It's been a long hot summer without much theater to choose from, but this weekend you have several options. I can personally recommend Cotton Patch Gospel at the Showboat Majestic, which I saw earlier this week (read my review here).
What do you know about community theater? Did you realize that these companies do this work as volunteers? That's right: They act, direct, build sets, promote and so on because they love it — not for any profit motive.
Of course, they have expenses like paying for costumes and renting halls (or maintaining a building they own), not to mention springing for the rights to produce works, so they sell tickets. They typically serve a neighborhood (that's part of what "community" means) — such as Mariemont or Wyoming or Fort Thomas.
The Cincinnati Playhouse's production of The Fantasticks is a great choice for theater this weekend, but you might have a hard time finding seats. I've had two friends tell me they tried to get in and were told that the performance they hoped for was sold out. You can try to get on a waiting list (box office number is 513-421-3888) for a show that's really worth seeing.
Saturday evening was the final night of the 2010 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. At the closing party at Know Theatre’s Underground bar, three picks were announced. Fringe organizer Eric Vosmeier made the point that it’s not really about competition but rather to give Fringe artists who eke out meager paychecks based on attendance at their respective shows a bit of publicity to use as they travel on to the their next alternative theater showcase.
Based on voting by festivalgoers, the “Audience Pick of the Fringe” went to Serenity Fisher’s Sophie’s Dream, a romantic tale using Indie Rock-styled tunes that was produced by Tangled Leaves Theatre Collective from right here in Cincinnati.
If you're just tuning in to the Fringe, I can make no better recommendation for this weekend than to buy a six-show pass (for the price of five tickets) and go see some of the Critic's Picks that CityBeat writers have identified (head here to read through all the reviews).
The 2010 Cincy Fringe Festival has three days/nights left, and tickets are going fast for the final performances of the more critically-acclaimed shows. CityBeat's review crew has now posted reviews of 27 of Fringe's 29 productions, with the final two coming later today on our Fringe micro-site.
Week 2 of the 2010 Cincy Fringe Festival begins tonight, and several shows are wrapping up already, so get out and see something while you can. CityBeat critics have now posted reviews for 25 of the 29 productions on the Fringe schedule; see all the reviews (plus info on Visual Fringe and Film Fringe) here.
The first two nights of Cincy Fringe Festival 2010 are in the books. Reviews of the seven shows that opened last night are now posted on CityBeat's Fringe home page, and a photo gallery from Tuesday night's kick-off party is here.
Get out and enjoy Fringe. Get the full schedule and ticket info at the official Fringe web site.
This weekend's theater offerings are music, music and more music.
To celebrate Memorial Day, lots of people typically do things other than theater, but if you want a break from picnics and parks and Taste of Cincinnati take in one of the final performances of Ain't Misbehavin' at the Cincinnati Playhouse (read a review here) or get in line for a ticket to The Marvelous Wonderettes (pictured) at Ensemble Theatre (read my review here).
I spent two-and-a-half hours watching the Acclaim Awards last night — 150 minutes with no intermission. Thanks to affable hosts Charlie Clarke and Mark Hardy (the well-dressed “scoundrels” of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels last September at The Carnegie), there was a lot of humor, but I put an emphasis on “a lot” as in “maybe too much.”
As I’ve written previously, the Acclaims offer some solid recognition of many of the things that constitute our local theater scene. But the awards program itself lacks discipline: If this had been a stage production at one of our local theaters, I wouldn't be the only critic saying, “Nice work, but it needs a lot of trimming.” And some thoughtfulness.