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Curtain Call
 

Springtime Avalanche of Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Actors and stages and shows ... oh, my! April has offered Cincinnatians several unparalleled weeks of "We're off to see the theater." No matter which yellow brick road you followed, it likely led to a stage with an excellent production. Let me recap...  

David Bar Katz and the Truth of 'Invulnerability'

1 Comment · Monday, April 12, 2010
David Bar Katz probably has more in common with Jerry Siegel than with Superman, but he's put them onstage together in his world premiere play 'The History of Invulnerability' at the Cincinnati Playhouse. "They interact with one another," Bar Katz explains. "Superman represents his unconscious provoking him."  

Angels in Cincinnati ... Finally

1 Comment · Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Given the acclaim behind 'Angels in America' and Tony Kushner's continuing reputation as one of our nation's great (if controversial) playwrights, you'd think an ambitious professional theater company in Cincinnati would have staged the work before 2010. But we've only had 'Angels' onstage at CCM and at Falcon Theatre in Newport. Finally, Know Theatre of Cincinnati opens 'Part I: Millennium Approaches' this weekend, while 'Part II: Perestroika' will be added to the run on April 23.  

Springing Forward With the Stars

0 Comments · Monday, March 15, 2010
As Daylight Savings Time arrived last Sunday, local theaters began to turn the spotlight to their 2010-11 seasons. News is seeping out regarding what we'll see in the year ahead, and I want to share some newsworthy details about the Cincinnati Playhouse, Broadway Across America and Cincinnati Shakespeare Co.  

Planting a New Play, Watching It Grow

0 Comments · Monday, March 1, 2010
Pop quiz: After William Shakespeare, who’s the most frequently produced playwright in Cincinnati? How about Steven Dietz? By my estimate, Cincinnatians have seen 10 of his shows over the past few years. His recent play 'Becky's New Car' opens March 10 at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, the fifth of his works to be staged at the Over-the-Rhine theater.  

The Horizon of Playwriting

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Two weeks ago I wrote that theater critics are not a bunch of nitpicking naysayers. I want to offer further evidence this week, pointing out that critics often bring attention to new works by playwrights. There’s not much money to be made from writing plays; some writers chase TV and film opportunities. But many return when they can to their first love, the stage, to see their words come to life before an audience.  

Situation: Critical

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I know more critics who love theater than who live to spew out negativity. In fact, I've often said it seems nonsensical (if not masochistic) to carve out a career as a critic if you hate the theater and never enjoy the experience. Why subject yourself to night after night of torture if you really find actors or directors incompetent or self-serving?  

Batting a Thousand

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Terry Teachout writes for The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this month he wrote about "America's Favorite Plays," listing the plays most often produced in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010. Cincinnati audiences are lucky: We saw all 11 plays on Teachout's list thanks to the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.  

A Youthful Perspective

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The new year often prompts thoughts of new beginnings, perhaps leading to a resolution or two. As I thought about my first column of 2010, it occurred to me that such beginnings could be focused on introducing young people to the theater for the first time.  

Magnificent Gifts

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Cincinnati’s Classical music community was stunned and blessed by a remarkable gift announced on Dec. 10. Louise Dieterle Nippert, a long-time (although low-profile) supporter of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Opera, established an $85 million fund that will sustain those two organizations and Cincinnati Ballet for years to come.  

Holiday Planning

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It’s the time of year when people ask me which holiday production they should see. I usually throw that back to them, asking what they’re looking for. If it’s traditional holiday entertainment, there’s nothing better than the Cincinnati Playhouse’s A Christmas Carol, a production I’ve seen annually for 18 years.  

How Did You Get Here?

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 24, 2009
During last weekend's event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the music theater program at UC's College-Conservatory of Music, 1993 grad Scott Coulter paid tribute to CCM's musical theater chair Aubrey Berg and remarked how important it is to go "back and back and back" to see how each of us came to be at this particular concert and this particular place and moment in time. His advice took me back to when I was 8 years old and my grandfather, Arthur Pender, took me to see the musical 'Brigadoon.'  

CCM Is Broadway's Farm Team

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music is one of the best musical theater training programs at any American university. The program was established slightly more than four decades ago, and its graduates have been lighting up Broadway ever since. Most recently, grad Karen Olivo picked up a 2009 Tony as Anita in the Broadway revival of 'West Side Story.'   

Sisters and Stories

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 28, 2009
When the Cincinnati Playhouse's Ed Stern described his 50th anniversary season last spring, he was especially excited about a new version of Anton Chekhov's 'Three Sisters,' a 1905 play about three siblings who yearn for the life they once enjoyed in Moscow but now find themselves trapped in a cultural backwater. Stern and veteran Broadway director John Doyle talk about the Playhouse production.  

Stacking Up

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In case you’re keeping track, the most produced play in the United States this season is Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Boom, presently in its regional premiere at Know Theatre of Cincinnati. According to American Theatre magazine, nine productions of the absurdist comedy are scheduled this season. The list excludes works by Shakespeare and holiday-themed shows.