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Seminar (Review)

A school for good writing, acting – 'Seminar' at Falcon Theater

0 Comments · Friday, February 7, 2014
Falcon Theater’s production of Theresa Rebeck’s 2011 play Seminar opened strong in the small, charming Monmouth Theatre in Newport, Ky. Rebeck, a Cincinnati native now living in Brooklyn, N.Y., is a triple-threat writer who has had success as a novelist, playwright and TV writer.  

Tribes (Review)

Can you hear me now? 'Tribes' at Ensemble Theatre

0 Comments · Friday, February 7, 2014
Nina Raine’s award-winning play Tribes is overtly — and creatively — about people living with deafness. But it’s also a story of families and the human need to connect.   
by Rick Pender 12.27.2013 113 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
to do onstage 12-25 - complete history of comedy @ playhouse - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: Post-Holiday Options

Don't despair that the Christmas holiday is behind you. Several theaters are still staging enough cheer to keep you going for another week or so. Here's what continues this weekend: At the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park you'll find the traditional Christmas favorite A Christmas Carol as well as The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) onstage through Sunday. It feels a bit odd to be watching Scrooge and the ghosts after Christmas Day, but the Playhouse's rendition is such a lovely show and Bruce Cromer's portrait of the old miser is so entertaining that you'll be charmed, I'm sure. And the Reduced Shakespeare guys doing the "comedy" piece know how to evoke laughter from the making of jokes in ways you haven't imagined. They're the guys who originated this amusing formula with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and they're making it work with this world premiere production. It's a nice bit of entertainment for a weekend between the holidays. Tickets: 513-421-3888. Holiday themed laughs are being served up at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company through Sunday, too, with their eighth annual presentation of Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some). No Shakespeare in evidence (although they're performing on the gussied-up set that was built for the previous production, Twelfth Night) but four of CSC's best comic talents are mashing up every imaginable tale you might think of that has a holiday connection — Charlie Brown, Charles Dickens, Rudolph, the Nutcracker, It's a Wonderful Life and many more. They'll have you laughing from start to finish, especially if you make a stop by the bar in the lobby beforehand. Not for the kids, but a lot of fun for anyone with an adolescent sense of humor. Tickets: 513-381-2273 x 1. If you want a nice outing for the kids, I recommend Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's holiday show, Around the World in 80 Days. Jules Verne's adventure classic about a hectic circumnavigation of the globe in 1899 has been musicalized and condensed in a way that children will enjoy it — but there's enough humor and talent onstage to keep adults entertained, too. ETC'S production actually runs through the weekend after New Year's Day, but if the kids are restless and you want to entertain them with live theater, this is a great choice. Tickets: 513-421-3555. Happy theatergoing!
 
 

Holiday Humor for Hilarity Hunters

0 Comments · Monday, December 16, 2013
Ready to move beyond the predictable in your pursuit of holiday theater? Three shows offer varied choices. A Klingon Christmas Carol gets its local premiere by Hugo West Theatricals at the Art Academy of Cincinnati through Dec. 22.  

Offbeat Holiday Shows

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
It’s early December and time for you to decide which hip holiday show you want to take in. Of course, you just missed last weekend’s tour stop of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, a musical adaptation of the famous Dr. Seuss tale about the green meanie Christmas hater, a latter-day Ebenezer Scrooge.  

Thankful for 'Twelfth Night'

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m wandering down memory lane to offer an insight into why I’m thankful to be a theater critic. I grew up in a small town near Cleveland, acted (poorly) in some high school productions and was infected with an abiding love for theater. As a teenager I sought out productions at places like the Cleveland Playhouse and summer seasons at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.   

Cock-and-Bull Stories

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Know Theatre is typically the last of our local professional theaters out of the gate in the fall. It takes the small company a while to recuperate from the Fringe Festival, from being a venue for the MidPoint Music Festival and from the numerous other activities they host at their Jackson Street venue in Over-the-Rhine. But they’re finally in the midst of the run of their first regular production for fall 2013, Mike Bartlett’s Bull.  

A Chorus Line (Review)

Sweetness and sorrow

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 12, 2013
It’s a rare organization that can pull off a show so demanding. I guess that makes Cincinnati Music Theatre rare, because their present production of A Chorus Line offers excellent dancing, spectacular singing and acting performances that will make audiences laugh and break your heart.  

Boeing Boeing (Review)

Energetic, laugh-out-loud farce shines with spirit

1 Comment · Monday, November 11, 2013
Under the direction of Brant Russell, the newest member of the drama faculty at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, Boeing Boeing is fresh and hilarious, a sheer delight.  
by Rick Pender 11.08.2013
Posted In: Arts community, Theater, Visual Art at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door blog 11-8 - drew pulver as tevye human race - photo scott j. kimmins

Stage Door: Choices Galore

I had occasion to be in downtown Dayton on business earlier this week and thought I'd stay for the evening to catch the Human Race Theatre Company's production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Loft Theatre. It's not a space you'd immediately think of for this often large-scale show, but director Kevin Moore has put of lot of action and choreography (by Chris Crowthers) on the stage, centering on Drew Pulver as the philosophical Jewish milkman, Tevye. He's the show's charismatic core, but he's surrounded by a strong cast who really embody their roles. Wandering on and off the stage, a four-musician band, including George Abud as the expressive fiddler, ably accompanies the cast, several of whom play multiple roles. The intimacy of the Loft amplifies the heartfelt nature of the show, and the actors pour heart and soul into the joyous storytelling. This production runs through Nov. 30, so you have time to plan a trip to Dayton yourself. If you're a fan of musicals, you won't be disappointed. Tickets: 937-228-3630 If you're looking for a good musical closer to home, I can certainly recommend the Cincinnati Playhouse production of Cabaret, which gets my Critic's Pick in the current issue (see review here). Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge has taken it back to 1929 with costumes and choreography very true to the period in a seedy, sexy Berlin nightclub. The Playhouse doesn't often do musicals, but this one is done right. Tickets: 513-421-3888 Know Theatre is staging another work by Mike Bartlett. Last spring it was Cock; this time it's Bull (review here). It's a story of two people bullying a third as they compete for jobs. A nasty tale, not for the faint-hearted, but some fine writing and acting. You'll feel ashamed of yourself for enjoying it, I suspect. Tickets: 513-300-5669 A fine production of John Steinbeck's Depression era tale of migrant workers and a guy who just doesn't fit in, Of Mice and Men (review here), finishes its run this weekend at Cincinnati Shakespeare. Jeremy Dubin's performance as cranky George and Jim Hopkins as simpleminded Lenny are examples of the kind of fine acting that's a regular commodity at Cincy Shakes. Tickets: 513-381-2273.  Finally, if you're in the mood for a hilarious farce, your destination should be the Carnegie in Covington. CCM Drama has transported some of its actors from the UC Campus to Covington, Ky., for a production of a deliriously funny tale of one man in Paris juggling three fiancees, Boeing Boeing. They're all flight attendants, but advances in aviation screw up his neat schedule to keep them discreet from one another. Comedy ensues. Tickets: 859-957-1940
 
 

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