Handmade Heroes

Crafty Supermarket grows with an inclusive attitude toward all things DIY

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 24, 2015
While attending Kent State for journalism, Grace Dobush took printmaking and bookbinding classes and got hooked on the crafty community there. She wanted to solidify a similar community when she moved to Cincinnati in 2007.   
by Rick Pender 11.06.2015 19 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stage Door: Playing House

“Florala.” That’s where you are when you head down the ramp to see Know Theatre’s production of Andy’s House of [Blank]. It’s set on the state line between Florida and Alabama, but it’s recreated in two-dimensional cardboard props (telephones and ice cream cones) and decorations (comically taxidermied animals, including the backside of a dog) imaginatively designed and executed by Sarah Beth Hall. The tale is filtered through the often-divergent memories of two guys who were 16 in 1998, holding down their first jobs in roadside oddity shop and museum of “unmailed love letters.” The “guys” are Paul Strickland and Trey Tatum (truly from Florida and Alabama). They serve as the narrators — or perhaps the “recollectors” — of the oddball musical tale of Andy (Christopher Michael Richardson), the proprietor, and Sadie (Erika Kate MacDonald), the girl he had a crush on as a kid. The show was a well-received entry in Know’s “Serials” earlier this year, a story told in five 15-minute episodes. Strickland and Tatum have stitched those pieces together, and director Bridget Leak has given the piece continuity and flow. Their ebullient enthusiasm is obvious from start to finish — Tatum pounds away on an electric keyboard, Strickland (who composed the 20 or so songs) plays guitar and sings almost operatically, and Richardson and MacDonald (both with gorgeous voices) affectingly play two people caught in a looping time warp. In fact, all four characters are living out the theme repeatedly spoken and sung: “Every day is just a variation on a theme.” The music is great, and there are lots of laughs along the way, but the story is a serious, poignant rumination about love, longing and how to move forward by looking back. At two-plus hours (including an intermission) it feels a tad long, but every moment is a treat to watch. Onstage through Nov. 14. Tickets: 513-300-5669 Opening this week: Anthony Schaffer’s Sleuth, a humorous but taut murder mystery is at The Carnegie in Covington. It’s a two-man show about a famous mystery writer who’s out to murder a man having an affair with his wife. There are a lot of twists and turns in this tale, so it’s fun to watch if you pay close attention. Through Nov. 14. Tickets: 859-957-1840 … Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa fascinated Cincinnati Playhouse audiences back in 2013 with his “sequel” to The Crucible, Abigail/1702. Falcon Theatre is offering two related one-acts by him, The Mystery Plays, inspired by the tradition of medieval theater that dealt with the imponderables of death, the afterlife, religion, faith and forgiveness — but from a thoroughly American perspective. In the first piece, a horror film director survives a train wreck only to be haunted by someone who didn’t make it; in the second, a woman travels to a rural Oregon town to make peace with the man who murdered her parents and her sister: He’s her older brother. Through Nov. 21 at the Monmouth Theatre in Newport. Tickets: 513-479-6783 Continuing: Cincinnati Shakespeare’s excellent production of Arthur Miller’s classic drama Death of a Salesman has its final performance on Saturday evening. It’s worth seeing, but tickets might be scarce. Tickets: 513-381-2273 … Mad River Rising at the Cincinnati Playhouse is a compelling study of place and aging, an old man trying to forestall the sale of his family farm. It continues through Nov. 14. Tickets: 513-421-3888 … Covedale Center’s staging of the comedy Fox on the Fairway, a tribute to cinematic farces from the 1930s and 1940s, is onstage until Nov. 15. Tickets: 513-241-6550 Tune in to WVXU (FM 91.7) on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. to catch LA Theater Works’ production of Matthew Lopez’s The Whipping Man. This show, about a young Jewish Confederate soldier marking Passover 1865 with his family’s newly freed slaves in a crumbling mansion in Richmond, Va., at the end of the Civil War, is a powerful work. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati staged this show very effectively in 2012. Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.

Raphael’s ‘Mona Lisa’

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s new show, Sublime Beauty, marks the very first time Raphael’s “Portrait of a Lady with a Unicorn” has visited the United States, itself a reason for celebration (it was loaned by the Galleria Borghese in Rome, which acquired the painting in 1682).   

Follow the LEGO Brick Road

Attorney-turned-artist fosters creativity and inner peace, piece by piece

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 28, 2015
After puzzling over a clever #whatthebrick campaign in August that featured oversized LEGO bricks around town, what the heck should we make of The Art of the Brick exhibition now that it’s at the Cincinnati Museum Center?   

Adapting Adeptly

The Art Academy of Cincinnati celebrates a decade in Over-the-Rhine

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Venice will be no farther away than 444 Reading Road on Friday evening, when “Venezia Carnevale,” a Beaux Arts Ball hosted by the Art Academy of Cincinnati Alumni Council, takes place at the Bell Event Center.    

Donald Kelley Brings the Outdoors Inside

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Land art — or earth art — is a term for when artists go outside the gallery and, often using indigenous materials like soil, water and stone, create large works that seem integrated into the surrounding natural landscape.   

Art: Myopia

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2015
“Cincinnati, in some ways, was the start of me being an artist,” says Mark Mothersbaugh, relaxing as best he can, given his constantly enthused, exuberant state, in a meeting room at downtown’s Contemporary Arts Center. “So there’s something about coming back here that is this completion of a cycle.”  

Cincinnati Art Museum Springs into Fall

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Usually, when one says a work of art is “alive,” it’s a figure of speech — the expression typically acknowledges a natural connection between artist and observer. But next weekend, the Cincinnati Art Museum will be giving a new meaning to the phrase “living art.”   

Twenty Years of the Aronoff

Once controversial, the multifaceted performing arts center is now downtown’s go-to venue

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2015
As the Aronoff Center for the Arts marks its 20th anniversary on Oct. 21, it’s generally known as the place to be for major performances by Broadway touring shows, lectures, comedians, musical acts and more. But back in the early 1990s, it was a controversial project.  

A New Perfect Moment

Cincinnati celebrates photographer Robert Mapplethorpe 25 years after controversy

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2015
For two days this month — Oct. 23 and 24 — Cincinnati will celebrate the glory of Robert Mapplethorpe’s art and life.