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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.   

Picnic (Review)

CCM students shine in reprise of '50s social drama

0 Comments · Saturday, April 24, 2010
I love seeing new works onstage, but sometimes it's great to be reminded that every era had its fine playwrights and their work should be seen more often. William Inge is such a writer, and his best work was probably 'Picnic,' a show that earned a Pulitzer Prize and became a memorable 1955 film starring William Holden and Kim Novak. The play is being very credibly staged by UC's College-Conservatory of Music in a brief run April 21-25.  

The Marvelous Wonderettes (Review)

ETC's nostalgic, campy musical is genuine in its love for '50s/'60s pop music

0 Comments · Friday, April 23, 2010
Lynn Meyers' intuition for audience-pleasing productions continues its unerring course at Ensemble Theatre with this musical about four young women who have dreams and hopes and keep striving for them. The Wonderettes of Act I are a high-school girl group who get to sing at their 1958 prom when a boy group gets into some teenage trouble; in Act II, a decade later, they're back for a reunion.  

An Ideal Husband (Review)

Cincy Shakespeare's Wilde production is about something worth discussing

0 Comments · Monday, April 19, 2010
Putting it as simply as I can, Oscar Wilde's 'An Ideal Husband' is the crowning pleasure of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's 2009-10 season. Everything works. The direction by Jeremy Dubin is tight, focused and spot on. Design elements are more sumptuous and elegant than any CSC has ever presented. Performances maintain the lilt, audacity and inner laughter of high comedy.   

Bye Bye Birdie (Review)

NKU revival offers a surprisingly serious take on growing up

0 Comments · Monday, April 19, 2010
Northern Kentucky University's production of the musical 'Bye Bye Birdie' is a surprisingly serious take on growing up and finding true love in various means. That's not to say that this is a downer of a play — it elicits laughs from the get-go and leaves the audience chuckling along to the message that everyone still has "a lot of livin' yet to do."  

Craig Ferguson's Wee Small Hour

Comedian continues to carve out a cozy niche in late night talk

0 Comments · Monday, April 19, 2010
"It's a great day in America," bellows Craig Ferguson every weeknight five minutes after David Letterman's show fades out. The talk-show host, hyper-Scotsman, stand-up comedian and naturalized American citizen has been credited by many media commentators as being more innovative and substantial than his late-night counterparts, and the ratings have been catching up.   

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Review)

The word from Showbiz Players is 'entertaining'

2 Comments · Sunday, April 18, 2010
One of the first productions of this Broadway musical hit licensed to an amateur theater is happening right here in Cincinnati. Showbiz Players, a community theater with a history spanning three decades, presents it at the Madisonville Arts Center through April 25, and this production works hard to recreate the original.