There are just a few days left for the
2013 Cincinnati Fringe, our annual celebration of weirdness and
creativity, produced by Know Theatre. It’s over on Saturday evening (the
final party is at 10:30 p.m. at the Jackson Street theater’s
Underground Bar), but there’s still time to catch several productions.
The League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT)
presented awards for the 2012-2013 theater season on May 20 at Know
Theatre, too late to report the results in this issue of CityBeat.
So I want to offer some thoughts and my own choices.
“If something is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing,” proclaims one of the spunky gals in the current iteration of The Marvelous Wonderettes
at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati this month. ETC apparently agrees, since
this is the fourth consecutive year it has staged one of Roger Bean’s
retro shows featuring music from the ’50s and ’60s.
New Edgecliff Theatre completes its 15th season with David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Proof
(onstage through Sunday at the Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Bank
Theater), a production providing ample evidence of NET’s strength...
Last weekend I traveled to Louisville,
Ky., for the 37th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors
Theatre. I’ve attended regularly since 1998 and thoroughly enjoyed
these doses of new, ambitiously conceived and professionally presented
Here are the ingredients: a couple of
Broadway and off-Broadway hits, three world premieres, a lavish Jane
Austen show, a classic musical by Kander and Ebb, an innovative drama
with tap dancing and video, plus holiday festivities...
Playwright Frank Higgins began his
writing career as a poet, so he pays careful attention to the way he
puts words together. After some time working at poetry, he felt that his
best pieces were stories about people.
This week marks the opening Actors
Theatre of Louisville’s 37th annual Humana Festival of New American
Plays. First up is Meredith McDonough’s The Delling Shore, about
two rival authors and their daughters, a work in which words become
You might know that Shakespeare’s Richard III focuses on one of his great villains. But among his 38 plays, there’s also Richard II.
You probably know almost nothing about this guy — a weak king, deposed
in 1399 — who died in captivity in 1400.
It’s time for mistletoe and holly, when
theaters entice folks in search of holiday cheer (and occasional
parodies thereof) to celebrate the season. Many theaters need December
ticket revenues to present shows onstage for the rest of the year.
When Oscar Wilde wrote The Importance of Being Earnest
back in 1895, he subtitled it “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.”
That’s an apt description for a show still produced with frequency 117
years later — and as funny as ever.
Collaboration is the byword for many
arts organizations today, especially theaters where financial support is
tough to obtain and ticket revenues are seldom enough to support the
cost of productions. By working together, economies can be achieved and,
in some cases, multiple constituencies can be activated.
When Know Theatre of Cincinnati was
launched in 1997, it was an itinerant theater company. In fact, it was
called the “Know Theatre Tribe” and its shows, touring productions and
readings directed by founder Jay Kalagayan, were presented at bookstores
and art galleries around town.
More often than not, I try to introduce CityBeat
readers to new plays and writers. We see quite a few such shows locally
thanks to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC), the Cincinnati Playhouse
and Know Theatre. In fact, looking at American Theatre’s list of
2012-2013’s “Top 10” most-produced plays, six have already been