It's a good weekend for local theater, with two confirmed choices and a fascinating new production with a lot of potential. Both shows that opened a week ago — End Days at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and Gee's Bend at Cincinnati Playhouse — have been recommended by the Acclaims judging panel that considered them, and both have received nominations for performers and other aspects.
Michael Bath is playing both Jesus and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking at ETC (with some quick changes and a lot of humor), and the roles have earned him another Acclaim nomination for this season (he already has one for his role in Next Fall at ETC). At the Playhouse, director Derrick Sanders and actress Bakesta King are nominees — and the entire acting ensemble (four performers) are, too — in Gee's Bend, a lovely show about quilters in a rural community in southern Alabama.here.) Playhouse box office: 513-421-3888 or click here.
Tonight Cincinnati Shakespeare opens an unusual production of Julius Caesar, a show you probably read in high school. But you probably never thought of it this way: All the men's roles are being played by women. I've been watching the HBO miniseries Rome on DVD to prepare for this one, and I've been struck by the powerful role that women played in a story that seems to be all about men. Women, in fact, played very important roles in ancient society, and at Cincinnati Shakespeare they've actually stepped into the characters of Caesar, Brutus, Cassius and others. It's a twist that should shed new light the classic drama. Tickets: 513-381-2273 or click here.
ETC has extended the run of End Days beyond its original closing date (April 3) to April 9. But you should call now for tickets, since ETC is having one of its best seasons ever and even extended shows have proved to be hard to get. (Read my review of the show here.) Tickets: 513-421-3555 or click here.