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Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · March 9th, 2005 · Curtain Call
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Veteran actor Nick Rose will help the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, which he co-founded, kick off its 12th season with the classic, Our Town.
Veteran actor Nick Rose will help the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, which he co-founded, kick off its 12th season with the classic, Our Town.



This time of year local theaters start to tell us what they'll put onstage next season, and my colleagues at the daily papers start fussing over who gets to make the announcements first -- one of the sillier debates in local journalism. At a special event on March 5 (which, of course, gave the morning paper the edge in this titanic struggle), the CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL (CSF) described seven shows -- three 20th-century classics and four by the Bard -- that will make up its 12th season: Thornton Wilder's Our Town (Sept. 8-Oct. 9) featuring founder Nick Rose; Titus Andronicus (Oct. 27-Nov. 13), returning another founder, CEA winner Marni Penning, to the stage; a witty comedy for the holidays, Noel Coward's Private Lives (Dec. 1-23); Antony & Cleopatra (Jan. 12-29, 2006); Julius Caesar (Feb. 16-March 12, 2006); Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (March 30-April 23, 2006); and Richard III (May 4-28, 2006). Another CSF favorite, Giles Davies will portray the classic villain, in addition to the assassin Cassius in Julius Caesar. Before the season, CSF will offer a 2005 summer production of The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) July 21-Aug. 7). CSF will also tour a concise production of Macbeth to local schools. Info: www.cincyshakes.com.

Speaking of Compleat Works, the production by the Reduced Shakespeare Co. (the guys who created the original) that's been running in London for nine years will close in early April.

I suspect the humor's gotten a little threadbare.

Every two years the theater program at NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY does something a bit unusual: They select and stage three world premiere plays. This time of year local theaters start to tell us what they'll put onstage next season, and my colleagues at the daily papers start fussing over who gets to make the announcements first -- one of the sillier debates in local journalism. At a special event on March 5 (which, of course, gave the morning paper the edge in this titanic struggle), the CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL (CSF) described seven shows -- three 20th-century classics and four by the Bard -- that will make up its 12th season: Thornton Wilder's Our Town (Sept. 8-Oct. 9) featuring founder Nick Rose; Titus Andronicus (Oct. 27-Nov. 13), returning another founder, CEA winner Marni Penning, to the stage; a witty comedy for the holidays, Noel Coward's Private Lives (Dec. 1-23); Antony & Cleopatra (Jan. 12-29, 2006); Julius Caesar (Feb. 16-March 12, 2006); Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (March 30-April 23, 2006); and Richard III (May 4-28, 2006). Another CSF favorite, Giles Davies will portray the classic villain, in addition to the assassin Cassius in Julius Caesar. Before the season, CSF will offer a 2005 summer production of The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) July 21-Aug. 7). CSF will also tour a concise production of Macbeth to local schools. Info: www.cincyshakes.com. ...

Speaking of Compleat Works, the production by the Reduced Shakespeare Co. (the guys who created the original) that's been running in London for nine years will close in early April. I suspect the humor's gotten a little threadbare. ...

Every two years the theater program at NORTHERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY does something a bit unusual: They select and stage three world premiere plays. They've recently announced the selections for the 12th biennial YES FESTIVAL (that's an acronym for "Year End Series"), which will run in repertory, April 14-24. The plays selected are Alissa Through the Glass and into Terezin by David Eliet, set in a Nazi concentration camp; Wild Women of Planet Wongo by Ben Budick, Steve Mackes and Dave Ogrin, a musical that takes a jab at sci-fi films from the 1950s (it was a finalist for the 2003 Richard Rodgers Award, and another of the team's works, Hell Hole Honeys, was presented last summer at the prestigious O'Neill Music Theatre Conference in Connecticut); and Night Sleep and the Dreams of Lovers by David Brendan Hopes, which explores the fine line between genius and madness. For performance details, go to www.nku.edu/~theatre. ...

If you can't wait until April for new works, then Tuesday at 7 p.m. is your best option, when the CINCINNATI PLAYWRIGHTS INITIATIVE presents three new one-act plays at the Aronoff Center's Fifth Third Bank Theater. The works, all by Cincinnati writers, are Renee Alper's Trust, Roger Brookfield's Interview and Phil Paradis's Where There's Smoke. A steal at $5 for all three pieces. Info: www.cinciplaywrights.org. ...

In the past 50 years, only 18 plays have won both the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. They include Death of a Salesman (1949), Angels in America (1993), the musical Rent (1996) and Proof (2001). The most recent dual winner, Doug Wright's I AM MY OWN WIFE (2004) is getting its first staging outside of New York City right here in River City by ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI. Read Tom McElfresh's review (page 44) and then get in line for tickets soon or you'll miss it. Running through March 20. ...

If musical comedy is your thing, perhaps you've heard of the historic MASK & WIG CLUB from the University of Pennsylvania, a group founded in 1889. Their current incarnation is touring a satirical review -- Birth of a Notion: Karl Seconds that Emotion -- that pokes fun at politics, foreign policy and social changes facing the U.S. It's offering performances in Cincinnati on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.) at Wyoming's Pendery Center. Info: www.maskandwig.com then click on "Tour."

 
 
 
 

 

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