Tune to PBS this evening for A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House (9 p.m. on WCET locally) , featuring some of the biggest stars from the New York stage. Nathan Lane emcees the quickly paced hour, Idina Menzel — recently in Cincinnati with the Pops — sings "Defying Gravity" from Wicked and "What I Did for Love" (with composer Marvin Hamlisch as her accompanist), and veteran Elaine Stritch belts out two numbers from Stephen Sondheim's Follies, "Broadway Baby" and "I'm Still Here" (the latter earns the event's only standing ovation).
During several of the years I spent at CityBeat as arts and entertainment editor, I sat just a few feet away from Kathy Y. Wilson. She was an indisputable force of nature: When she arrived in the office, the otherwise quiet room full of writers exploded with her raucous laughter, challenging dialogue and outspoken presence.
I had the singular privilege of editing her "Your Negro Tour Guide" column for quite a bit of that time, giving me a regular dose of her wit and profound insights about an aspect of American life that some readers loved and others hated. No one was take-it-or-leave-it about Kathy and what she had to say in her writing.
I'm a regular blood donor, so I'm pleased to tell you that you can help out Hoxworth Blood Center and help yourself a little, too, thanks to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Starting next week, the company will do its part for Halloween when it presents Giles Davies in a creepy production of Dracula (Oct. 15 - Nov. 7). To set the mood, Cincy Shakes has arranged for a bloodmobile to do a collection in Piatt Park
There are a ton of shows out there this weekend, so you can hardly go wrong when you buy a theater ticket. If you want a thoughtful, creative comedy, you should head to the Cincinnati Playhouse for The Understudy. On the surface, it's about some actors in a rehearsal — and there's a lot of shenanigans that theater lovers will connect with. But even if you're not so versed in behind-the-scenes machinations of the theater (and movie) world, you'll be entertained by this script.
Theresa Rebeck's comedy The Understudy (at the Playhouse through Oct. 17) has earned the first two nominations of the Acclaim Awards 2010-2011 season. CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards recently joined forces with The Acclaims, and I'm working closely with the process. The Acclaims handed down during the season serve as nominations for awards that will be presented next spring: The sixth annual Acclaim Awards are scheduled for May 23, 2011, at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.
If you're a CityBeat reader, you're probably consumed with the Midpoint Music Festival this weekend. But if you need a breather from the tsunami of tunes all over town, you have lots of good theater choices, several of which are just opening.
You want something frothy this weekend? Check out Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Showboat Majestic or Much Ado About Nothing at Cincinnati Shakespeare (read Julie York Coppens' review here). The latter is especially fun if you're a Baby Boomer — it's set in 1968 and has a soundtrack from the era.
Superman might be faster than a speeding bullet, but his all-too-human writer isn't.
The issue of DC Comics' Supermantitle that features the Man of Steel visiting Cincinnati was supposed to arrive at comics shops today, but has been delayed due to an illness by one of the creators. That put a crimp in the plans of a local comics shop, who planned to publicize the event in style.
No matter which way thou goest this weekend one canst run into a play by Shakespeare.
CityBeat hosted the 14th annual and final Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Theater Sunday night at Know Theatre in Over-the-Rhine, and as always the local theater community enjoyed the opportunity to catch up after summer breaks and celebrate before the new season gets underway. Awards were handed out in 27 categories, some voted on by the public and some determined by a "critical achievement" panel of local critics. Find a list of all the nominees and winners here.