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Curtain Call

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati 2.0

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Things ain’t what they used to be at Ensemble Theatre. A decade ago 1127 Vine St. in Over-the-Rhine was near ground zero for some of the city’s worst behavior — drug-dealing, shootings, arrests and police controversy. During the 2001 riots, artistic director D. Lynn Meyers and the cast of a show she was rehearsing had to be barricaded and locked into the theater for their own safety.   

Award Winners

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Cincinnati no longer has a theater awards program resembling the Tonys (nominees for the year’s best Broadway productions will be out soon), but that won’t stop me from naming my choices for the best shows so far.    

Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Reach into your wallet and pull out a $20 bill. Do you know anything about the dashing guy portrayed there? Andrew Jackson, a military hero, was our seventh president, serving from 1829 to 1837. But he was a rock star back in his day, a rabble-rouser.  

On the Theatrical Horizon

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Most CityBeat readers want to read about things to do right here and right now, so I don’t allocate many words to theater season announcements that show up this time of year. Keep your eye on citybeat.com, especially the arts blog, for up-to-the-minute information and recommendations.  

Sondheim All Over Cincinnati

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 28, 2012
If you pay attention to theater on a regular basis, you surely know Stephen Sondheim’s name. He’s has been esteemed as the greatest creator of musical theater for more than 50 years. When he turned 80 in 2010, there were celebrations across the United States and around the world. Cincinnati has been fertile terrain for his work.  

Connections and Disruptions

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 14, 2012
When I read Andrew Bovell’s play Speaking in Tongues, the current Shelterhouse production at the Cincinnati Playhouse (through March 4), I have to admit I was mystified as to what it would become on the stage.   

ETC Actor Excels With Solid Direction

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When you go to the theater, I suspect you focus on the actors. That’s as it should be, but it’s important to bear in mind that it’s the director who pulls a production together and evokes performances that add up to the larger whole.    

A Child of Two Lands

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Let’s answer the inevitable question about local roots: Playwright Theresa Rebeck grew up in Kenwood and graduated from Ursuline Academy. But she’s made her career as a writer for theater and television series like Brooklyn Bridge, LA Law, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and NYPD Blue.  

Twelve Intriguing Productions for ’12

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Have I got a show for you? Well, actually, I have a dozen that you should consider calling Cincinnati theater box offices right now so when the season is over you can smugly say, “Yeah, I caught that one — best thing all year!” I can’t tell you which one that will be, but I’ll narrow the field for you.   

To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

4 Comments · Wednesday, December 21, 2011
When I enter a theater for a performance, my enjoyment comes from the chance to escape the everyday world. I love to experience new perspectives and ideas. And once that’s over — as a fan or a theater critic — I look forward to telling others about what I’ve seen. But a new trend is giving me pause: tweeting during performances.  

Which Holiday Show Should You See?

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 7, 2011
People often ask me to recommend the best holiday show. I can’t do it. Everyone has different tastes. You need to think about what appeals to you and choose accordingly. Cincinnati theaters offer lots of options.   

Theaters Have Homes

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Cincinnati is blessed with a strong community theater scene. Several of these volunteer organizations have been around longer than any of our professional companies. We all appreciated the wonderful 50th anniversary season of the Cincinnati Playhouse in 2009-2010, but this year marks the 75th year that Mariemont Players has been in business, generally offering five or six productions annually.  

Is the Theater Really Dead?

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Paul Simon asked that question a long time ago in his 1966 song, “The Dangling Conversation.” I suspect it’s been answered simply by the fact that I can restate it almost a half-century later. But let’s ask what needs to be the next question: Why is theater still alive? The art form began thousands of years ago, so why does it still resonate? How about some current local examples?  

Good Vibrations at the Carnegie

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 26, 2011
When Andrew Carnegie mapped out plans for libraries across America — including one now serving as the Carnegie Center in Covington — he probably never envisioned one of them as a venue for a play about issues of love and sexuality in the 1880s. But that’s what’s happening at the Carnegie (Nov. 4-20) when Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play is presented.  

Ed Stern’s Roller-Coaster Ride

0 Comments · Tuesday, October 11, 2011
“I love theater,” says Ed Stern, producing artistic director at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for 20 seasons. He’s been responsible for more than 200 productions during his tenure, remarkably long for an arts leader. When he came to town in 1992, things were in disarray.