It’s a rare organization that can pull off a show so demanding. I guess
that makes Cincinnati Music Theatre rare, because their present
production of A Chorus Line offers excellent dancing, spectacular singing and acting performances that will make audiences laugh and break your heart.
The philosophy picked up by Flashdance: The Musical’s
welder/wanna-be-dancer Alex (Jillian Mueller) from her mentor is that
trying and falling is better than not trying at all. Its touring production
is still trying, including its current stop at Cincinnati’s Aronoff
Center. And it does have its moments, mostly when the energetic cast is
Most of the characters in Of Mice and Men
are victims of bigotry and persecution, and life is treated callously.
Lennie and George’s friendship, built on
familiarity and kindness, is sadly trampled by an uncaring world, quick
to judge and destroy. This is a deeply moving production.
The play’s title, a distillation of its
evolution of emotion and circumstance, is a lyric from an obscure Rock
tune, and it’s an apt précis of the story’s arc. The script could easily
have descended into a soap opera-like drama or a silly comedy, but it
does not. Gionfriddo is a masterful writer of witty, provocative
dialogue, and her characters are painfully real.
Though he hails from Massachusetts and
lives in New York City, Mike Birbiglia has an affinity for Cincinnati
and Go Bananas Comedy Club. Through the fall, he will be visiting three
of his favorite comedy clubs — including Go Bananas — to work out
material for an upcoming theater tour, which will commence in January.
Wartime tortures its victims long beyond the battlefields
and combat. Especially when a war tears apart the population of a single
nation, the scars run deep, last long and profoundly change lives.
That’s the circumstance of the characters in Martín Zimmerman’s Seven Spots on the Sun, receiving its world premiere at the Cincinnati Playhouse.
Back in 2006, Lewis Black told CityBeat
in an interview that the Bush administration and the GOP were “fucking
out of their minds.” So it is fortuitous that a recent interview took
place on the second day of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s filibuster to protest
the Affordable Care Act.
Producers of musical theater are always on the prowl
for material that already has some emotional traction and romantic
tales that were films when today’s audiences were young and in love are
ripe for conversion into theatrical works. It’s possible to do this with
some success, but I’m afraid that the folks who’ve translated the film
into Ghost: The Musical didn’t have enough faith in the story.
It takes a brave theater company to stage Carrie: The Musical. Since 1988 when it
lasted for just five nights on Broadway and lost its $8 million investment,
it’s been ridiculed nearly as much as its beleaguered central character.