It takes a brave theater company to stage Carrie: The Musical. Since 1988 when it
lasted for just five nights on Broadway and lost its $8 million investment,
it’s been ridiculed nearly as much as its beleaguered central character.
The past decade’s zeitgeist in
Over-the-Rhine, especially on Main Street, has produced a slew of new
and engaging businesses aimed at fostering a renewed interest in local
goods and services catering to a burgeoning influx of young, creative
and energetic people.
Occasionally I like to discuss where
plays and musicals come from. We have two interesting examples locally
this month: a touring production of Ghost the Musical at the Aronoff and the Cincinnati Playhouse’s regional premiere of Fly, a historical drama presented with imaginative staging.
JR has been covering the world with his art — and Cincinnati is next. The 30-year-old French street artist has
pasted his monumental photographic-portrait posters in some unusual
places (and not always with official permission): on the sides of buses
in the African nation of Sierra Leone, on the rooftop of a Palestinian
building in the West Bank city of Nablus, along the old and weathered
city walls of Havana...
Bill Maher knows his niche. The king of
political comedy, Maher stops by Cincinnati for a stand-up show Sunday
just as his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, returns from
summer hiatus Friday. Busy with touring and hosting an Emmy-nominated
weekly talk show, he won’t be making another documentary like 2008’s Religulous anytime soon.
A recent trip to Los Angeles museums left
me exhilarated at the scale and imagination with which major
contemporary artists are using non-traditional materials. But the return here, followed by thinking
about past and upcoming shows and activities, had me wondering if our
younger artists have enough opportunities to ever make a similar impact
with their work.
When Dean Ambrose saunters down the stands of U.S. Bank Arena on Tuesday evening for a taping of WWE SmackDown
— WWE’s weekly program that airs Fridays on Syfy — he will do so under
profoundly different circumstances from a decade back.
Michael Evan Haney, an associate artist at the Cincinnati
ably directs Neil Bartlett adaptation of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens’ classic orphan tale. While it features several songs, it’s definitely not the jaunty 1960 musical Oliver!
Comic book conventions have exploded in
recent years (e.g., the monolithic San Diego Comic-Con) but they’ve also
lost touch with what a comic convention should be, forfeiting the
artistry of graphic novels to instead concentrate on a tumescent number
of celebrity guests.
As the season kicks off, it’s the perfect
moment for a few reminders about theater behavior. Attending a play
does not require dressing up or even being concerned about when to
applaud (that’s more complicated for symphony-goers). But it’s not the
same thing as watching TV at home. After all, you’re out in public, in
close proximity to other people who have paid to see live performers.
As home to Vessels: All the Eyes Can Hold, Kennedy Heights Arts Center is a vessel itself, brimming with nearly 100 works representing 57 artists. Co-curator Lynn Conaway saw to it that
this wouldn’t be a show of only stoneware pots, which is an easy place
to go when the theme is “vessels,” so she asked artists to think outside
Written with hip, smart and exquisitely brilliant prose, Marisha Pessl’s latest novel, Night Film,
is like a roller coaster ride through the haunted house at the wildest
amusement park ever built. It’s a spine-tingling journey covering
enormous territory as it delves into the deep recesses of the human