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A Tuna Christmas is coming to town

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · September 22nd, 2004 · Curtain Call
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Joe Sears, left, and Jaston Williams will celebrate A Tuna Christmas -- which they created -- in Cincinnati in December.
Joe Sears, left, and Jaston Williams will celebrate A Tuna Christmas -- which they created -- in Cincinnati in December.



Broadway in Cincinnati has announced that it's added a holiday show that's likely to be a popular choice: It's A TUNA CHRISTMAS, the sequel to Greater Tuna. The Dec. 7-12 run at the 150-seat Fifth Third Bank Theater (it's the first time a touring show has been presented in the Aronoff's tiniest venue) will feature playwrights Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, playing all 24 citizens of Tuna, Texas. Tickets go on sale on Oct. 28. If you like to track the careers of CCM products (read about 2003 grad Angel Reda on page 22), check out the touring company of CRAZY FOR YOU at Dayton's Victoria Theatre, Oct. 5-17: Playing Bobby Child is DOUG BARTON, another recent CCM grad who's a native of Marion, Ind. ...

As Broadway in Cincinnati presents CHICAGO at the Aronoff Center through Oct. 3, it's sad to note that the show's lyricist, Fred Ebb, died on Sept. 15 at the age of 72. He also wrote the scores for Cabaret and Kiss of the Spider Woman, among many others. And the World Goes 'Round, a compilation of his songs, written with composer John Kander, is one of my favorite shows.

Another sad passing to note is the death of local actress JUDY MALONE on Aug. 29, after a long battle with cancer. She is remembered by many for her work in various Cincinnati theaters, most recently Ovation Theatre Company in the well-received production of The Diary of Anne Frank a year ago.

Director KENNY LEON, who staged Blue for the Cincinnati Playhouse last season, is directing the upcoming Broadway production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. Broadway in Cincinnati has announced that it's added a holiday show that's likely to be a popular choice: It's A TUNA CHRISTMAS, the sequel to Greater Tuna. The Dec. 7-12 run at the 150-seat Fifth Third Bank Theater (it's the first time a touring show has been presented in the Aronoff's tiniest venue) will feature playwrights Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, playing all 24 citizens of Tuna, Texas. Tickets go on sale on Oct. 28. ... If you like to track the careers of CCM products (read about 2003 grad Angel Reda on page 22), check out the touring company of CRAZY FOR YOU at Dayton's Victoria Theatre, Oct. 5-17: Playing Bobby Child is DOUG BARTON, another recent CCM grad who's a native of Marion, Ind. ...

As Broadway in Cincinnati presents CHICAGO at the Aronoff Center through Oct. 3, it's sad to note that the show's lyricist, Fred Ebb, died on Sept. 15 at the age of 72. He also wrote the scores for Cabaret and Kiss of the Spider Woman, among many others. And the World Goes 'Round, a compilation of his songs, written with composer John Kander, is one of my favorite shows. ...

Another sad passing to note is the death of local actress JUDY MALONE on Aug. 29, after a long battle with cancer. She is remembered by many for her work in various Cincinnati theaters, most recently Ovation Theatre Company in the well-received production of The Diary of Anne Frank a year ago. ...

Director KENNY LEON, who staged Blue for the Cincinnati Playhouse last season, is directing the upcoming Broadway production of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean. Leon, who I saw play a key role in Gem's premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in 2003, recently directed a well-received Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun, featuring Phylicia Rashad and Sean (P. Diddy) Combs. Rashad will star in Gem, which also features Delroy Lindo and Lisa Gay Hamilton. Leon has directed all eight of Wilson's previous plays.

Mini reviews

4 In The Exonerated at ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI, 10 people are arrayed on three rows of small metal platforms; six of them are people who've been wrongly convicted, awaiting execution. Each one is real, based on personal interviews. They are imprisoned in pools of light that ebb and flow as they speak. You might think 10 actors who almost never rise from their seats could not engage an audience. You'd be wrong. The Exonerated is no downer. Released and returned to life, they are a demonstration of the indomitable human spirit. (RICK PENDER) Grade: A-

THE CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE gives Shakespeare's Twelfth Night a glorious and showy production, justifying its 2004 Regional Theater Tony Award with a feast for the eyes, the ears and the emotions, from a breathtaking scenic concept -- water around an island -- to a cast of delightful and diverse actors. The Asian heritage of Angela Lin (Viola) and Keong Sim (Sebastian) makes them a good pairing as twins whose resemblance is the source of confusion and merriment. The show's wonderful comic ensemble captures the essence of Shakespearean wit and physicality. (Rick Pender) Grade: A

CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL launches its 11th season with Love's Labour's Lost (one of Shakespeare's least accomplishments) with a production that's not merely amusing or dryly witty: It's kick-ass funny, with a feisty pace and a firecracker pitch, plus rocket-fueled performances from the 15-member cast. Sometimes it's almost too much, offering too little opportunity for contemplation. Nevertheless, this is one of the funniest evenings of Shakespeare you're likely to encounter. (TOM MCELFRESH) Grade: B

 
 
 
 

 

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