OK, so it's Memorial Day weekend, and theater-going might not be what you have in mind. How about this? If you're heading downtown for the feeding frenzy at Taste of Cincinnati (and what true Cincinnatian isn't?), you can take a quick side trip to Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine to pick up some tickets or a pass for the eighth annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival. It's the perfect time to find your way to Know Theatre (1120 Jackson, right next to the Gateway Garage), which is Fringe headquarters.
The Cincinnati literary scene suffered a loss last summer when Brock Clarke moved to Portland, Maine, to take a job teaching creative writing at Bowdoin College. Through his work as a writer (via two short-story collections and three novels, including 2007's well-received An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England) and educator (he taught creative writing at UC where he brought in such guest speakers/authors as Chris Bachelder, Sam Lipsyte, Heidi Julavits and Jonathan Lethem), Clarke was a one-man literary juggernaut who produced, nurtured and promoted the written word with unwavering commitment, creativity and good taste.
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.
Just a reminder for the discerning literary types out there: Ace wordsmith and impressively bearded Nicholson Baker stops by the Mercantile Library tomorrow (May 3) at 7 p.m. to read from and discuss his work.
The 54-year-old New York City native has tackled a number of topics and genres — from nonfiction to fiction, from books about phone sex and bottle feeding babies to historical investigations about about the insidious nature of war — in a writing career marked by his playful use of language, biting humor and interest in the “moments between the big moments.”
Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati (ETC) has turned over a new leaf, at least for its 26th season. Producing Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers has typically spent much of the summer making last-minute arrangements for the shows she’ll offer starting in September. In good years, she’s been able to announce her choices around the time of the Tony Awards, roughly the second week of June. So I’m pleased (and a bit surprised) to tell you that Meyers has pulled it all together for May 1. It’s unprecedented — what’s more, it’s a remarkably good season.
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.
ArtsWave, formerly Fine Arts Fund, bucked the recession, the introduction of its new name and the expansion of its mission to meet the 2011 campaign's goal of $11 million, Edgar L. Smith Jr., campaign chairman and CEO of World Pac Paper, LLC. announced April 27.