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Curtain Call

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.   

In the Know

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Eric Vosmeier, artistic director at Know Theatre, the purveyor of Cincinnati’s annual Fringe Festival, keeps building on a concept of a community of artists as he maps the edgy theater’s future. Know began in 1997 as an itinerant company that moved from place to place; it parked for a while at Gabriel’s Corner, a church basement at Sycamore and Liberty, before moving to OTR’s Jackson Street location in 2006, recently brightened by a sprightly marquee garnished with neon.   

And the Award Goes to …

2 Comments · Wednesday, August 31, 2011
In my Sept. 1, 2010, column I recalled a plea I had made earlier in the year to create “a stronger, singular program,” and I described how this combined effort would lead to “a program with a promising future while combining the best features of each program under the Acclaim banner.” Well, as they say, not so fast.  

Read My Scripts

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 17, 2011
While you might think of a play or a musical as entertainment — which it is — there’s another dimension worth considering. They are also works of literature, words written on a page meant to be spoken or perhaps sung. The success or failure of a performed work often hinges on the quality of the words in a play’s script or a musical’s book.  

Park It Here

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Thanks to our own Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, productions of Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be coming to area parks during August and September. The latter play is a particular favorite since its setting is in a magical forest around Athens where lots of tomfoolery and mischief occurs, so it feels quite natural to watch it surrounded by trees and wildlife.  

Let’s Put on a Show

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 19, 2011
My teenaged and college summers were dominated by swimming pools (I was a lifeguard) and theater. I grew up in northeast Ohio where summer theater was easy to find. I’m put in mind of this every summer when I hear that Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre (CYPT) is mounting another production. With this summer’s Crazy for You (lots of tunes by George Gershwin from July 29 to August 7), CYPT marks its 30th year of involving area teens in theater.  

Remedying the Sound of One Hand Clapping

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The Acclaim Awards merged both the Cincinnati Enquirer's program of the same name and CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. The merger has had a rough life and after some turmoil changes are in the works.  

Who Needs Broadway?

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Tonys recognize only shows from Broadway. That’s just 40 theaters (many tied up with long, open-ended production runs), so there might be 30 or so new musicals or plays annually — not an extensive sampling of American theater and increasingly dictated by popular appeal (hence, “jukebox” shows using tunes we all know) or star vehicles (TV or movie actors whose names sell tickets).  

Fringe: Antidote to Uptight

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
You’ve been reading a lot about the current Cincinnati Fringe Festival in CityBeat for several weeks. Now’s my chance to sum up what I like about this crazy annual event, and why it’s more than just fun. It’s actually good for our city. It’s a creative shot in the arm. The artists who perform — about half from Cincinnati and half from elsewhere — get to exercise their creativity with few limitations.  

Theater’s Power to Unite and Heal

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I have a dramatic story for you, dramatic in every sense of the word — impressive and theatrical. It’s about a collaborative project involving drama students and a professor from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and others in Dadaab, Kenya, the site of the world’s largest refugee camp.