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League of Cincinnati Theatres: Tsunami Relief

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · January 19th, 2005 · Curtain Call
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Shoshana Bean, a 1999 CCM musical theater grad, has taken over for Tony Award winner Idina Menzel in Wicked.
Shoshana Bean, a 1999 CCM musical theater grad, has taken over for Tony Award winner Idina Menzel in Wicked.



The League of Cincinnati Theatres is doing its part on behalf of the recent tsunami disaster in Asia: Look for donation boxes at participating theaters. Proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.

While our theater scene in Cincinnati is a good one, it doesn't mean that interesting things aren't happening elsewhere: For instance, in Indianapolis, their theater league will offer free tickets to teenagers, 13 to 19 years of age, to introduce them to the performing arts during the month of February. Four groups -- Indiana Repertory Theatre, Pike Performing Arts Center, the Indianapolis Civic Center and the Phoenix Theatre -- are participating. Indianapolis will also have its first fringe festival, called INDYFRINGE, in August. By that time, Cincinnati's second annual event (set for June 1-12) will have happened, and maybe some of those alternative acts will be seeking more audiences. There is a rather daunting application fee of $400 (the Cincinnati Fringe charges $25), but the Indianapolis organizers are quick to point out that performers keep 100 percent of their box office receipts (the Cincinnati organizers split the box office with their performers). For Indy info: www.indyfringe.com (and for Cincinnati news go to www.cincyfringe.com).

I wrote in December that CUTTINGS, a play by Cincinnatian Thom Atkinson which premiered in October 2003 at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, was performed by Theatre Conspiracy at Foulds Theatre in Ft. Myers, Fla. The production is being restaged at the Cultural Park Theatre in Cape Coral, Fla.

Through Jan. 23. The theater's artistic director, Bill Taylor, says, "Cultural Park Theatre Company is particularly proud to be able to bring a new play by one of America's up-and-coming authors to our audience." The League of Cincinnati Theatres is doing its part on behalf of the recent tsunami disaster in Asia: Look for donation boxes at participating theaters. Proceeds will be donated to UNICEF. ...

While our theater scene in Cincinnati is a good one, it doesn't mean that interesting things aren't happening elsewhere: For instance, in Indianapolis, their theater league will offer free tickets to teenagers, 13 to 19 years of age, to introduce them to the performing arts during the month of February. Four groups -- Indiana Repertory Theatre, Pike Performing Arts Center, the Indianapolis Civic Center and the Phoenix Theatre -- are participating. Indianapolis will also have its first fringe festival, called INDYFRINGE, in August. By that time, Cincinnati's second annual event (set for June 1-12) will have happened, and maybe some of those alternative acts will be seeking more audiences. There is a rather daunting application fee of $400 (the Cincinnati Fringe charges $25), but the Indianapolis organizers are quick to point out that performers keep 100 percent of their box office receipts (the Cincinnati organizers split the box office with their performers). For Indy info: www.indyfringe.com (and for Cincinnati news go to www.cincyfringe.com). ...

I wrote in December that CUTTINGS, a play by Cincinnatian Thom Atkinson which premiered in October 2003 at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, was performed by Theatre Conspiracy at Foulds Theatre in Ft. Myers, Fla. The production is being restaged at the Cultural Park Theatre in Cape Coral, Fla. Through Jan. 23. The theater's artistic director, Bill Taylor, says, "Cultural Park Theatre Company is particularly proud to be able to bring a new play by one of America's up-and-coming authors to our audience." I said it in December, and I'll say it again: A Cincinnati theater should pick up this script -- written for local professional actress Annie Fitzpatrick -- and give audiences another chance to see it. ...

Much ado was made over the final performances of 2004 Tony Award winner Idina Menzel in Wicked (she fell through a trap door and broke a rib on Jan. 8, the day before she was to leave the role). The rest of the story is the understudy who stepped in -- and who now has taken over the role -- is SHOSHANA BEAN, a 1999 graduate of the musical theater program at UC's College-Conservatory of Music. While a student she appeared in numerous shows, including The Hot Mikado and Babes in Arms, plus a memorable Hot Summer Nights production of Once On This Island.

MINI REVIEWS
KNOW THEATRE TRIBE's Streamers shows what happens when men are compressed into confined situations with war staring them in the face. The 1976 play is startlingly timeless: These listless, argumentative soldiers could be awaiting shipment to Iraq in 2005. The play is a violent tale of three young soldiers, one black, one white, one gay. An angry black soldier stirs up confrontations between the three, causing a violent and bloody denouement. Know's 50th production offers a potent cast, knowingly directed by Jason Bruffy who grabs your attention and won't let go. Streamers really works in Gabriel's Corner's constricted church basement, with the audience right on top of the action -- it's impossible to look away. (Rick Pender) Grade: A-

CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL is offering a Henry V (played by Brian Isaac Phillips) who is blunt of tongue, transparent of motive and uncomplicated as to personality. Robed and crowned for his throne room, he's a medieval Mr. Nice Guy; garbed for combat, however, he's furious, forceful and implacable -- thundering judgments, wreaking havoc and retribution. CSF offers this monarch as stalwart, heroic and arrow-purposed -- with intelligence but less complexity than the script's swift poetry. Thus simply shaped, the play rockets forward along its three-hour trajectory but remains too often a text without illuminating subtext, an exhibition without sufficient exploration -- shouts without echoes. (Tom McElfresh) Grade: B

 
 
 
 

 

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