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Curtain Call
 

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.  

Line of Inquiry

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Michele Lowe asks a lot of questions: Why would a man claim his fictional Holocaust memoir was true? Why would a writer say she was a member of the Crips gang when she was really from suburban Los Angeles? Why would Bernard Madoff fleece people and charities of billions of dollars while posing as someone who was helping them with their investments?  

Low Dough Shows

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I keep reading that the tight economy is loosening, but those unemployment figures continue to creep upward and I’m sure there are people out there who would like to attend theater but feel they can’t afford it. So let me spread the word that there are ways to get a theater fix without maxing out your credit card.  

So Many Choices: The CEA Balancing Act

0 Comments · Monday, August 31, 2009
One hundred people and productions were nominated for the 2009 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards in theater, which were bestowed Aug. 30 at Below Zero Lounge before a big, happy, socializing crowd. Let's say that again: 100 nominations. No single company dominated the 13th annual CEAs, as 11 different organizations received awards for work on 15 separate productions. In the big categories voted by critics, the Cincinnati Playhouse's production of the powerful 'Blackbird,' directed by Michael Evan Haney (pictured), was the year's outstanding drama. New Stage Collective's final production, the bittersweet Sondheim musical 'A Little Night Music,' was named outstanding musical.  

Lots of Winners in Local Theater World

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) for theater, set to be handed out Aug. 30, led me to wonder if our theater scene compares favorably with other cities. Would this year's 100 CEA nominees compete with performers and productions elsewhere? Those are subjective judgments, to be sure, but simply counting productions of important plays we match up reasonably well.   

CEA-Accredited Shows on Tap

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Voting closed on Aug. 3 for the 13th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) recognizing outstanding performances and productions from the 2008-09 theater season. The awards will be presented at Below Zero Lounge in Over-the-Rhine on Aug. 30. The event is open to the public and free, a big party (cash bar) attended by local theater performers, directors, designers and fans celebrating the work of 100 nominees. Here's an early bird alert: Several CEA-nominated actors are returning to local stages this fall.  

Jersey's in the Know

2 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Elsewhere on this site, you can read my review of Jersey Productions' 'Oklahoma!', which represents more than the opening of Jersey's fourth season. It's part of an innovative arrangement with Know Theatre. The two companies are moving forward with complimentary programs and strengthening one another at the same time. That's good news for everyone who cares about live theater in Greater Cincinnati.  

CEAs: 100 Reasons to Celebrate Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Starting this week you can vote for the 2009 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for theater. The CEAs, established by CityBeat in 1996, use public voting for a dozen categories and a poll of critics for the remaining eight, covering productions and technical aspects better judged by people who see a lot of theater. Five nominees are selected for 20 categories by a panel of local critics. (This year's choices were made by seven critics who write for four different media outlets: CityBeat, TalkinBroadway.com, The Hamilton Journal-News and Aeqai, an arts Web site.)  

Power to the People

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 24, 2009
If you're reading this column, I wonder if you've ever been moved to do more than simply enjoy theatrical performances. A good place to give it a try is with a community theater, where volunteers put on shows because they enjoy the art and the camaraderie surrounding their efforts. In Greater Cincinnati, the Association of Community Theatres has been around since 1955. It encompasses 20 groups, a lot for a city our size.  

Building a Community from the Fringe Festival

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The 2009 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wrapped up on June 6 with approximately 200 people jammed into Know Theatre's bar space, the Underground. It was a festive finale to the sixth annual event's successful 12-day run. Two days before the Fringe was over, the festival’s ticket goal was met; final attendance was approximately 6,600, spurred by a 140 percent increase in pass sales over 2008.   

Recruiting, Inspiring, Motivating

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Jay Kalagayan’s departure from Know Theatre, the company he founded in 1997, surprised a lot of people. He evolved from founder to actor, writer, artistic director, executive director and development director. I wondered if perhaps he simply ran out of roles to play. In reality, he’s evolved: He married Jan in 2006 and they now have a daughter. Kalagayan, who came to Cincinnati from Virginia to attend Xavier University, launched what was first called the “Know Theatre Tribe” to create a kind of family locally.  

What I Learned in Sarasota

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sometimes it's good to go away to get a little perspective. Two weeks ago, I attended the annual conference of the American Theatre Critics Association in Sarasota, Fla., a city that was new to me. I'll go back another time for theater in particular and arts and culture in general. A dark thread ran through this conference, since many ATCA members are victims of a sea change in journalism that's diminishing arts coverage by newspapers.