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Cinderella (Review)

ETC offers a smart holiday production

0 Comments · Monday, December 6, 2010
Brains trump beauty in 'Cinderella,' now playing at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, where every December another familiar fairy tale gets a fun musical makeover. This year's installment features a philosophy-loving heroine (exceptional homegrown talent Brooke Rucidlo) in local playwright Joe McDonough's clever script.  

A Wrinkle in Time (Review)

Know's holiday show needs to iron out a few wrinkles

0 Comments · Monday, November 29, 2010
Earlier this year John Glore's adaptation of 'A Wrinkle in Time' premiered at South Coast Rep, one of America's most respected theaters for new plays. The 1962 novel about precocious kids has been popular for a long time (especially with, well, precocious kids), so there's a built-in audience. That's certainly why Know Theatre is staging it for the 2010 holidays.  

The Merry Wives of Windsor (Review)

Cincy Shakes' 'Wives' are merry, but the humor is overstuffed

0 Comments · Monday, November 29, 2010
The popularity of Sir John Falstaff, the portly jokester in Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' plays, led to a sequel. 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' today would have been dubbed 'Falstaff II.' And like most sequels, the original idea wears thin. Falstaff is funny, but his coarse, self-aggrandizing behavior is one-dimensional. That's part of why Cincinnati Shakespeare's holiday show grows a bit wearisome.  

God Bless Us, Everyone

Holiday shows offer some sweets and some sass

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The holidays offer a perfect time to go to the theater with local productions for theater fans from wide-eyed kids to old cynics. Some shows are familiar, like a visit with old friends, while others spruce up an old story with some new garland — and perhaps a sprig of twisted sass. Here's a rundown on eight locally staged holiday recommendations.  

Young Frankenstein (Review)

Broadway musical comedy is only barely back to life

0 Comments · Thursday, November 18, 2010
Make no mistake about it: Mel Brooks is a dirty old man. And since his very funny film 'Young Frankenstein' he's gotten ever dirtier and older. What was raunchy but amusing in 1974 is simply repeated louder and cruder in this 2007 Broadway version, currently spending two weeks at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.  

Carlisle Floyd's Iconic Composer Exposure

CCM students get a chance to work with a true American opera legend

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When CCM staged Carlisle Floyd's opera 'Of Mice and Men' last May, the composer was on hand for opening night. He was so impressed that when opera department head Robin Guarino asked him to return to work with students he immediately accepted. Floyd has been coaching CCM students since Nov. 10, culminating in a public performance of excerpts from his operas Wednesday.  

The Music Man (Review)

Cincinnati Music Theatre show has esprit de corps

0 Comments · Monday, November 15, 2010
Team spirit is what Professor Harold Hill is really selling to the people of River City, Iowa. And 'The Music Man,' now at the Aronoff's Jarson-Kaplan Theater thanks to Cincinnati Music Theatre, has more esprit de corps in its piccolo-playing pinkie fingers than you might find in the entire bodies of a real brass band.   

Second City Does Cincinnati: Pride and Porkopolis (Review)

Cincinnati gets teased and satirized by entertaining Playhouse show

1 Comment · Saturday, November 13, 2010
If it's laughter you're seeking for the holidays, you'll find plenty at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the new comedy revue from the legendary Chicago-based Second City improv company. It's full of our familiar foibles as well as a cast of local crackpots and characters. Never has it been so much fun to be teased.   

Aggravated Assault

Doug Stanhope's abrasive approach has made him an underground comedy favorite

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 3, 2010
"If I accidentally find myself in a good mood before a show, it's scary, and it's detrimental," Doug Stanhope says. "I go, 'Everything sucks, remember that! Stop smiling; you'll ruin the show!'" But Stanhope has a lot to smile about. He's a huge draw not only in America but the U.K.; apparently anger and annoyance are universal.  

Unnecessary Farce (Review)

Covedale offers a batty, delightful walk through covert ops

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Although I've not encountered any other kind, 'Unnecessary Farce' by Paul Slade Smith is, well, an unnecessary farce. No one needs to see a crop of oddballs sprinting about a stage (frequently sans pants) opening one door, slamming another, lobbing double-entendres out to the house before the curtain finally extinguishes the frenzy.   

The Rocky Horror Show (Review)

NKU production of campy musical never quite lifts off

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Midway through 'The Rocky Horror Show,' the title character says, "I feel that all is not well here. ... I have a feeling of foreboding." Rocky is assessing his situation with the sweetly naive Janet, not critiquing the production in which they're performing at Northern Kentucky University. But his observation applies.  

Rock of Ages (Review)

Broadway rock musical is a total freaking blast

2 Comments · Thursday, October 28, 2010
Hey, party people, get on down to the Aronoff Center for the touring production of 'Rock of Ages,' which is closer to being a Rock concert than a theatrical piece. It blasts from two decades back and is outfitted with leather, sequins, boots, big hair and thrashing guitars. There's lots of skin and inappropriate language, and it's a total freaking blast.  

Evil Dead: The Musical (Review)

Falcon Theater offers a side-splitting parody perfect for Halloween

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Guess this genre. Five attractive college students take off to a remote cabin in the woods, dead set on a five-day sex-and-booze bender. Said cabin is abandoned, spooky and also happens to be the last known location of the 'Book of the Dead,' a breezy beach read bound with human skin and inked in human blood. It's not on Oprah's list, but it does open a gate to Hell when read aloud.  

Walking on A.I.R.

Violist ecstatic over being named Taft’s Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 27, 2010
As it stands now, there is barely any free time in the schedule of violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama. The married mother of two is a world-class instrumentalist and teacher with a constantly full slate of concert appearances and recording sessions, and the juggling necessary to balance it all could be considered just another of her many skills.  

You Can't Take It With You (Review)

Playhouse comedy is good clean fun

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s 1937 comedy could be termed an old chestnut; it's also a classic, certainly the forbearer of many of today's TV sitcoms, replete with zany stock characters and contrived, hilarious strings of events that pile up the laughs. It's been staged twice locally over the past year (by CCM and the Showboat Majestic), but that doesn't mean the Cincinnati Playhouse's current production is repetitive.