by Rick Pender
95 days ago
Posted In: Theater
at 10:14 AM | Permalink
Probably the most entertaining thing onstage right now is Private Lives at Cincinnati Shakespeare. It's been selling so well that 2 p.m. matinee performances have been added this Saturday and June 28. (It closes on June 29.)
It's the story of honeymoons going bad when a feisty divorced couple
decide to reunite rather than stick with their new spouses — when they
find themselves coincidentally in adjacent hotel rooms in Southern
France. (CityBeat review here.) Cleverly staged by Ensemble Theatre's Lynn Meyers, using four of
Cincy Shakes best actors. Of course it's all improbable and overdone,
but that's a Noël Coward play for you — witty, silly and lots of fun.
Tickets ($22-$31): 513-381-2273.
You'll find laughs elsewhere with the Covedale Center's just-opened production of The Sunshine Boys
by Neil Simon, a master of comedy. It's about a pair of vaudeville
partners who spent 40 years working together and ended up not speaking.
But they're being coaxed to come together to re-stage one of their old
routines for a TV special. Rehearsals don't go well and the actual live
broadcast spirals down from there. Simon is a master of one-liners, and
this show has a million of them. Tickets ($21-$24): 513-241-6550.
If Monday leaves you still looking for something onstage, Know Theatre is ready to open its doors for something entertaining: Serials! All summer long at two-week intervals (starting Monday) there will be 15-minute episodes of plays by local writers. This week you'll get to see pilots of Mars vs. The Atom by Trey Tatum, Flesh Descending by Chris Wesselman, The Funeral by Jon Kovach, The Listener by Mike Hall and Fetus and the God
by Ben Dudley. These stories are open-ended and audience response will
be a factor in where they go. If some of those names sound familiar,
it's because most of them are veterans of the Cincy Fringe. If you had a
good time there earlier this month, here's a way to keep your groove
going. Tickets ($15): 513-300-5669.
by Rick Pender
109 days ago
Posted In: Theater
at 09:21 AM | Permalink
Just two more days of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, so here are a few recommendations for great shows you can still catch. (Look for reviews of these performances on CityBeat's Fringe page here.) Many Fringe performances are sold-out, so check in advance to be sure seats are still available: cincyfringe.com.
I was very impressed by Christine Dye's moving performance in Kevin Crowley's one-woman show, Sarge, about a woman whose husband is accused of child molestation. It's final offering is tonight at 7 p.m. Four Humors' An Unauthorized Autobiography of Benny Hill epitomizes the off-kilter nature of the Fringe, a piece that's funny and poignant. Last chance to see it is Saturday at 8:45 p.m. If you like storytelling, you can catch two of those on Saturday evening: Mike Fotis's Fotis Canyon (7 p.m.) and Paul Strickland's Papa Squat's Store of Sorts (9 p.m.) You might also want to check out the intern showcase at Ensemble Theatre, which just opened on Thursday evening; performances Friday (7:45 p.m.) and Saturday (1 and 7 p.m.). It includes some fine acting in some unusual scripts. True Theatre
is offers another Fringe iteration featuring its own brand of
revelatory truth-telling, featuring several Fringe artists providing
back stories about their careers and experiences. That's at 9 p.m. tonight at Coffee Emporium.
your taste is for more traditional — but equally entertaining —
theater, head to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's production of Noël
Coward's Private Lives, a witty comedy classic from 1930. A
formerly married couple find themselves on honeymoons with new spouses,
but in close proximity to one another. Trouble ensues. Four of Cincy
Shakes best actors — Kelly Mengelkoch, Jeremy Dubin, Sara Clark and
Brent Vimtrup — constitute the cast. It opens tonight and continues
through June 29. Tickets ($22-$31): 513-381-2273, x1.
Finally, whether or not you're a fan of garage sales, you might be interested in what's happening on Saturday morning, 8 a.m. to noon, at the Cincinnati Playhouse's Scenery Shop
(2827 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, across from Thomson-MacConnell
Cadillac): It's the regional theater's annual sale of props, furniture,
dresses and more. If you're a regular at the Playhouse, you might
recognize items from productions of A Delicate Ship, The Trip to Bountiful, Thunder Knocking on the Door, As You Like It
and more. You'll have your choice of lots of miscellaneous items like
china and glassware, dining chairs, tables and desks, area rugs, a
bathtub and even a "concrete cherub planter." There's also a collection
of 20th-century "day dresses," along with some formal gowns and fabric
yardage. Prices are cheap; payment must be by cash or check. All items
are sold "as is."
1 Comment · Wednesday, June 19, 2013
I’ve written about theater in Cincinnati for more than 25 years — including reviews and features for CityBeat
since it began in 1994. I recently dug through my files on theaters
that came and went during the 1990s. In this column (and one on July 3),
I’ll provide an overview of that era and offer some thoughts about
what’s missing in 2013.