Cincinnati Shakespeare Company finishes its run of Measure for Measure
this weekend (CityBeat review here). It's a dark tale of hypocrisy and manipulation, with a
few glimmers of ribald humor. Director Brian Phillips has transported
the story from Renaissance-Era Vienna to the United States of the 1920s
when Prohibition made everyday occurrences of fast living and bad
behavior. (Can you say Boardwalk Empire?) In 20 seasons, CSC has
only staged it once before, but this is a production worth seeing
because of the strong acting company — especially Brent Vimtrup, Kelly
Mengelkoch and Nick Rose. Billy Chace does a nice job with the comic
bits, too, even though they feel weird in this difficult story of
self-righteousness and double-dealing. Tickets: 513-381-2273, x1.
For those into crooning, sentimental nostalgia, you'll find an ample supply aboard the Showboat Majestic's production of Forever Plaid.
Jinx, Sparky Francis and Smudge conjure up a lot of good clean fun and
close harmonies for their final concert.
And I do mean final — in fact,
they're kind of after the fact: Coming back from the great beyond for
one last gig after a tragic bus accident on their way to a career-making
gig. There's a lot of tomfoolery that makes this show amusing and
entertaining. Through June 2. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
If you prefer the girls to the boys, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is into the extended run of The Mavelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns.
The spunky gals — who also traffic in tunes from the ’50s and ’60s —
provide two more rounds of melodies and moodiness. "Caps" is a
reconstruction of their graduation night in 1958, while "Gowns" is a
decade later at the wedding reception of Missy, who always has a plan,
and Mr. Lee, a teacher she idolized. We get to see what life has brought
to her three friends, love-'em-and-leave-'em Cindy Lou, jealous Betty
Jean and vapid Suzy. ETC's casting gets an A+. Through June 1. Tickets: 513-421-3555.For our early summer enjoyment, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has put together the charming and family-friendly Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself). I attended the opening on Thursday
evening and witnessed three actors who play a host of characters,
change costumes in plain view, create wildly imaginative scenery and
make their own sound effects. It's a wistful story of adventure that
revels in the adventure of storytelling. It's onstage through June 16. Tickets: 513-421-3888.