by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:21 AM | Permalink
Not too many years ago August was a very quiet month on local stages. No longer. You have plenty of good choices this weekend.Stacy Sims reviewed Know Theatre's production of Harry & the Thief, which opened last week. She called it "a
wonderfully ridiculous, history-twisting, large cast mash-up of a play,"
and that's just the beginning." Sigrid Gilmer's play is a riot of
modern perspectives and Civil War values, a mingling of contemporary
attitudes with opinions and behaviors long since set aside — but not so
far off that we can't recognize them as prejudice, misogyny and racism.
But Gilmer's weaves a lot of humor and satire around Harriet Tubman (a
real woman who led many people out of slavery into freedom in the 1850s
and 1860s). The play has been staged by guest director Holly Derr to
spotlight a zany streak of humor that the playwright has generously
salted across her script from start to finish. This feels a lot like a
Fringe festival show, and that makes sense, since Know is the annual
producer of the Cincy Fringe, and Harry & the Thief kicks off
its 2014-2015 season. As Stacy noted, "this bodes well" for the theater
now being managed artistically by Andrew Hungerford. I watched a
performance earlier this week with a full house resulting from Know's
"Welcome Project," throwing its doors open to anyone who wants to come
on several Wednesday
evenings (hoping that a few of them will pay something, but requiring
nothing more than showing up). I suspect many of those in attendance
will be recommending this production to friends. Through Aug. 30.
Tickets ($20 most of the time, although you can get rush tickets for
remaining seats 10 minutes before curtain time, and free next Wednesday, Aug. 20): 513-300-5669.
Speaking of the Fringe, Know presents occasional encores from past festivals. On Sunday evening at 8 p.m. (one night only) you can catch one of the best acts I've ever enjoyed in the Cincy Fringe: David Gaines returns with 7(x1) Samurai,
retelling Kurasawa's classic 1954 film in a one-man show that was a hit
of the 2009 festival. It's true to the source about victimized
peasants, marauding bandits and samurai warriors, astonishing to watch
and one hell of a performance. Tickets ($15): 513-300-5669.
another astonishing, virtuoso work of theater onstage, this one south
of the Ohio River at Covington's Carnegie Theatre. It's Stephen
Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I plan to see it on Friday
evening (it opened last week), but people are already saying that
Justin Glaser brings a great voice to the maniacal killer and Helen
Raymond-Goers sings the role of the meat-pie-baking Mrs. Lovett with both
wit and polish. This is one of the greatest musicals of the late 20th
century, and all indicators are that this is a production worth seeing.
Through Aug. 23. Tickets ($21-$28): 859-857-1940.
Shakespeare Company will double your choices this weekend. At its Race
Street theater you'll find the final performances of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),
a comic rendering — or at least passing references to — all 38 of the
Bard's plays, his sonnets and some amusingly presented "facts" about his
life. It's a romp from start to finish, featuring three of Cincy
Shakes' best actors having a hell of a good time onstage, Jeremy Dubin,
Justin McCombs and Nicholas Rose. Tickets ($22-$31): 513-381-2273.If you want something a tad closer to the original, find one of CSC's free touring productions at an area park: Macbeth on Friday night (7 p.m.) at Keehner Park in West Chester and Saturday evening (7 p.m.) at Cottell Park in Mason or A Midsummer Night's Dream on Sunday evening (6 p.m.)
at Washington Park. These are somewhat reduced productions (done in two
hours) using just six actors: That makes them all the more exciting to
watch — and to be dazzled by actors who can convincingly play multiple
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 22, 2014
You read that headline correctly. The
outside-the-box thinkers at Know Theatre, the offbeat company that
presents the Fringe Festival every June and other mind-expanding
performances year-round, has a new idea. Led by new artistic director
Andrew Hungerford, this initiative is called “The Welcome Experiment.”
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:30 AM | Permalink
Andrew Hungerford announces four coming productions
Know Theatre formally introduced its incoming artistic director, Andrew Hungerford, before a full house on Wednesday evening. He might not approach the boundless energy of his
predecessor Eric Vosmeier (more on his half-dozen years at the helm here), but Hungerford has a kind of boyish
enthusiasm for the job he's taking on that feels fresh and infectious.
The crowd of supporters seemed enthusiastic about his engagement and were
especially pleased as he filled in details about coming productions for
the months ahead in 2014.
Know's 17th season "Adaptation," he stressed that shows he's selected
are adaptations of literary works, of different genres for the stage, of
people struggling with changing circumstances and — by the way — of a
theater company adapting to a new artistic director. He announced four
The Twentieth-Century Way
by Tom Jacobson (April). Two actors play more than a dozen roles to
recreate the true story of how, in 1914, police in Long Beach, Calif.,
hired two actors to entrap gay men in the crime of "social vagrancy."
(Summer). Inspired by episodic TV series, Know will present 15-minute
slices of six "series" every other week, commencing during the Fringe
(in early June) and proceeding through the summer. This promises to be a
playground for local artists to connect with audiences returning for
more during the summer months on Know's Underground stage, with the bar
nearby — and popcorn promised.
Harry and the Thief
by Sigrid Gilmer (August). The story of a guy with a time machine and a
plan to go back to the Civil War era, find abolitionist Harriet Tubman
and give her guns. Hungerford describes this play "a socially conscious
riot of a play that uses a form of a Michael Bay action movie to tell a
story full of adventure, social relevance, and answering the call of
(October). This one was previously announced, a stage version of Herman
Melville's immense 19th-century American novel about an obsessive sea
captain and a "great white whale." Hungerford will co-direct Julian
Rad's script with "local theatrical rabble-rouser" Michael Burnham
(recently retired from the drama faculty at CCM). The production mixes
sea shanties and inventive physicality with a text that explores issues
of youth, friendship, duty and how far a man like Captain Ahab will go.
an intriguing lineup, one that seems likely to keep audiences returning
for doses of Know's brand of off-kilter but engaging theater.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 2, 2013
in leadership is under way at Over-the-Rhine’s Know Theatre. Eric
Vosmeier, producing artistic director for the past half-dozen years, is
gradually handing over the reins to resident scenic and lighting
designer Andrew Hungerford. Know, an adventurous and occasionally
chaotic organization that began in 1997, is handling this evolution in a
surprisingly orderly fashion.
Know's holiday show needs to iron out a few wrinkles
0 Comments · Monday, November 29, 2010
Earlier this year John Glore's adaptation of 'A Wrinkle in Time' premiered at South Coast Rep, one of America's most respected theaters for new plays. The 1962 novel about precocious kids has been popular for a long time (especially with, well, precocious kids), so there's a built-in audience. That's certainly why Know Theatre is staging it for the 2010 holidays.
Know Theatre opens season with spare, passionate love story
0 Comments · Monday, October 11, 2010
'Skin Tight' is as much a piece of lyrical poetry as it is a play, and it's likely to be the most physical performance — wonderfully staged and choreographed by director Drew Fracher — you'll see onstage this year. Know Theatre's season opener is brief, taking you on an emotional, passionate journey that's both a lifetime and the blink of an eye.
1 Comment · Thursday, June 3, 2010
Fringe veteran Andrew Hungerford's show, featuring him and Know Theatre regular Liz Vosmeier, is an engaging piece of storytelling, artfully delivered by two excellent actors. This piece of theater will stick with you because it's so human — not about "things" but about real people.