by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 10:12 AM | Permalink
Ho-Ho-Ho, try a holiday show!
Most of the theater onstage right now is holiday-themed —
or at least family-friendly. If you want to take kids to see something,
your best bet is Cinderella at Ensemble Theatre
Cincinnati, a contemporary take on the familiar fairytale — the heroine
is a bookworm who prefers to sneakers to glass slippers. There’s lots of
humor, especially from the loudmouthed and crass stepsisters in this
telling, plus some fine musical moments. This show will be around until
Jan. 3. Tickets: 513-421-3555 … Another good choice for kids is A Charlie Brown Christmas,
presented at the Taft Theatre by Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. You
know the story, I’m sure (this year is the 50th anniversary of the TV
special) but it’s a good bet that Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is
putting a version onstage that will let kids have a good time.
Performances are at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Tickets: 800-745-3000 … Want to start a family tradition? There’s no
better choice than Cincinnati Playhouse’s glittering, well-acted
production of A Christmas Carol. It’s fast-moving and
often funny (Bruce Cromer gives Ebenezer the full range of emotion, from
crabby “Bah, humbug” to a joyous “Merry Christmas.”) It’s onstage
through Dec. 30. Tickets: 513-421-3888 … The Covedale Center’s
production of Mary Poppins isn’t their best work (it feels
a tad long for youngsters), but it has great tunes and some memorable
special effects — Mary flies and Bert walks up and down the sides of the
proscenium — that audiences will enjoy. Through Dec. 27. Tickets:
The Rock musical Rent, onstage at the
Incline Theatre in Price Hill doesn’t exactly qualify as holiday or
family entertainment, although its story does start and finish at
Christmas (with “525,600 Minutes” in between). But this is an
energetically acted and sung production for mature audiences. Through
Dec. 20. Tickets: 513-241-6550 … If you can’t quite wait for The Force Awakens to open, you can get a small dose of Star Wars energy from All Childish Things
at Know Theatre. It’s a comedy about some slackers trying to steal
collectibles from a warehouse — they don’t succeed, but they learn a
lesson about heroism that’s akin to the movie. Through Dec. 19. Tickets:
513-300-5669 … This weekend is your final opportunity to see As You Like It
at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. It’s a delightful production of one
of Shakespeare’s best comedies, but it’s wrapping up on Saturday. (Next
week CSC opens Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some) on Wednesday.) Tickets: 513-381-2273 …The most entertaining non-holiday show this season has to be Low Down Dirty Blues on
the Playhouse’s Shelterhouse stage. It’s pretty much what the title
says: Three singers getting a little raunchy and having a lot of fun
with some tunes about being up and down. Great performances and a really
good time for grown-ups. Through Dec. 20. Tickets: 513-421-3888
Finally, if you a performance that’s simply feel-good, I
heartily recommend going to Ensemble Theatre on Monday evening at 7 p.m.
for their one-night-only annual presentation of Expectations of Christmas.
It’s a round-up of holiday traditions, origins, music, facts and
back-stories — presented by performers who frequent ETC’s stage.
Admission is just $10 and all the proceeds go to Tender Mercies (an
Over-the-Rhine agency right around the corner from ETC that provides
permanent and transitional housing for the homeless with histories of
chronic mental illness). Tickets: 513-421-3555 … or walk in on Monday
and you’ll likely get in.
Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Critic's Pick: One of Shakespeare’s
greatest comedies, As You Like It, is
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s early holiday offering, and it’s a silly
delight with a big cast.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Who knew cross-dressing could be such
fun? Apparently Shakespeare did.
Ed Stern’s final Playhouse production is a gift of joy and love
0 Comments · Monday, October 10, 2011
I’ve seen As You Like It many times, but Ed Stern’s
final directorial outing for the Playhouse (co-staged with Michael Evan
Haney) distills its warmth and goodwill better than any I’ve previously
witnessed. Stern has blessed Cincinnati audiences
for 20 years, and this production is a wonderful gift of love and joy
that will be remembered for years to come.