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Dreaming of Dreamgirls

Broadway in Cincinnati offers a major shot of glam

0 Comments · Thursday, June 3, 2010
In a summer season that's pretty sparse on theater, Broadway in Cincinnati is offering a major shot of glam starting on June 8 when 'Dreamgirls' sashays into town. Maybe you saw the big-screen version in 2006 (Jennifer Hudson won an Academy Award as big-voiced Effie White), but the show actually got its start on Broadway in 1981.  

Fringe Binge

Fringe Festival again offers loads of 'explosive and experimental' entertainment

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 26, 2010
It's time again for the annual Cincy Fringe Festival, a 12-day celebration of theater, art, music, film and more. The seventh annual Fringe, again organized by Know Theatre of Cincinnati, offers 30 productions in multiple venues through June 12.  

The Fantasticks (Review)

Playhouse wraps up 50th anniversary season with 50-year-old classic musical

0 Comments · Sunday, May 23, 2010
There are several obvious reasons why Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is wrapping up its 50th anniversary season with 'The Fantasticks.' For one, the long-running musical began its onstage life the same year the Playhouse first presented plays in a Cincinnati Parks shelter house in Mount Adams. The show's staying power is amply displayed by the current charming production, staged by Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern.  

The Wedding Singer (Review)

Footlighters present believable, everyday young people who fall in love with a bit of misadventure along the way

0 Comments · Saturday, May 15, 2010
A lot of this production's likability is rooted in director Mark Femia's big, enthusiastic cast, a majority of them students from the theater program at Northern Kentucky University. Robbie (Ryan Shealy) and Julia (Monica Tenhover) are engaged to people they don't belong with and they come to see one another as better choices. (The 1998 film was one of Adam Sandler's first, with Drew Barrymore playing the sweetly innocent Julia.)   

Legally Blonde: The Musical (Review)

Omigod, touring show entertains via stereotypes

0 Comments · Friday, May 14, 2010
A lot of people enjoy the type of humorous storytelling found in this chick-flick sitcom of a musical. Although I'm not among them, I won't deny them their preferred entertainment. The energetic cast is led by the bubbly Becky Gulsvig, playing "Omigod" Elle Woods, the sorority girl/cheerleader originated by Reese Witherspoon in the 2001 film and its 2003 sequel.  

You Can't Take It With You (Review)

Showboat cast works too hard at being silly

2 Comments · Friday, May 14, 2010
The moral of the 1936 comedy 'You Can't Take It With You' is pretty simple: Don't work too hard, and life is for living. Paint, write, manufacture illegal fireworks in the basement — do whatever makes you happy. Not all the actors on the Showboat Majestic, however, embrace this message.  

Curtains (Review)

Cincinnati Music Theatre production knocks 'em dead

2 Comments · Tuesday, May 11, 2010
'Curtains,' the final show created by the team of John Kander and Fred Ebb (who also wrote 'Cabaret' and 'Chicago' among other great musicals) is getting its regional premiere by Cincinnati Music Theatre, one of our city's best community theaters, predictable in its high quality with regular productions at the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theatre. The entertaining show has a happy ending, and you'll still be laughing all the way home.  

Ain't Misbehavin' (Review)

Playhouse 'misbehaves' with too much motion and too little music

0 Comments · Monday, May 10, 2010
While watching the opening night of 'Ain't Misbehavin' at the Cincinnati Playhouse, I kept wondering, "How could so much of the Fats Waller revue seem so perfunctory, mechanical and tired of itself?" As the show barreled along, there was no end to the energy — or was it frenzy? And there was no shortage of style — or was it shtick?   

National Observer

Legendary comic David Brenner is a pioneer of observational humor

0 Comments · Monday, May 10, 2010
One of the first to embrace so-called "observational" humor in the '70s, David Brenner's quick wit spawned a legion of like-minded comics. A fixture on TV ever since, he holds the record for the most talk show appearances in the history of that medium. "If I go over to the cashier (at a restaurant) and say, 'I've been on television talk shows more than any other entertainer in the history of television,' she would say 'That'll be $32.14,'" he says with a laugh. "That's what it comes down to."  

The Soprano

Local opera singer Kara Shay Thomson makes a few debuts at May Festival

0 Comments · Monday, May 10, 2010
When locally based soprano Kara Shay Thomson takes the stage during the 2010 May Festival, she'll be notching a number of significant firsts. Most importantly, she'll make her May Festival debut, which will also mark her first opportunity to work with Maestro James Conlon.  

The Eyes of Oedipus (Review)

Know Theatre offers new take on classic script

0 Comments · Friday, May 7, 2010
There aren't many stories that have been around longer than the tragedy of Oedipus, a man who tried to escape fate but ran directly into it, and it's fascinated and horrified audiences for millennia. A new version has been created by actress and writer Alison Vodnoy, a drama grad of UC's College-Conservatory of Music now working regularly at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, where her script is onstage for several performances through May 16.   

Wagner Blues

Despite cancellations by key players, Cincy Opera's 90th season debut is on track

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 5, 2010
April has been the cruelest month as far as Cincinnati Opera is concerned. Within a two-week span, the highly anticipated production of Richard Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg' lost three of its star performers, mostly for health reasons, and Artistic Director Evans Mirageas was stuck in London when volcanic ash grounded his flights. But pinch hitters are stepping up.  

Angelic Doubleheader

Know Theatre offers a daylong immersion in 'Angels in America'

0 Comments · Monday, May 3, 2010
Considering Know Theatre of Cincinnati's 10-year track record of bold moves and departures, their doubleheader staging of Tony Kushner's 'Angels in America: Millennium Approaches' and 'Angels in America: Perestroika' should come as no surprise. Nor should it come as any surprise that Know would offer theater addicts — yes, I confess to being among them — several opportunities to immerse in the entire six-plus hours of both 'Angels' on a single day.  

Cirque du Soleil: Alegria (Review)

Touring Cirque show is an acrobatic dreamscape

1 Comment · Friday, April 30, 2010
The 16-year-old touring show presently performing at NKU's Bank of Kentucky Center is polished and professional yet presented with affecting naiveté. It captures the essence of why Cirque du Soleil has become a worldwide brand, offering an opportunity to enter an alternate universe, a place skillfully and imaginatively conceived that resembles a dream more than waking reality.  

Angels in America: Perestroika (Review)

Know Theatre completes its 'Angels' repertory with a powerful Part II

0 Comments · Sunday, April 25, 2010
Know Theatre of Cincinnati's staging of Tony Kushner's monumental '90s icon 'Angels in America' continues with 'Part II: Perestroika.' Let me simply say that if you miss this show you'll kick yourself. It's a showcase of excellent Cincinnati actors doing one of the most important plays of the past 25 years.