by Rick Pender
A new round of shows comes your way this weekend (while several good ones remain onstage, including Freud's Last Session at Ensemble Theatre and Abigail/1702 at the Cincinnati Playhouse). Here are a few choices that are just opening:
Know Theatre is finally getting around to its first full-fledged production of the season, Andrew Bovell's award-winning drama, When the Rain Stops Falling. (The playwright's Speaking in Tongues was
a much admired production at the Cincinnati Playhouse a year ago.) An
intricate fabric of overlapping connections, Bovell's 2010 script moves
seamlessly through time and across continents between the years of 1959
and 2039. In a world where the rain rarely stops falling, four
generations of a family search for truth and hope to mend broken
connections. What they discover is the impossibility of escaping the
past. The production should be all the more interesting since it's being
directed by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's Brian Isaac Phillips and
features a cast of nine excellent actors, four of whom are CSC regulars.
It will be onstage through March 16. Box office: 513-300-5669.
To see another award winner, you need to head up I-75 to
Dayton where the Human Race Theatre Company is offering the regional
premiere of Eric Simonson's bio-play, Lombardi. Set in
1965, it's a portrait of the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers
through the eyes of a young reporter assigned to follow the sports icon,
a man full of passion and drive without equal. The show had a recent
run on Broadway, and I expect it will attract an audience not normally
drawn to the theater. Through Feb. 24. Box office: 937-228-6830
Falcon Theater, which presents its shows in the tiny
Monmouth Theatre in Newport, is staging the Tony Award and Pulitzer
Prize-winning play Doubt, a success on Broadway, at the
Cincinnati Playhouse, and on movie screens. It's the provocative story
of a starchy nun who thinks it's possible that a priest has abused one
of her students. Although she's not sure, her accusations have dire
ramifications. Through Feb. 23. Box office: 513-479-6783
Finally, a blast from the past at UC's College-Conservatory of Music: William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life. Set
in October 1939 in a run-down waterfront dive bar on the docks of San
Francisco, the script is full of colorful, eccentric characters and
portrays the love and follies of human nature. It's being staged by
veteran faculty member Diane Kvapil with a cast of 29. This production
has a short run (one weekend, wrapping up with a performance in Patricia
Corbett Theatre on Sunday at 2 p.m.) Box office: 513-556-4183
Holiday theater for the nice and naughty
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 20, 2012
How does that upbeat holiday tune go? “It’s the most
wonderful time of the year”? If you’re a theater fan and a devotee of
holiday cheer, that’s the song you’re humming.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:19 AM | Permalink
No matter what your theatrical tastes are, there's something onstage right now for you to enjoy this weekend:
A classic story: If you can get a ticket (there aren't many left, I'm told, except perhaps for Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.) to To Kill a Mockingbird,
you won't be disappointed. It's a wonderful theatrical retelling of
Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning novel. It features one of Greater
Cincinnati's best actors as the honorable attorney Atticus Finch.
Tickets: 513-381-2273, x1.
Adventure: Buckle on your swashes (and your sword) and head to the Cincinnati Playhouse for The Three Musketeers.
It's a familiar tale of a young man named D'Artagnan who yearns to be a
member of the King's guards. He's brash and naive, but his role models,
"the three musketeers," are funny and loving and always ready for a
good fight. This is one that kids can enjoy. Tickets: 513-421-3888
Contemporary drama with a dose of with: Ensemble Theatre's Good People
is the story of a woman who loses her job and struggles to figure out
what to do next. She has good, gossipy support from two friends — and a
one-time boyfriend who's now a successful doctor. Her story is one that
feels like it's about someone you know, trying to make ends meet in
today's world. Tickets: 513-421-3555.
An old-fashioned musical: Meredith Willson's The Music Man,
a Tony Award winner, is getting a charming production on the Showboat
Majestic. It's a big cast on a small stage, but it's inventively
directed and choreographed by Ed Cohen, Dee Anne Bryll and Jane Green,
and you'll definitely leave the theater marching in 4/4 time to
"Seventy-Six Trombones" or humming one of the show's other memorable
melodies. Tickets: 513-241-6550
by Jac Kern
The Cincinnati Ballet opens each season with a fresh crop of modern performances,
but this season’s Kaplan New Works Series stands out as being the first
featuring all women choreographers. While ballet dancers are predominantly female, male choreographers significantly outnumber women. Choreographers Amy Seiwert,
Paige Cunningham Caldarella, Heather Britt and Jessica Lang all present new
programs through Sunday. Tickets are still available for tonight’s 8 p.m.
performance here. Check out our recent story
on the Kaplan New Works Series to learn more about these choreographers and the
Theater Cincinnati and Playhouse in the Park also have productions tonight.
ETC’s Good People, a Critic’s Pick, is “a total package that feels good
and real from start to finish.”
The Three Musketeers, onstage at the Playhouse, promises
lots of silly laughs and exciting swordplay. See Rick Pender’s full review here.
