACLE WORKER, the story of Helen Keller who overcame being deaf and blind -- with the help of Annie Sullivan, a tough but caring teacher -- to become a noted writer and speaker. William Gibson's play about their battles and the inspiring outcome opens at the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theater on Friday (following a pay-what-you-can preview performance on Thursday evening) and continues through Dec. 9. The production marks Alana Ghent's directing debut with Ovation; she's a professor of theater at Thomas More College who recently became Ovation's artistic director. Info: www.cincinnatiovation.com ...

The guys at Know Theatre are keeping themselves busy during the daytime looking over applications for the 2007 CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL. If you're considering being a performer during the 12-day event (May 30-June 10) you need to have your application in by Monday. Last year There were 150 performances by more than 20 acts; for 2007 that number is likely to grow. To get an application: www.knowtheatre.com/ Shows/AboutTheFringe.shtml. ...

And some local directors might want to get a tune-up for the Fringe by staging a piece that's 30 minutes or less for the CINCINNATI DIRECTORS COMPETITION March 8-18, 2007, at the Columbia Performance Center (3900 Eastern Ave., East End). It's presented by New Edgecliff Theatre, and the deadline to apply for inclusion is Feb. 1. More information is available at www.directorscompetition.com.

contact rick Pender: rpender(at)citybeat.com


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