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The Hyland Road

Cincinnati native Andre Hyland is ready for his comedy close-up

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 29, 2010
It’s perfect for the Cincinnati native/L.A. resident, an improvisational comic whose guerrilla style finds him inhabiting a broad range of fringe characters, disturbing the audience unaware of the joke and delighting the audience that is. It’s a fine wire to walk, and Andre Hyland traverses it with Wallenda-like agility  

The Understudy (Review)

Comedy about theater world packs the Shelterhouse with love and hate

0 Comments · Monday, September 27, 2010
Somewhere in playwright Theresa Rebeck's past there must have been a 420-too-friendly techie who smoked up the booth, a big-name hack who got the plum job and a lover who walked out without a word. Or maybe these professional disasters and personal heartbreaks, captured so hilariously and affectingly in the Cincinnati native's 'The Understudy,' are simply the products of Rebeck's rich imagination. Either way, the comedy has a ring of authenticity that anyone who's ever acted (onstage or in life) should appreciate.  

South Pacific (Review)

Broadway tunes and talent provide a very enchanted evening

0 Comments · Thursday, September 23, 2010
It might be premature to call the touring production of 'South Pacific' at the Aronoff Center the best you're going to see this season, but it's safe to say audiences won't be disappointed. The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is a reminder of why the show exemplifies the golden age of Broadway musicals. It's got the tunes and the talent.   

Singing With the World

China trip helps local vocal ensemble prepare for 2012 World Choir Games in Cincinnati

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 22, 2010
After Cincinnati nabbed the 2012 World Choir Games last June, It was only natural to turn to Dr. Catherine Roma, a passionate advocate for building community through choral singing. In March, she began recruiting singers from her choirs for SingCinnati. Singers had to have schedules flexible enough to fit in a demanding rehearsal schedule and nine days in China.  

High (Review)

Kathleen Turner offers blunt, hard-boiled star turn at the Playhouse

0 Comments · Friday, September 10, 2010
Sister Jamison Connelly (Kathleen Turner) is a blunt, hard-boiled nun with a past. She meets her match in Cory Randall (Evan Jonigkeit), a young drug addict so far gone it's hard to imagine his recovery. 'High' suggests that faith and redemption can confront troubling contemporary issues, but the outcome feels incomplete and contradictory.  

Collected Stories (Review)

Warner and Mohlenhoff shine in ETC's season-opener

0 Comments · Friday, September 10, 2010
Good theater can result from good stories, good writing, good acting or good directing. All are in evidence in Ensemble Theatre's 25th season opener, 'Collected Stories,' which was a Pulitzer finalist in 1997, was filmed for PBS in 2002 and had a Broadway revival earlier this year. ETC's production is its local premiere.  

The Kite Runner (Review)

Bestselling novel becomes a compelling play at Actors Theatre of Louisville

0 Comments · Thursday, September 9, 2010
Khaled Hosseini's debut novel, 'The Kite Runner,' spent more than five years on The New York Times bestseller list. Published in 42 languages and made into a 2007 movie, the story follows the life of a young Afghani from the mid-1970s until 2001 and has resonated with readers worldwide. It's now a play receiving its regional premiere this month at Actors Theatre of Louisville in a co-production with the Cleveland Playhouse, where it will transfer in October.  

Love's Labour's Lost (Review)

Seasongood Pavilion is open (air) for love

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 7, 2010
A production of 'Love's Labour's Lost' by Cincinnati Outdoor Classics on a temperate Saturday afternoon held out such a promise. This youthful play is perfect for college students (the company is an outgrowth of the drama program at UC's College-Conservatory of Music) because it's about young love and naive vows, plus a lot of tomfoolery. The energy of this company is evident, but the challenges of performing in the open air are tough.  

Much Ado About Nothing (Review)

More than love is needed in Cincy Shakes' season-opener

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 7, 2010
There are two unlikely pairings in Cincinnati Shakespeare's 1960s-flavored 'Much Ado About Nothing.' First is the romance between Beatrice and Benedick, competing wits whose friends trick them into realizing they're perfect for each other. Still more audacious is director Drew Fracher's attempt to marry this well-mannered comedy with the acid-tinged, free-love vibe of a hippie commune.  

Fall Arts Preview: Live Theater

Season begins on a 'high' note at the Playhouse

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
September marks the beginning of Greater Cincinnati's 2010-11 theater season. Check it out: Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre, Cincinnati Shakespeare, Know Theatre, Human Race Theatre Company, Broadway Across America, the Covedale Center, CCM, Falcon Theater, NKU, the Footlighters and Cincinnati Musical Theatre are offering up a huge array of live theater this fall.  

Big River (Review)

Flowing right off the Carnegie's stage

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The 2010-11 theater season has barely started, but it's off to a rollicking start with a lively, inventive and polished production of 'Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' at Covington's Carnegie Center. That's no small achievement: The Carnegie's Otto M. Budig Theatre is a lovingly restored venue, but it's not an easy place to stage a musical: shallow stage, no real orchestra pit and limited sight lines.  

Who Taught 'Em?

Aubrey Berg has trained Broadway stars at CCM for 23 years

1 Comment · Tuesday, August 24, 2010
When Aubrey Berg goes to Broadway, he has a hard time forgetting his day job. That's actually a point of pride for the professor and department head at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music. Berg, who has taught at UC for 23 of the program's 40 years, has been honored by the League of Cincinnati Theatres with its 2010 Continuing Achievement Award and will be inducted into the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Hall of Fame Sunday.  

The Nerd (Review)

Showboat Majestic scores with a show of genuine hilarity

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Most theatergoers don't want to see anything too challenging in the summertime. If you're looking for that kind of amusement, you'll find it aboard the Showboat through Aug. 22. Larry Shue's 'The Nerd' offers twists and turns that will turn you upside down once or twice before the evening is over ... with some genuine laughter along the way.  

Shakespeare in the Park (Review)

Shakespeare in the open air offers unique experiences

1 Comment · Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is offering two productions this summer ('Hamlet' and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream') that can be enjoyed at city parks and other such areas in Northern Kentucky and Hamilton County. I headed to East Price Hill July 28 for the opening night of 'Hamlet' at Mount Echo Park, one of the many great facilities maintained by the city of Cincinnati's Parks Department.  

Blithe Spirit (Review)

Annie Fitzpatrick's loony psychic tops off a summer treat at Cincy Shakespeare

0 Comments · Monday, July 19, 2010
For several summers, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has offered shows of witty, classical fluff when most companies are on a seasonal break. This month Noel Coward's comedic ghost story 'Blithe Spirit' fills the bill nicely, featuring six CSC veteran performers as well as Annie Fitzpatrick, who provides a great dollop of loony frosting on a very tasty summer dessert.