Lynn Meyers came to Ensemble Theatre more than 15 years ago for what she was told was an "interim" appointment as the Over-the-Rhine theater's artistic director. She's still at it and today she's known as one of Cincinnati's finest stage directors. If you need evidence, you can see two fine examples this weekend.
You'll have to work hard to get a ticket, but if you can get in to see The Drowsy Chaperone, produced by Cincinnati Music Theatre at the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theater, you'll be glad you did. It's a show for anyone who loves musical theater. In fact, it's about a guy who loves musicals.
I don't often write about community theater. It's really a matter of time and space; we have so much good theater here in Cincinnati and not so much space in CityBeat, so I have to make some choices. I also don't have enough time to catch every community theater production — trust me, there are a lot of them. But over the weekend I felt compelled to see The Drowsy Chaperone, produced by Cincinnati Music Theatre at the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theater.
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.
Work a little harder and see something unexpected. That's my theme for this weekend. Theater shouldn't always make you laugh or even smile. Sometimes a playwright sets out to make you uncomfortable or to portray characters who are thoroughly unlikeable. Harold Pinter (pictured) did that a generation ago, and Adam Rapp does it today. Pinter's Ashes to Ashes gets a quick production on Saturday and Sunday evenings at Hebrew Union College.
You have the chance this weekend to see two of Cincinnati's best professional actors onstage — but you'll have to work at it a bit, since it's at an out-of-the-way location (and a bit pricey). The show is Harold Pinter's Ashes to Ashes, a one-act play that portrays an emotional conversation between Devlin and Rebecca, a couple in their 40s, in an indeterminate present. He interrogates her about her recollections of an abusive ex-lover, looking for a single, simple truth. She recalls not only the violence she has experienced, but also the wider violence of the world, becoming one with all victims of atrocities.
The Showboat Majestic's opening comedy musical, Nunsensations – The Nunsense Las Vegas Revue, might be over the top, but it won't be under water. That's because Cincinnati Landmark Productions will move Showboat's season opener — running May 4-22 — to dry land, staging it at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts on Cincinnati's West Side.
If you need a reminder of what a classic play can achieve, you should stop by UC's College-Conservatory of Music this weekend to see the drama program's production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Faculty member Diane Kvapil has directed a sturdy version of the show that leans a little more than I like in the direction of humor, but nevertheless shows off why the show won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for drama and remains a staple of theater companies more than 60 years later.
If circuses haven't been the same for you since realizing that animals don't actually like trainers who crack the whip, go to Cirque du Soleil. CityBeat staffers were among the folks who attended last night's sneak preview of their new show, OVO, at Coney Island. It was amazing: technically impeccable, delightfully entertaining and 100 percent cruelty free!
OVO runs through May 15, and there's a Mother's Day
discount promotion going on now. Click here for details.
Don’t go looking for Boris Karloff or any kind of campy make-up if you decide to see the National Theatre of London’s production of Frankenstein on Tuesday or Wednesday evening at The Carnegie in Covington. This version, provided via HD digital transmission, is much more faithful to Mary Godwin’s creepy and profound Gothic novel written in the summer of 1816. When it was finally published two years later (by which time she had married poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and become Mary Shelley), few people believed it could have been written by a young woman not yet 20 years old.