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Y.E.S. Festival

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · April 18th, 2007 · Curtain Call
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  Jersey Boys is one of seven musicals to be presented by the Broadway Series in 2007-2008.
Joan Marcus

Jersey Boys is one of seven musicals to be presented by the Broadway Series in 2007-2008.



Every two years we get to see a set of new plays at Northern Kentucky University's Y.E.S. Festival. Check out the mini-reviews below and go to citybeat.com for the full commentaries by CityBeat's reviewers. Performances continue through Sunday. Info: 859-572-5464.

Just when some people were telling me they'd decided the BROADWAY SERIES wasn't worth the expense, the presenters of touring musicals announced a blockbuster season to mark 20 years in Cincinnati. During 2007-2008, they'll offer My Fair Lady (Sept. 25-Oct.7); Camelot featuring Michael York (Nov. 13-25); charming Tony Award-winner The Drowsy Chaperone (Dec. 4-16); a return of Wicked (Jan. 9-Feb. 3, 2008), which was a big hit in the 2005-2006 season; John Doyle's actor/musician staging of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (Feb. 19-March 2, 2008); The Color Purple (April 15-27, 2008); and the 2006 Tony winner for best musical, Jersey Boys (May 2008), the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Doyle's success with Sweeney preceded his direction of another Sondheim show, Company, for the Cincinnati Playhouse, a production that subsequently moved to Broadway. Season tickets range from $172 to $599. All performances are at the Aronoff Center. Info: BroadwayAcross America.com.

Every two years we get to see a set of new plays at Northern Kentucky University's Y.E.S.

Festival. Check out the mini-reviews below and go to citybeat.com for the full commentaries by CityBeat's reviewers. Performances continue through Sunday. Info: 859-572-5464. ...

Just when some people were telling me they'd decided the BROADWAY SERIES wasn't worth the expense, the presenters of touring musicals announced a blockbuster season to mark 20 years in Cincinnati. During 2007-2008, they'll offer My Fair Lady (Sept. 25-Oct.7); Camelot featuring Michael York (Nov. 13-25); charming Tony Award-winner The Drowsy Chaperone (Dec. 4-16); a return of Wicked (Jan. 9-Feb. 3, 2008), which was a big hit in the 2005-2006 season; John Doyle's actor/musician staging of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (Feb. 19-March 2, 2008); The Color Purple (April 15-27, 2008); and the 2006 Tony winner for best musical, Jersey Boys (May 2008), the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Doyle's success with Sweeney preceded his direction of another Sondheim show, Company, for the Cincinnati Playhouse, a production that subsequently moved to Broadway. Season tickets range from $172 to $599. All performances are at the Aronoff Center. Info: BroadwayAcross America.com. ...

If you prefer edgier material, you'll definitely be attracted to KNOW THEATRE OF CINCINNATI's 10th season, featuring several regional premieres of plays by leading young playwrights. They'll begin with Martin McDonagh's pitch-black comedy The Pillowman (Oct. 18-Nov. 10). The 2007-2008 season also includes productions (January-March 2008, dates TBD) of Adam Rapp's 2005 Pulitzer finalist, Red Light Winter, and Suzan-Lori Parks' 2002 Pulitzer Prize winner, Topdog Underdog. And following the model of the current season, Know will reinvent a holiday story with Reclamation: The Last Battle of Nutcracker (Nov. 29-Dec. 30) and a classic, Electra (April 10-May 4, 2008), based on Greek tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides. Know continues its affiliation with Exhale Dance Tribe (which will contribute to Reclamation and present its own performance in March 2008) and will organize the fifth annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival, set for May 28-June 7, 2008. Info: knowtheatre.com

MINIREVIEWS
The 7,000-year-old skeleton of a battered female teen might seem to be the title character in Stephen Spotswood's THE AARONSVILLE WOMAN. But the remains found behind a church in a decaying Pennsylvania coal town are less central to this tale of multiple betrayals than is Eve, portrayed as teenaged Evie, victim of parental abuse who seeks shelter in a lesbian relationship, and adult Eve, who escaped from the garden of anguish to become a forensic anthropologist. Several Aaronsville women -- alive and long dead, seen and unseen -- are betrayed by people who should love, protect and respect them. Despite some jerkiness, a lack of rising motion and acting histrionics, the production has scenes with intensity and dramatic integrity. (Tom McElfresh) Grade: B-

While THE CHESTER COUNTY AUTOMATON(S) by Brad Cupples has an intriguing premise, this comedy is a script that still needs a lot of work. It's about Christian conservatives who fear the work of a local scientist; it's also about people who follow their faith without asking deeper questions. Those are promising topics, but they never pull together in this uneven and often bewildering comedy. Cupples, a senior at NKU, shows promise as a writer, but his play needs to go back in the oven. (Rick Pender) Grade: D

Chuck Spoler's IN THE WAKE OF KING DEATH asks what might have happened if a real medieval princess had survived the plague. The writer's creative imagination and witty dialogue show the play's relevance to hard-core contemporary issues such as the HIV epidemic, global climate change and unending war. Brian Robertson's ambitious direction must be credited with the overall success of In the Wake of King Death. He gets stellar performances from three students: Elizabeth Byland, Timothy Rhoades and especially Adam Bass. (Mark Sterner) Grade: B+

contact rick Pender: rpender@citybeat.com

Jersey Boys is one of seven musicals to be presented by the Broadway Series in 2007-2008.

 
 
 
 

 

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