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Adding Machine (Review)

An appropriate staging for society's current recessionary state

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Smart calculation: In the wintry depths of the Great Recession, Know Theatre of Cincinnati brings a bleak chamber opera based on an anti-capitalist play from the 1920s, in which an outsourced drone gets revenge on the boss.  

The Women in the Mirror

A first-hand account of MUSE's visit to an area women's prison

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I am on a bus with 46 other members of MUSE, Cincinnati's Women's Choir, and we're headed for prison: the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville. We're singing for the inmates, and a current of unease runs underneath the animated chatter.  

Schneider Gets Back on Stage

Fellow 'SNL' alum push comedian to try stand-up again

0 Comments · Friday, January 29, 2010
Like most current and former 'Saturday Night Live' cast members, Rob Schneider started out as a stand-up comic. Unlike many of that show's alumni, since then he hasn't spent a lot of time telling jokes in front of live audiences. It was pals Chris Rock and Adam Sandler who gave him the nudge.  

The Fall of Heaven (Review)

Walter Mosley's onstage debut wrestles with good and evil

0 Comments · Friday, January 29, 2010
In a recent essay in Newsweek, Walter Mosley stated, "Everybody is guilty of something." That truism is apparent in 'The Fall of Heaven,' the first play by the well-known crime and mystery novelist in its world premiere at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.  

My Name Is Asher Lev (Review)

Ensemble Theater production argues art vs. religion

0 Comments · Friday, January 29, 2010
The intensity that drives 'My Name Is Asher Lev' comes close to swamping the show in its regional premiere at Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati. The core argument — which pits unyielding, enslaving tradition against the enlivening freedom of artistic inquiry — begins to sound like posturing. And the play's vibrant energy, so promising at the outset, slides off into sound and fury.  

Walter Mosley Creates Drama

Prolific writer tries his hand at playwriting with 'The Fall of Heaven'

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Walter Mosley hates to be pigeonholed. Perhaps that goes back to his origins: His mother was Jewish, his father African-American. His genealogy perhaps instilled in him a desire to explore different avenues, and that's what his life has been about. A computer programmer until he was 34, he's now spent two decades as a prolific and successful writer. His first play, 'The Fall of Heaven,' is receiving its world premiere at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.  

Hughie/Krapp's Last Tape (Review)

Joneal Joplin showcases two brief classics at Cincy Shakespeare

0 Comments · Monday, January 25, 2010
Short works by Eugene O'Neill and Samuel Beckett from the late 1950s comprise a double bill at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. What's so compelling is the fact that actor Joneal Joplin plays the lead part in both shows.   

Miss Julie (Review)

Performances simmer with passion but never slip into excess

0 Comments · Monday, January 25, 2010
The stormy plot is a fevered sex-duel with class warfare overtones between Jean, an ambitious, wily, vulgar but capable servant (Matthew Lewis Johnson), and the spoiled, self-focused daughter (Hayley Clark) of Jean's titled employer. Is it over-simplifying to locate seeds of a wayward mistress in the behavior of a willful wife?  

Jeff Dunham Dummies Up

Ventriloquist superstar keeps artform hip and edgy

1 Comment · Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Once, while visiting 'The Late Show,' David Letterman introduced Jeff Dunham as "a man who has twice won the prestigious Ventriloquist of the Year Award," to which the crowd tittered. However, when Dunham came out with his Walter character, he killed, as usual.   

Spring Awakening (Review)

Broadway show brings poetry and emotion brought to painful life

0 Comments · Friday, January 15, 2010
Let's be forthright: Despite its seemingly upbeat title, the touring Broadway musical 'Spring Awakening' deals with dark and difficult topics: teen suicide, unplanned pregnancy, physical abuse. But the dramatic tension between pain and passion is what's awakened in this powerful show. It's a new dynamic, revealing the magnificent potential of musical theater.  

Wake-Up Call

Provocative rock musical 'Spring Awakening' beautifully explores teen sexuality, violence and suicide

0 Comments · Monday, January 11, 2010
Once every generation or so a Broadway musical turns the complacent world of happy entertainment upside down. The current generation’s trendsetter, Spring Awakening (2006 Tony winner), about adolescents dealing with coming-of-age anxieties, is onstage in a touring production Jan. 12-24 at the Aronoff Center.  

A Chair with Flair

Steven Goldstein comes to CCM with inspired teaching philosophy

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s recently appointed Steven Goldstein as the Weinberger Chair of Acting for the Lyric Theatre. He has impressive stage, film and opera credits, appearing in productions staged by David Mamet, William H. Macy and renowned opera director Francesca Zambello.  

Flipping the 'Bird

Acclaimed ensemble eighth blackbird continues to shatter Chamber music expectations

0 Comments · Monday, January 4, 2010
The new year for Chamber music opens with strings. And flutes. And clarinets, prepared piano, flexatones, harmonicas, bongos and cowbells. That's standard operating procedure for eighth blackbird, the wildly innovative sextet acclaimed as the country's premier contemporary music ensemble (performing Jan. 12 at CCM). Acknowledges flautist Tim Munro, "We like to wreak havoc in a creative way."  

Lowering the Curtain on ’09

The ups and downs of the year in Cincinnati theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Rick Pender reminiscences about his favorite theater moments from this year. From the amazing work of Sarah Ruhl, the insanity that is the Fringe Festival to the Cincinnati Playhouse marking its 50th season with a stunning line-up, this year will not soon be forgotten.  

Once Upon a Mattress (Review)

Jersey Productions show has too many lumps

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 16, 2009
How can a theater company take a charming musical based on a fairy tale and turn it into an evening of charmless showboating? Jersey Productions has done so with Once Upon a Mattress, based on the story of “The Princess and the Pea.”