CityBeat - Onstage <![CDATA[Perfectly Poundstone - ]]>

For a generation of younger fans, Paula Poundstone is most widely known as a panelist on the hit NPR radio program Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!. For comedy fans of a certain age, she’s a brilliant stand-up that’s been making audiences laugh since the 1980s. A killer joke writer, Poundstone can just as easily find the funny by chatting with an audience.

<![CDATA['Luna Gale' at ETC: No Heroes, No Villains - ]]>

Critic's Pick 

In her director’s notes for Ensemble Theatre’s season-opening production of Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale, D. Lynn Meyers writes, “There are no villains here and no heroes, just people who make decisions as best they can.”]]>
<![CDATA[‘Secret Garden’ at Cincinnati Playhouse: Gorgeous But Complicated - ]]> For more than a century, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Secret Garden has charmed young readers. It’s not what you might expect relative to today’s “young adult” fiction...]]> <![CDATA['Motown: The Musical' — Go For the Great Tunes - ]]> Motown: The Musical is one of those shows that gets the moniker of “jukebox,” and this one totally deserves it, since it offers nearly 60 tunes that cover a span of more than 30 years of Pop music.]]> <![CDATA[Doing It for Love in ‘A Chorus Line’ - ]]>

Let me admit right up front that I’m a total sucker when it comes to A Chorus Line. No matter how many times I’ve seen it (quite a few over the past four decades since it opened on Broadway in 1975), there are still moments that grab at my heartstrings and bring tears to my eyes.

<![CDATA[Kurt Braunohler: The Absurdist - ]]>

Comedian Kurt Braunohler has a penchant for the ridiculous. “I think I was always a fan of the absurd,” he says. “I always liked the out-of-place or the non-sequitur. I always think that’s the funniest thing.” However, Braunohler originally had no desire to be an entertainer; instead, he majored in philosophy and English in college.

<![CDATA[Incline's '9 to 5' Doesn't Add Up - ]]> Cincinnati Landmark Productions (CLP) has hit a home run with the debut of the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater this summer. As Artistic Director Tim Perrino announces from the stage most evenings, the three-show season will record 45 straight sold-out performances.]]> <![CDATA[The Carnegie Is Off to a Fresh Start with 'Company' - ]]> It’s an ambitious artistic director who opens her first full theater season with a show by Stephen Sondheim. But Maggie Perrino has show biz in her blood — her father, Tim Perrino, is the force behind Cincinnati Landmark Productions — so she doesn’t do things halfway. ]]> <![CDATA[Packing in Music and Lives at Know Theatre - ]]>

Critic's Pick: Hundred Days, the first production of Know Theatre’s 18th season, defies categorization. Since Know is a theater company, of course, it’s a play.

<![CDATA[History Made Hysterical - ]]> If you need an evening of laughter, you want to be in a seat at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for The Complete History of America (abridged). In fact, if you want to go, you apparently need to get your tickets right away.]]> <![CDATA[Of Thee I Sing - ]]> We all know the basics of how the Declaration of Independence turned out, especially this time of year when we celebrate that historic document on the Fourth of July. But do we really know much about the men who fussed and debated in Philadelphia in 1776 to craft the words that set in motion the course of American history?]]> <![CDATA[Weaving a Spell(ing Bee) at NKU - ]]> Back in February 2005 I was in New York City to see some shows, and at the last moment (on a Saturday afternoon) I was offered the chance to see a new off-Broadway show I hadn’t heard of, The 25t]]> <![CDATA['Morning Star' Rising - ]]>

Tuesday is the long-anticipated opening of Morning Star, Cincinnati Opera’s first world premiere in more than 50 years.

<![CDATA[Crass Behavior and Silly Lewdness Generate Summertime Fun - ]]>

A woman pursued by Francis Henshall says, “I know exactly what he’s after. And if he carries on like this, he’s going to get it.” In Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors, Matthew Lewis Johnson plays Henshall in precisely that manner, behaving manically and getting exactly what this play aims for — unbridled, bawdy humor.

<![CDATA[Wanna-Bes - ]]> Schlockmeister Max Bialystock (Mike Sherman) and accountant Leo Bloom (Spenser Smith) have the same aspiration. As Bloom sings in an opening number of The Producers, “I wanna be a producer.”]]> <![CDATA[Great Choices From the 2015 Cincy Fringe - ]]>

Just four more days for the 2015 Cincy Fringe. CityBeat’s review team has been covering each show’s opening, giving Critic’s Picks to “must-see” productions. Here are a half-dozen edited clips, in case you need tips for shows to consider. Find more picks and full reviews of the 40-plus productions at

<![CDATA[Learning How to Act: Onstage and in Life - ]]>

Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation is a deceptively simple play — on the surface, it’s a comedy about five people enrolled in a community center class about learning how to act.

<![CDATA[Precipitation, Parenting and (Ultimately) Love - ]]> John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is a kind of cockeyed Irish love story, focusing on two generations, parents at odds with offspring and that younger generation struggling to find their own balance in the world.
<![CDATA[Pageantry, History and a Few Laughs - ]]> Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is engaged in an ambitious effort to become only the second theater company in the U.S. to present Shakespeare’s eight history plays in historical order. ]]> <![CDATA[The Real Ron Swanson - Nick Offerman and wife Megan Mullally bring their story- and music-filled relationship show to town]]> Nick Offerman is known for two things: starring as the manly Ron Swanson, the anti-government, meat- and breakfast-loving foil to Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, and for being married to the lovely Megan Mullally.]]>