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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.  

Jonathan Miller's Dramatic Truth

Veteran British director helps Cincinnati Opera tackle 'La Boheme'

0 Comments · Sunday, July 18, 2010
Puccini's 'La Boheme' is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. The inspiration for 'Rent,' it's the perfect opera for first-timers, for date night, for anyone. And when the staging is by veteran British director Jonathan Miller, 'La Boheme' is a must-see, a Cincinnati Opera co-production with the English National Opera updated to Paris in the early 1930s with a cast of exciting young singers. Miller speaks with CityBeat about his insistence on hewing to the dramatic truth in opera productions.  

Cotton Patch Gospel (Review)

Showboat's 'cornpone congregation' blooms with fine voices

0 Comments · Thursday, July 15, 2010
'Cotton Patch Gospel' is based on a 1971 retelling of the Gospel of Matthew by Clarence Jordan, with music by singer-songwriter Harry Chapin written just before his death in a car accident in 1981. Excellent singing by the 10 cast members sustains the two-act revival meeting from start to finish with updated versions of familiar Bible parables. Joshua Steele shows off his fine voice and acting talents as Jesus, and Max Chernin is Matthew, the show's affable narrator.  

CPO Gets Around

Cincinnati Pops take on Beach Boys with hip conductor Matt Catingub

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Matt Catingub is a Jazz pianist/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/arranger whose résumé sports more bullet points than a third-world armory. His unconventional experience and approach make him a perfect fit for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra's presentation of 'Endless Summer: The Music of The Beach Boys' on Saturday.  

In the 'Know'

Public Radio host Michael Feldman takes 'Whad'Ya Know?' on the road for live broadcast at Aronoff Center

0 Comments · Monday, July 12, 2010
Michael Feldman first pitched 'Whad'Ya Know' to Wisconsin Public Radio in 1985, and the show went national the next year. It's now broadcast live on Saturday mornings from Madison, though some stations (like WVXU-FM) opt to run it at other times. Periodically the show hits the road, as it will this Saturday when Feldman and his crew do the program from the Aronoff Center downtown.  

Leave 'Em Wanting Moor

Acclaimed conductor Robert Spano leads Cincinnati Opera's production of 'Otello'

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Cincinnati Opera's 90th anniversary season roars back with 'Otello,' Verdi's brilliant setting of Shakespeare's tragedy of toxic doubt and jealousy. There's plenty of drama onstage, but look for an equally compelling performance from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by Robert Spano, one of the most acclaimed conductors in the business. Spano spoke with CityBeat about his Cincinnati Opera debut.  

Audio-Visual Equipment

Designer Andrea Sisson creates clothing you can play

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Andrea Sisson created four wearable musical instruments as her 2010 senior capstone for DAAP's fashion design program, and each was worn and exhibited at a recent "44" event at the Contemporary Arts Center. Sisson's goal is to physically connect the musician to his or her instrument in a way that allows for a more organic creative process.  

Supersize Me(istersinger)

Cincinnati Opera makes a huge production out of its 90th season opener

0 Comments · Monday, June 21, 2010
Richard Wagner's operas are hardly metaphors for fast food, but when it comes to the "ultra grande" menu nothing competes with his 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.' There might be no calories or saturated fats, but mounting a production of 'Meistersinger' can put a company at risk for cardiac arrest ... which it nearly did for Cincinnnati Opera.