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May 6th, 2011 By Rick Pender | Arts | Posted In: Theater

Stage Door: ETC's Tuneful Sliver Anniversary

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So the weather finally seems to be turning to springtime and that seems to make people think of having a good time with a musical. There's quite an array of choices this weekend, from the just-opening community theater production of The Drowsy Chaperone (by Cincinnati Music Theatre at the Aronoff's Jarson-Kaplan Theatre) and the Showboat Majestic's Nunsensations (presented at the Covedale Center because the Ohio River is being nasty) to the ’60s tunefest Beehive (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), a show that Baby Boomers are sure to love — and sing along with.

But if you want my recommendation of a singular choice for this weekend, it has to be 25 The Musical, capping off Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati's year-long celebration of its quarter-century of play production in Over-the-Rhine.

They've ranged across a boatload of musicals and selected 33 tunes that show just how inventive and daring the theater has been — from Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Great American Trailer Park Musical to slightly more mainstream fare such as Mack and Mabel and Grey Gardens (only at ETC could the latter be considered mainstream, I suppose).

There's a liberal does of songs by composer David Kisor, who has helped create ETC's holiday fairytale offerings for years, and a few surprises from plays that have musical themes, including 33 Variations (about Beethoven and his motives) and Opus (about a string quartet that can't get along). The glue holding all this together is music director and pianist Scot Woolley, front and center on a grand piano, providing accompaniment for the excellent cast of familiar ETC performers — Dennis Parlato, Deb G. Girdler, Sara Mackie, Nick Cearley and Brooke Rucidlo. This is one you shouldn't miss. (Read my interview with director D. Lynn Meyers about the show here and my review of the show here.)

For tickets/more info: 513-421-3555 or click here

Photo of 25 The Musical cast: Ryan Kurtz

 
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