The Cincinnati Film Festival continues today with
screenings running through 9 p.m. at Esquire Theater. Single tickets are $10 or
$25 for the full night. Read our interview with Executive Director Katharine
The Main Library
downtown kicks off its series of experimental music nights with Electric Inertia
and Her Weasels Wild Running at 7 p.m. in the Reading Garden Lounge. The night
will feature stop-motion animation from 1930s film footage, free-form trumpet,
piano and guitar. The series continues Sept. 26, Oct. 3,17 and 30.Columbus Day might be a month away, but locals can celebrate early by visiting replicas of The Nina and Pinta today. The ships will be at the Levee (conveniently docked by Hooter's) through Saturday. Tours are available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and run $6-$8 per person.
Peep our full calendar
for more concerts, art and theater shows, events and more stuff to do tonight.
Class polarities fuel ETC's meaningful character synergy
0 Comments · Thursday, September 6, 2012
The interplay between characters in Good People
is full of believable truth, and ETC director D. Lynn Meyers excels in
staging such material. It’s a total package that feels good
and real from start to finish.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:14 AM | Permalink
If you can land a ticket for Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s revival of the Tony Award-winning musical next to normal,
that’s what you should be doing this weekend. I saw it on Tuesday night, and it’s even better than it was last September. It’s
the story of a woman struggling with schizophrenia and how it affects
her family; that might not sound like the stuff that musicals are made
of, but it uses the power of a brilliant Rock score to deliver the
impact of this story. ETC has reassembled virtually all of its superb
cast from last fall, including Jessica Hendy in the central role. Her
beleaguered husband is now being played one of our area’s best actors,
Bruce Cromer, and his relationship with Hendy makes their pain all the
more deeply felt. It’s only around for one more week, so you should do
your best to grab a ticket now. Box office: 513-421-3555.
ETC’s revival isn’t the only thing worth seeing this weekend. You might check out the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace
on the Showboat Majestic. It’s an old chestnut (it was a hit in 1944),
but it’s one of the funniest shows you’re likely to see, the tale of an
off-kilter pair of elderly maiden aunts who keep their quite normal
nephew astonished and scrambling to keep them in line. The kind-hearted
women take in boarders, quiet elderly men who are “all alone in the
world,” and polish them off with elderberry wine laced with arsenic.
They convince their addled brother, who believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt,
to bury them in the basement by telling him they’re victims of yellow
fever who have been digging the Panama Canal. A great show for the whole
family, with lots of comic twists. Box office: 513-241-6550.
You’ll also find a stage full of laughs at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, which is producing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). You’ll
witness mentions of all the Bard’s works — although many are completely
unrecognizable, thanks the three buffoonish characters who undertake
the task. The second act is a wild send-up of Hamlet that involves the audience. Order your tickets online, and there’s an automatic buy-one, get-one offer available. Website: www.cincyshakes.com.
Don’t forget to look in out-of-the-way places for good
summer theater entertainment: At Highlands High School in Fort Thomas,
Ky., you’ll find the Tony Award-winning musical The Producers,
the first outing by C.A.S.T. (Commonwealth Artists Summer Theatre), the
brainchild of Jason Burgess, a one-time directing intern at Ensemble
Theatre who’s now an award-winning teacher at Highlands. The hilarious
show about putting on a musical so bad that the guys doing it can
abscond with all the investments will be onstage through July 1, with
performances at the high school (2400 Memorial Parkway, Fort Thomas) on
Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets
(only $10): www.showtix4u.com (or at the door).
Each week in Stage Door, Rick Pender offers theater tips for the weekend, often with a few pieces of theater news.
Ensemble offers 'next to normal' through July 1
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati produced next to normal
last September with considerable success, selling out most of its
performances in one of the show’s first productions following its
Broadway success. Based on its strong audience appeal, ETC is giving its
production a brief revival, onstage through July 1.
ETC's revival of 2011 favorite even more powerful
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
When Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC) produced the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical next to normal last September, it was an early highlight of the 2011-2012 theater season. Although it’s hard to imagine, ETC’s two-week revival of the
show about Diana’s battle with schizophrenia and how that illness
affects her family, is even more powerful now than it was nine months
Tony Award-nominated drama brings visceral, textured performance to ETC
0 Comments · Friday, March 16, 2012
A photojournalist’s image is framed and captured, a
moment of high emotion frozen by the camera lens, a distillation of a
larger, often tragic event. Today those events, all too often, are
scenes of physical and emotional devastation in war-torn nations. In
Donald Margulies’ 2009 play, Time Stands Still,
we learn that shooting those images generates addictive adrenaline even
as it hardens the soul.
ETC production offers a different telling of a familiar story
0 Comments · Friday, December 2, 2011
Good and evil play tug-of-war throughout the story of Snow White,
Ensemble Theatre’s new holiday fairytale musical.