After a big burst of theater in February, this weekend is kind of a pause before another surge. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is concluding its sold-out run of Pride and Prejudice Sunday and Covedale Center for the Performing Arts wraps up Shout! The Mod Musical the same day.
For the ninth time during Ed Stern’s tenure at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, a show by Stephen Sondheim will be presented. Stern, the Playhouse’ Producing Artistic Director, has a soft spot for the great American composer and lyricist who turned 80 a year ago. He will bring back Tony Award-winning director John Doyle (pictured) to stage Merrily We Roll Along in a production that uses actors who also provide the musical accompaniment. The show will be presented next year in March.
There's a lot of good theater in town this weekend, but if you don't have a ticket you might have a tough time getting in. The following three shows are truly worth the effort, however. Here's the scoop
The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) today announced six finalists for its Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award recognizing playwrights for the best scripts that premiered professionally outside of New York City during 2010. Among the finalists is The History of Invulnerability by David Bar Katz, a script that premiered in April 2010 at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
Lynn Meyers spends most of her time staging shows at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, where she’s the producing artistic director. However, she headed a few blocks south from her Over-the-Rhine venue this month to direct Pride and Prejudice for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company at its Race Street venue.
There’s a ton of theater this weekend, much of it certainly worth seeing. But if you want to be in the vanguard of theater fans who have seen fascinating work from around the world, you can do that at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center on Friday (7 p.m.) or Sunday (3 p.m.) when the Covington facility and Cincinnati World Cinema jointly present FELA! directly from the National Theatre in London.
Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Cincinnati has announced its 2011-2012 season, one that offers a few new choices but also represents what Broadway musicals are all about. (The series seldom includes plays, which don't sell all that well, and this season is no different.) Up first will be Disney's Beauty and the Beast (Sept. 27-Oct. 9), a tried and true hit that ran for 5,461 performances between 1994 and 2007. It's followed by a month-long visit by another long-running hit, Wicked (Nov. 2-26).
The title of the show currently onstage at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati might be Next Fall, but it's only running for another week. That's longer than expected — it was originally set to close this weekend, but despite several added performances within the show's original three-week period, there was enough demand to add another weekend. That means you can actually buy tickets through Feb. 19. But you really shouldn't wait, because those will be scooped up before you know it.
Two shows that opened last week have been recommended by the Acclaim Awards: Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s revival of Over the Tavern by Tom Dudzick, which was a popular work in its 1998-1999 season. A show earns a recommended designation when the panel members evaluating it for Acclaim nominations determine that it’s a show that audiences should make a special effort to see.
Quite a few local theaters are opening new productions this week, but if I were to point you to just one for this weekend, it would be Next Fall, a new play by Geoffrey Nauffts, at Ensemble Theatre.