by Rick Pender
49 days ago
Posted In: Theater
at 11:32 AM | Permalink
Onstage this weekend
I’m heading to Louisville this weekend for the Humana
Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre. (You’ll find a report
online and in CityBeat later this month.) For those of you staying in
town, there are several interesting shows to catch locally.
If you’ve been a Fringe Festival regular for the past
three years, it’s likely that you’ve enjoyed one of Paul Strickland’s
musical monologues about the Big Fib Trailer Park Cul-de-Sac. If you
missed them (or if you simply want to be outrageously entertained by
them again), they’re being reprised this weekend at Falcon Theater (636
Monmouth St., Newport). Papa Squat’s Store of Sorts happens on Friday at 8 p.m.; Ain’t True and Uncle False shows up on Saturday at 8 p.m. Both evenings you can catch Tales Too Tall for Trailers
at 9:15 p.m., the latter featuring Strickland with Erika Kate
MacDonald, shadow puppets … and clothespins. Advance tickets:
Incline Theater continues to produce adult drama, this time with David Mamet’s hard-hitting (and foul-mouthed) Glengarry Glen Ross.
It’s about a group of unprincipled real estate guys competing to be the
top dog in a slimy sales contest, selling worthless Florida property
and homes to unsuspecting buyers. Their jockeying for position knows
no ethical bounds. That might sound like a story that’s tough to watch,
but the play — which won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for drama — uses a kind
of word-jazz with Mamet’s rat-a-tat-tat dialogue that makes it both
fascinating and darkly humorous. The Incline’s production, which opened
Wednesday, features seven actors directed by stage veteran Greg
Procaccino. They wrestle with this gristly verbiage, some with more
success than others, but Mike Dennis (as the hard-selling No. 1 guy,
Ricky Roma) has just the right amount of oiliness and superficial
arrogance, and David A. Levy (as nervous George Aaronow) is especially
convincing as a schlub who can’t catch a break. Nik Pajic (as brash
young Dave Moss) has a lot of fire, and Joel Lind (as over-the-hill
Shelly “The Machine” Levine) is sympathetic playing a character who
talks way too much as he revels in past success. Mike Hall portrays the
trying-to-be-tough sales manager; Tom Peters is a gruff cop
investigating the very suspicious burglary in the show’s second act; and
Scott Unes has a brief scene as a hapless client trying to get out of a
bad deal. Through April 24. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
Perhaps you read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
in high school. Maybe it’s time to revisit it during a presidential
election year where the draw of power and the charisma of men who want
to govern is top of mind. This production, opening tonight and running
through May 7, will be followed by Antony and Cleopatra (May
13-June 4), in which Shakespeare returned to several of the earlier
play’s central characters. Cincinnati Shakespeare is producing the two
works in sequence with the actors playing the overlapping roles in both
shows. It will be an interesting chance to see how the plays relate and
diverge, and how young generals become old politicians. Read more about
Cincy Shakes’ productions in my Curtain Call column. Tickets:
Jason Robert Brown’s musical exploration of a marriage that comes apart, The Last Five Years,
is told in an unusual way, with parallel stories, one running from
start to finish and the other in the opposite direction, from the final
sad moments to the joyous beginning. The retelling of Jamie and Cathy’s
marriage in a series of solo songs overlaps at only one moment — their
wedding day. It’s a fascinating way to track the course of love … and
loss. Brown’s gorgeous score makes it all the more poignant. Weekends
through April 24. Tickets: 859-957-1940.
OK, the final four for men and women are now over and
done, both with exciting finishes. If you’re in need of one more weekend
of basketball action — featuring men and women — check out Lysistrata Jones,
a musical performed in the Cohen Family Studio at UC’s
College-Conservatory of Music. It’s an amusing retelling of the ancient
Greek comedy by Aristophanes, updated to a story of women withholding
their “favors” to get the men of the Athens University basketball team
on the winning track. The show had a quick Broadway run in 2011-2012.
Friday and Saturday. Admission is free, but you need to call ahead for
Wrapping up and continuing: Annapurna, about
the reunion of a colorful and dysfunctional couple, wraps up on Sunday
at Ensemble Theatre. At the Cincinnati Playhouse, an excellent stage
adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird finishes its run on Sunday, while the contemporary drama Mothers and Sons, about gay marriage and parenting, is on the Shelterhouse stage for another week.
Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
0 Comments · Friday, May 29, 2015
Interventions can take place anywhere. In the case of Hitchhikers May Be Inmates,
one starts in a diner with J.D. (Kevin Crowley, also the playwright)
waiting patiently for David (Michael Bath) to stop crying.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 29, 2015
He’s easy to miss but not hard to recognize. With a flat cap that never
seems to leave his head and a pair of khakis that usually complement a
playfully logoed T-shirt, Paul Strickland seems average.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 12:47 PM | Permalink
It’s Pride Week in
Cincinnati, a time to celebrate and support the local LGBTQ community, promote
diversity as well as equality and just have a good time as a plethora of events
takes over the city.
The Pride party has been
going all week and the fun continues tonight with the Skyy Vodka Pub Crawl
featuring bars and clubs in Over-the-Rhine, Northside, Downtown, Newport and
Covington. Shuttles run three loops with six busses stopping at 20 bars. A $10
wristband gets you on the bus all night and into any bars that have cover
charges. Find details here.
