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Madisonville Community Arts Center

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · May 11th, 2005 · Curtain Call
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Natalie Toro was
Natalie Toro was "ducky" at the Playhouse in 1999; now she's Eva Peron.



By rick Pender

I've had a glimpse of the future: On April 28, I took a tour of the one-time Madisonville Recreation Center, which is on its way to becoming the MADISONVILLE COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER. Located at 3557 Vista Ave., just off of Whetsel Ave., the three-story building has been leased for $1 a year by the city of Cincinnati to an ambitious group of community theater advocates who envision converting it into an art gallery, theater and rehearsal space. Dan Dermody, Dee Anne Bryll and Ed Cohen have chartered a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and they're working hard to raise money to renovate the building which had fallen out of use. The city has provided a $75,000 capital improvement grant, and MCAC is seeking additional funds so renovation can begin in June. The plan is to open for performances in January 2006. Keven Speece and GBBN Architects are donating time and services to the project, and plan to implement "green architecture," which keeps waste to a minimum and maximizes savings by using environmentally friendly materials in the renovation and recycling many of the existing materials in the building. One of the most unusual dimensions of the building will be the fact that the theater will charge no rental fees for performing groups. Instead, box-office receipts will be split, with 30 percent going to MCAC. If you'd like to contribute to the cause -- about another $30,000 is really needed to get things off the ground -- or get involved in this innovative merger of arts and community, connect with the organizers via www.madisonvillearts.org.

It's great when communities get involved in arts projects, and that's not only happening in Madisonville. By rick Pender

I've had a glimpse of the future: On April 28, I took a tour of the one-time Madisonville Recreation Center, which is on its way to becoming the MADISONVILLE COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER. Located at 3557 Vista Ave., just off of Whetsel Ave., the three-story building has been leased for $1 a year by the city of Cincinnati to an ambitious group of community theater advocates who envision converting it into an art gallery, theater and rehearsal space. Dan Dermody, Dee Anne Bryll and Ed Cohen have chartered a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and they're working hard to raise money to renovate the building which had fallen out of use. The city has provided a $75,000 capital improvement grant, and MCAC is seeking additional funds so renovation can begin in June. The plan is to open for performances in January 2006. Keven Speece and GBBN Architects are donating time and services to the project, and plan to implement "green architecture," which keeps waste to a minimum and maximizes savings by using environmentally friendly materials in the renovation and recycling many of the existing materials in the building. One of the most unusual dimensions of the building will be the fact that the theater will charge no rental fees for performing groups. Instead, box-office receipts will be split, with 30 percent going to MCAC. If you'd like to contribute to the cause -- about another $30,000 is really needed to get things off the ground -- or get involved in this innovative merger of arts and community, connect with the organizers via www.madisonvillearts.org. ...

It's great when communities get involved in arts projects, and that's not only happening in Madisonville. In Glendale, the village's sesquicentennial celebration will be marked with a musical drama this week, THE REBELS ARE COMING! Performed on the Harry Whiting Brown Community House grounds (at Willow and Sharon avenues), the piece will use original music and traditional songs from the Civil War era to dramatize Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's raid in Glendale in July 1863 when he stole horses and alarmed the local citizenry. The script was written by Lester Horwitz, based on his book, The Longest Raid of the Civil War. The production involves more than 80 people in the cast and twice as many behind the scenes; all are residents of Glendale. Performances are Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under. Info: 513-772-4893. ...

If you're a musical theater fan, you should get a couple of tickets for this weekend's concert performance of EVITA by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Two Broadway veterans will play key roles: NATALIE TORO, will re-create Eva Peron, a role she toured in (including a stop at the Aronoff on tour in 2000; she also starred in Everything's Ducky at the Playhouse back in 1999); and JOHN HERERRA is Che Guevara. He was nominated for a Tony Award in The Mystery of Edwin Drood back in 1985. The stage director for the production is veteran TERRY LABOLT; KSO's music director JAMES CASSIDY will conduct. Tickets: 859-431-6216.

MINI REVIEW
From the moment the lights go down and a sharp drumbeat commences, there's no doubt that Crowns will grab the attention of audiences at the CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE. The show, based on photos of African-American women and their church hats weaves a tapestry of tales as five strong women spell out their lives and experiences for a young woman from Brooklyn with her own set of attitudes. The hats they wear symbolize achievement and, ultimately, salvation: "We are queens, and these are our crowns." This swift, joyous show offers 100 minutes of entertainment and glorious singing. From the "Hat Queen Rules" to a tale about buying a hat in a once whites-only department store, you'll be drawn in. (Rick Pender) Grade: A

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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