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by Rick Pender 10.09.2009
Posted In: Theater, COMMUNITY at 08:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stage Door: Laramie Project Revisited

There’s a lot of good theater available this weekend — Equus at New Edgecliff, Victoria Musica at the Cincinnati Playhouse, Dead Man’s Cell Phone at ETC and The Lion in Winter at Cincinnati Shakespeare (in its final weekend) are all productions worth seeing — but I want to draw your attention to one day beyond the weekend for a rare Monday evening theater event marking the sad anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. 

If you care about the issues surrounding his brutal murder in Laramie, Wyo., in 1998, you should make a reservation at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati (ETC) for a one-evening of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.

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by Rick Pender 03.20.2011
Posted In: Theater at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Playhouse Announces Stern's Final Season

Ed Stern, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s producing artistic director, today announced the shows that will make up his 20th and final season for the city’s Tony Award-winning regional theater. It consists of several shows that have proven track records with audiences as well as a smattering of new works. The season is precisely the kind of mix that audiences have come to expect from Stern during his two decades at the Playhouse — that is, unpredictable selections with enough of the tried-and-true and the wait-til-you-see-this-one that will keep everyone eager to see what’s next.

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by Rick Pender 11.19.2010
Posted In: Theater at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stage Door: CCM's Evita

So it's almost Thanksgiving and you need to find some good theater before you can begin working on all the preparations for the big meal later next week. My recommendation — Evita at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Aubrey Berg, who has headed the musical theater training program at the University of Cincinnati for 24 years, directs the show about Eva Duarte Peron's rise to fame and power in Argentina and subsequent fall from grace (she died from cancer at 33).

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by Rick Pender 11.06.2009
Posted In: Theater at 02:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stage Door: "Rhinoceros," "Orpheus Descending" Ending

There’s some very interesting theater onstage this weekend, from Cincinnati Shakespeare to the Cincinnati Playhouse, but I’m going to point you at productions on two local university stages, in part because they have short runs and will be over in the next few days.

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by Rick Pender 09.23.2012
Posted In: Theater at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Mormons' Are Coming to the Aronoff

Broadway Across America to produce Trey Parker and Matt Stone musical

The Mormons are coming! The Mormons are coming! No, not the one running for president (although he's showing up pretty often). It's the award-winning irreverent musical The Book of Mormon, which Broadway Across America announced this morning will be part of its 2013-2014 season at the Aronoff Center. The winner of nine Tony Awards (including the best musical of 2011) is a satirical look at two naive and idealistic Mormon missionaries who are sent to a remote Ugandan location where a nasty warlord is oppressing the villagers. Their clueless devotion, good-hearted but misguided — with a lot of very off-color humor — has made The Book of Mormon an unusual hit.

It will come as no surprise to CityBeat readers that the guys behind this are Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of animated South Park, another outrageously irreverent look at contemporary life. Also involved was composer Robert Lopez, whose Avenue Q was another Broadway hit, this one featuring Sesame Street-styled puppets in very adult situations.

The Book of Mormon has been a big Broadway hit. It will be interesting to see how it plays at the Aronoff Center for audiences that tend to be very mainstream, if not downright conservative in what they'll line up to see. I'm eager to see this one! Broadway Across America has not announced specific dates for the engagement yet.
by 04.06.2009
Posted In: Theater, Theater at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

New Stage Collective to Close After Seven Seasons

New Stage Collective has announced it's shutting down operations after presenting Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music April 30-May 8. Producing Artistic Director Alan Patrick Kenny says the musical will be staged at Know Theatre of Cincinnati instead of the company's Main Street space.

In a press release, New Stage trustees are quoted as saying, “We are heartbroken by this painful, difficult decision to cease further operations. The severity of the economic downturn coupled with rapidly diminishing resources made producing another season impossible.”

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by Rick Pender 08.26.2010
Posted In: Theater, Theater at 03:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ed Stern to Leave Playhouse After 20 Years

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern today announced that he will leave the esteemed regional theater after two more seasons, following the 2011-12 season, his 20th. Ed’s tenure at the Playhouse predates CityBeat’s coming into existence: He began in 1992, two years before CityBeat began publishing. I had the pleasure of writing about the recovery of the theater under Stern for EveryBody’s News and then for CityBeat; the Playhouse was in desperate financial straits when Stern and Executive Director Buzz Ward took over — a $1.25 million accumulated deficit.

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by Rick Pender 03.23.2009
Posted In: Theater, Theater at 10:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Playhouse Announces World Premieres for 2009-10 Season

At the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s announcement event for its 2009-10 season last night, Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern offered some intriguing insights and facts about his upcoming season (see my report on the new season's 11 shows here).

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by Rick Pender 08.10.2011
Posted In: Theater at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Showboat: All Aboard for 2012

Even as the Showboat Majestic opens another show this summer (The Art of Murder by Joe DiPietro kicks off tonight and continues through Aug. 28), it’s time to announce the ’boat’s 90th season in 2012, featuring an all-American slate of musicals and comedies to please patrons aboard America’s last showboat, a National Historic Landmark. Here’s the 2012 season:

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by Danny Cross 09.11.2011
Posted In: Theater at 07:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
ed stern (jan 2011)

Stern Endowment bodes well for Playhouse’s future

Supporters hope to raise $5 million to honor retiring artistic director

Ed Stern retires from the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park next spring after 20 seasons, but his presence will be felt long after that thanks to funds that are being raised to honor him. The Edward Stern Endowment for Artistic Excellence will ensure the Playhouse’s future as a place where the nation’s finest directors, actors, designers and playwrights can produce remarkable work for Cincinnati audiences.

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