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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.  

Nine Decades Strong

Cincinnati Opera celebrates its 90th season with three promising operas and a gala

0 Comments · Monday, June 14, 2010
Cincinnati Opera's 90th anniversary season already has more drama than a Verdi potboiler in an Italian opera house about to go on strike. But despite casting woes for the opening work, there's plenty to celebrate: three great operas with world-class performers, conductors and directors. It all kicks off with a gala concert June 19 featuring acclaimed performers from the company's past and present.  

Dreamgirls (Review)

Big voices and eye-popping technology make touring show a hit

0 Comments · Friday, June 11, 2010
Dreams can lead to aspirations achieved or to high hopes crushed. They can be the source of creative genius or can motivate evil deeds. They can result in love or, when broken, be the source of despair. Every one of those results is at play in the 1981 musical 'Dreamgirls,' a superb touring version of which is onstage at the Aronoff Center through June 20.  

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.