NEW STAGE COLLECTIVE (NSC) has announced its fourth summer season, offering 50 performances of five productions between April and late August. The energetic young group is off to an early start in April with Kooky Tunes, a funny and popular Off-Broadway cabaret revue, that will be presented at Hamburger Mary's (911 Vine St., Downtown). NSC has received rights to be the first production of the show outside New York City. NSC will be part of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival (May 31-June 11) for the first time with a production of a one-man play, All We Can Handle, by Cincinnatian Andrew Dainoff. NSC gave the play a workshop last summer, and it's had several readings in New York City (one starred Raul Esparza, who will play Bobby in Company at the Cincinnati Playhouse in March). NSC is finalizing arrangements for its venue for three more shows; Artistic Director Alan Patrick Kenny says the company hopes to stay Downtown. (Last summer they performed in the Contemporary Arts Center's below-street black box theater, but Kenny says that's probably not an option for 2006.) Summertime productions in the pipeline are British playwright Caryl Churchill's drama about human cloning, A Number (June 21-July 1); the working class musical about average guys who decide to strip, The Full Monty (July 6-29); and a piece by humorist David Sedaris and his sister Amy, The Book of Liz (Aug. 3-26). NSC holds auditions for these shows on Feb. 21-22 at Gabriel's Corner (1425 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine). Info:
NEW STAGE COLLECTIVE (NSC) has announced its fourth summer season, offering 50 performances of five productions between April and late Augustwww.newstagecollective.com. ...
Two familiar names are associated with CCM's production this weekend of Benjamin Britten's comic opera, ALBERT HERRING. Guest director is NICHOLAS MUNI, artistic director of the Cincinnati Opera from 1996 to 2004. The production also marks the retirement of scenic designer PAUL SHORTT, who has taught at CCM for 37 years. Shortt, who has designed 120 productions at CCM (and many more elsewhere), was inducted into the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Hall of Fame in 2001. Tickets: 513-556-4183. ...
Longtime stage manager at the Cincinnati Playhouse BRUCE COYLE died on Jan. 21 after a seven-year battle with a brain tumor. He joined the Playhouse staff in 1985 at age 24. A graduate of UC's College Conservatory of Music, Coyle stage managed every production of A Christmas Carol, calling the show more than 500 times. (A stage manager coordinates the physical aspects of a production during each performance, calling lighting cues, ensuring actors are in place and generally maintaining order backstage.) Among his other Playhouse credits were recent productions of Twelfth Night, Mister Roberts, Blue, My Fair Lady and Pacific Overtures. The Playhouse, which held a celebration of his life on Feb. 6, has named its intern program in Coyle's honor. ...
On another sad note, playwright WENDY WASSERSTEIN passed away on Jan. 30 in New York City. Her plays might not be so familiar to local audiences -- the Cincinnati Playhouse has never produced one -- but many in the theater world consider her one of the great playwrights of the last quarter-century. Her most remembered script is The Heidi Chronicles, which opened on Broadway in 1989 and ran for 622 performances. It was honored with a Tony Award for best play and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. With Joan Allen in the title role, it portrayed an art historian in search of herself in the 1960s and '70s, a period when women's roles were dramatically changing. Other well known works were The Sisters Rosensweig (1993) and An American Daughter (1997). She was also an essayist: Her collection of essays, Shiksa Goddess (2001), included an account of her pregnancy at age 48 and her prematurely born daughter's struggle for life (she survived and is now 7 years old). Wasserstein died of complications from lymphoma. Her funny, very human plays are worth revisiting: It would be wonderful to see one of them produced locally.
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