In a program statement e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, the director of local poet Rhonda Pettit's 'The Global Lovers,' has written: "I wanted to create a visually compelling, sensory bombastic performance that didn't pull punches." My ever reliable Webster's Dictionary defines "bombastic" as "given to bombast" and "bombast" as "pretentious inflated speech or writing." Bingo!
During most of the swift, sweet hour that 'Blue Collar Diaries' fills, playwright-performer Michelle Myers Berg beckons to us to step inside her memory and look around. She invites us to study and regard verbal snapshots of a dozen or so people who loomed large in the poor but secure childhood she lived in a downscale neighborhood in St. Paul, Minn.
Playwright Roger Collins takes a hard though hardly realistic look at Iraq war vets who come home to homelessness, social invisibility and civic neglect. At times it's realistically grounded, but more often it's fanciful and elliptical, sometimes even angularly poetic. Too little of that remains in focus or receives the kind of attention to detail it requires for effective presentation and deserves for its occasional insight.
Artemis Exchange offers a perfectly wonderful evening of a totally different sort here. It's deeply philosophic and not nearly as scatterbrained as it would like you to think. It's more deep-delving than over-reaching. And it's seriously funny — with laughter rumbling up from inside provocative reinterpretations of familiar parables and fables.
Co-creators Chris Wesselman and
Christopher Karr want their evolving, dark-hearted comedy to ask
audiences this question: "Where does the barbaric nature of the human
rest its head when it's unconscious?"
UC professor Roger Collins' expressionistic first play takes audiences on a walk along an inner-city boulevard in another man's shoes. Derek Snow plays an Iraq War veteran who encounters indifference and far worse when he returns.
Solo performer-playwright Michelle Myers
Berg celebrates what producer Michelle Storm calls the "overlooked lives" of ordinary people in the working class neighborhood where she grew up in the 1960s and '70s.
In an hour of poetry, visual imagery, song and ad slogans, poet-playwright Rhonda Pettit, director e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and a cast of 10 women explore an unlikely relationship between a teenage sex slave in Pakistan and a wealthy older woman in Kentucky.
While watching the opening night of 'Ain't Misbehavin' at the Cincinnati Playhouse, I kept wondering, "How could so much of the Fats Waller revue seem so perfunctory, mechanical and tired of itself?" As the show barreled along, there was no end to the energy — or was it frenzy? And there was no shortage of style — or was it shtick?
Considering Know Theatre of Cincinnati's 10-year track record of bold moves and departures, their doubleheader staging of Tony Kushner's 'Angels in America: Millennium Approaches' and 'Angels in America: Perestroika' should come as no surprise. Nor should it come as any surprise that Know would offer theater addicts — yes, I confess to being among them — several opportunities to immerse in the entire six-plus hours of both 'Angels' on a single day.