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.
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.
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.
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.
The 2012 World Choir Games are officially Cincinnati's, as Interkultur President Gunther Titsch presented the event's flag to Mayor Mark Mallory at the Oct. 20 City Council meeting. But Titsch and WCG Artistic Director Gábor Hollerung had more on their agenda than flag exchanges. They emphasized that they were here to begin planning for what will be the largest international arts event in Cincinnati history. The city's seven hills will indeed be alive with the sound of music.
Abraham Van Helsing insists all men are madmen. This theory might help explain why, as hard as he works to kill Count Dracula, theater artists work even harder, October after October, to bring the vampire back to life. Cincinnati Shakespeare breathes life into Steven Dietz's smart, well-paced script, with Giles Davies' hungrily elegant turn in the title role.
George Stevens Jr.'s play is a 90-minute monologue that chronologically presents the life of Thurgood Marshall. Speaking in an auditorium at Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., Marshall reminisces about his life and how he chose not to challenge the legal system but to use it to advance the cause of civil rights. "My weapon," he says, "is the law." He became living proof of how one man can make a difference.
A small investment can make a big difference: In August 1986, with $200 in hand, several aspiring theater artists produced three one-act plays at Memorial Hall. Success inspired them to create Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Two years later arts patrons Murph and Ken Mahler and Ruth and John Sawyer financed the purchase of a building that became ETC's permanent home. Now in its 25th season, the organization still represents what creativity and devotion can achieve.
'Skin Tight' is as much a piece of lyrical poetry as it is a play, and it's likely to be the most physical performance — wonderfully staged and choreographed by director Drew Fracher — you'll see onstage this year. Know Theatre's season opener is brief, taking you on an emotional, passionate journey that's both a lifetime and the blink of an eye.
New Edgecliff Theatre, which has done well in two previous seasons reviving classic works, launches its 13th season with 'The Night of the Iguana,' sometimes called Williams' "last great work," with two local professionals in its leading female roles (Kate Wilford and Annie Fitzpatrick). NET has given it a strong visual production (designed by Melissa Bennett), set in a seedy Mexican hotel.
Tracy Letts' searing, dark comedy about an outrageously dysfunctional contemporary family is having its regional premiere at Wright State University's Festival Playhouse in a co-production with Dayton's Human Race Theatre Company. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award in 2008, the play is set in a blistering August summer in Oklahoma. The heat is inescapable in this show, a hell of a piece of theater — with the emphasis on "hell."
Cincinnati Landmark Productions' ninth season kicks off with an ambitious production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 'Evita,' the tale of the charismatic, controversial Argentine first lady Eva Perón. Brook Rucidlo, Michael Shawn Starks and Mike Sherman are strong vocalists, and this show has a hard-working chorus who play numerous roles and sing and dance from start to finish.
It’s perfect for the Cincinnati native/L.A. resident, an improvisational comic whose guerrilla style finds him inhabiting a broad range of fringe characters, disturbing the audience unaware of the joke and delighting the audience that is. It’s a fine wire to walk, and Andre Hyland traverses it with Wallenda-like agility
Somewhere in playwright Theresa Rebeck's past there must have been a 420-too-friendly techie who smoked up the booth, a big-name hack who got the plum job and a lover who walked out without a word. Or maybe these professional disasters and personal heartbreaks, captured so hilariously and affectingly in the Cincinnati native's 'The Understudy,' are simply the products of Rebeck's rich imagination. Either way, the comedy has a ring of authenticity that anyone who's ever acted (onstage or in life) should appreciate.
It might be premature to call the touring production of 'South Pacific' at the Aronoff Center the best you're going to see this season, but it's safe to say audiences won't be disappointed. The 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is a reminder of why the show exemplifies the golden age of Broadway musicals. It's got the tunes and the talent.