Shakespeare’s King John is not frequently produced. It has many unfamiliar historical characters (John reigned during the early 13th century; history remembers him because he was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215). He was a ruthless schemer, more concerned with pomp and personal preservation than ruling justly, and Shakespeare’s play is shot through with murky themes of devious politics.
'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.
There are two unlikely pairings in Cincinnati Shakespeare's 1960s-flavored 'Much Ado About Nothing.' First is the romance between Beatrice and Benedick, competing wits whose friends trick them into realizing they're perfect for each other. Still more audacious is director Drew Fracher's attempt to marry this well-mannered comedy with the acid-tinged, free-love vibe of a hippie commune.
Know Theatre of Cincinnati's staging of Tony Kushner's monumental '90s icon 'Angels in America' continues with 'Part II: Perestroika.' Let me simply say that if you miss this show you'll kick yourself. It's a showcase of excellent Cincinnati actors doing one of the most important plays of the past 25 years.
Given the acclaim behind 'Angels in America' and Tony Kushner's continuing reputation as one of our nation's great (if controversial) playwrights, you'd think an ambitious professional theater company in Cincinnati would have staged the work before 2010. But we've only had 'Angels' onstage at CCM and at Falcon Theatre in Newport. Finally, Know Theatre of Cincinnati opens 'Part I: Millennium Approaches' this weekend, while 'Part II: Perestroika' will be added to the run on April 23.
Considering the talent and sensitivity of the people involved onstage and in the director's chair, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's 'Othello' is a disappointment. Little is egregiously wrong. Nobody falls down. Nobody goes up in his or her lines. But it's all so pedestrian.
The ability to predict the end of life on Earth is a mixed blessing for Jules (Joshua Murphy), a character in 'Boom,' the new play by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb opening Know Theatre of Cincinnati's 2009-10 season. Nachtrieb has a good ear for contemporary dialogue, and the actors throw themselves into this absurdist tale with manic energy, as directed by Drew Fracher.