What should I be doing instead of this?

Thom Pain

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · January 18th, 2006 · Curtain Call
  Todd Almond and ETC's full production of I Am My Own Wife travel to Louisville for a run at Actors Theatre, opening Thursday.
Sandy Underwood

Todd Almond and ETC's full production of I Am My Own Wife travel to Louisville for a run at Actors Theatre, opening Thursday.

Next week ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI (ETC) opens a three-week run of Will Eno's Thom Pain (based on nothing), a marvelous one-man show that was an Off-Broadway hit in New York City throughout 2005. The production features Ean Sheehy, a New York-based actor who worked at ETC in 2001 productions of Warren Leight's Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine and Gregory Murphy's The Countess. ETC has an excellent track record with one-man shows, most notably its 2005 production Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. ETC's production of Wife starred TODD ALMOND, who earned a 2005 Cincinnati Entertainment Award for his outstanding acting performance. Almond, a grad of UC's College-Conservatory of Music, won CEAs previously for his work in ETC's Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

If you missed his performance a year ago -- or if you saw it and want to enjoy it again -- you need to know he'll be doing the show again at ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE, opening Thursday (through Feb. 5). In fact, when Actors presents the story of the German transvestite who survived the Nazis and the Communists, it will essentially be offering ETC's production: Producing Artistic Director D. LYNN MEYERS is restaging it, with scenic design by ETC's BRIAN C. MEHRING. And, of course, Almond will be playing all 34 characters in the play, including the playwright who became so intrigued as to tell the story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. It's a real honor for ETC to take this production to Louisville, yet another sign of how Cincinnati theater productions stack up against those in other cities. Tickets: 502-584-1205. ...

Speaking of Actors Theatre of Louisville, things are beginning to crank up there for the 2006 HUMANA FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN PLAYS, which kicks off in March. Of particular local interest is the fact that MARNI PENNING, a co-founder of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival and now a professional actress based in New York City, will be playing a role in a new play by Sharr White, Six Years (previews begin March 7; runs March 10-April 1). The play is about a man who returns home to his wife after six years of brutal exposure to combat in World War II. The play examines their marriage at six-year intervals, from the Post-war boom through the quagmire of Vietnam. Penning plays the couple's sister-in-law. She's excited to be performing close to Cincinnati; her most recent local appearance, as a guest artist, was in CSF's 2004 production of The Taming of the Shrew. She recently performed in a production of The Comedy of Errors at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. Info: www.actorstheatreoflouisville.org/humana. ...

Despite losing a place to stage shows when its 30-year home in North College Hill was sold in 2001, TRI-COUNTY PLAYERS has continued to offer community theater productions. They've been gypsies around the Tristate -- including Northern Kentucky -- and they're in yet another venue this weekend and next for a production of WHITE SHEEP OF FAMILY, about a family of crooks whose son (a forger) quits to go straight. This time they'll be at Cincinnati State's satellite campus in Evendale, located at 10100 Reading Road. If you'd like to check out performances Friday and Saturday (and Jan. 27-28), you can order tickets by calling: 513-471-2030. ...

Perhaps you heard that The Phantom of the Opera became Broadway's longest running show on Jan. 9, when it surpassed Cats, which ran for 7,485 performances. Other long runs still on view in New York City which could challenge the record someday -- Phantom has been running continuously for 18 years -- include Beauty and the Beast (in sixth place overall, with 4,799 performances as of Dec. 25, 2005), which features CCM grad Ashley Brown as Belle; Rent (8th place with 4,032); and The Lion King (12th place with 3,418).



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