Cincinnati Art Museum’s free
Art After Dark series also
takes a Pride theme this month. Stop by the museum before the crawl for
performances by Young Heirlooms and the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, gallery tours,
giveaways and more from 5-9 p.m. Bar crawl wristbands can be purchased at the
museum or Millennium Hotel, Below Zero, Rosie's Tavern or Chameleon between
The much-anticipated annual
Pride Parade steps off at 2 p.m. Saturday with a slightly different route due
to streetcar construction: Seventh and Culvert streets to Vine Street to Fifth
at Fountain Square, down Eggleston Avenue. The parade will end at Sawyer Point,
where a family-friendly festival runs 3-9 p.m. There will be two entertainment
stages (be sure to swing by the CityBeat stage!), rides and games for kids,
food and drink. There will also be a public commitment/re-commitment ceremony at 6
p.m., free to all couples interested in participating. The ceremony will cap
off with a couples’ first dance. The festival ends with a fireworks display at
9 p.m. Find a full entertainment lineup here.
And be sure to check out
this week’s Pride Issue.
We’ve got interviews with local LGBTQ advocates, a calendar of events and more.
The 2014 Cincinnati Fringe
Festival is in full swing this weekend (continuing through June 7). We’ve
previewed each of the 30-plus performances and will be posting reviews of every
show as well — check them out here.
sculptor, printmaker and collector of fancy antique oddities Hunt Slonem graces Cincinnati with his colorful,
fabulous presence this week. The American artist has work showcased in more than 100
museums across the world — and now, Miller Gallery in Hyde Park. Perhaps best
known for his neo-expressionist paintings of tropical birds and other animals,
Slonem will be at the gallery for the opening Friday night. Meet the artist and
peruse his works from 6-8 p.m.; The
Exotic World of Hunt Slonem will be on display at Miller through June 29.
Jane’s Saddlebag in Union,
Ky., is a unique attraction sprawling over 35 acres of land that features a
general store, restaurant, wine shop, petting zoo, historic spaces and
recreations. Located near Big Bone Lick State Park, Jane’s is great for a
weekend getaway close to home. Visit this weekend as they host their second
annual wine festival noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sample wines from 20
local and regional wineries and shop handmade items from more than 40 craft
vendors. Tickets are $12 and include four tasting tickets, a wine glass and
live music. Go here
for more info.
For more art openings, parties, festivals and other
stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks,
full calendar and Rick
Door for weekend theater offerings.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 19, 2013
As the Sitwell’s Coffee House crowd
buzzes around him, Jon Kovach calmly ticks off his lengthy list of
commitments for the approaching summer.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 12:29 PM | Permalink
The 2013 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wraps up
this weekend with final performances Friday and Saturday. If you still haven’t checked out any of the
freaky, funny, unique performances in this 10th annual fest, go here
to check out show reviews and find a full schedule and festival guide.
Cincinnati Rollergirls host their last home
game of the season at the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday. The 'girls face Kitchener,
Ontario’s Tri-City Roller Girls in a double-header that kicks off at 7 p.m. And
it’s Fan Appreciation Night, so expect plenty of free CRG goodies throughout
the night! Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($15/$17 for courtside
seats). Happy Hour (dolla dolla beers, y’all) starts at 6 p.m. Find tickets and
more info here.
Last weekend, teams of filmmakers throughout
Cincinnati (and across 125 other participating cities throughout the world)
participated in the 48 Hour Film Project, requiring them to write, shoot and edit a movie in just two days. On Friday,
they received a movie genre, character, prop and a line of dialogue to include
in the short film and the rest was up to them — the finished product had to be
completed by Sunday. This Sunday, the
public can check out the eclectic mix of results at the Thompson House.
Screenings take place at 1:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and admission is
$10 for a single screening group, $30 for the whole day.
Short Vine in Corryville is on its way to
becoming the next happenin’ spot in the local arts scene. Don’t believe me?
Check out the opening of 71 Gallery (2609 Vine St.) 5-10 p.m. Friday. Local
artist Tony Dotson has created the space for outsider artists like himself as
well as graphic designers. The gallery’s debut artist is Eye Candy Design
Berberich, who also works on Short Vine. Berberich also helped develop Artbeat
on Short Vine, a monthly event that also kicks off Friday. Check out our
feature on Dotson and Berberich here.
Movies return to Washington park Saturdays this Summer but don’t let the event
name fool you — anyone can enjoy these free, open-air films. The movies run
9-11 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 17 (no movies Aug. 3-10). This week’s
selection is the 1954 mystery classic, Rear
Window. Go here
for a full lineup of summer events at Washington Park.For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks
full calendar and Rick
for weekend theater offerings.
0 Comments · Tuesday, June 4, 2013
There are just a few days left for the
2013 Cincinnati Fringe, our annual celebration of weirdness and
creativity, produced by Know Theatre. It’s over on Saturday evening (the
final party is at 10:30 p.m. at the Jackson Street theater’s
Underground Bar), but there’s still time to catch several productions.
by Jac Kern
Photography’s bad boy, Tyler Shields, returns
to Cincinnati for another exhibit at Miller Gallery, kicked off with an opening
reception in Over-the-Rhine Friday. Known for his controversial celebrity
photos, Shields last exhibited at Miller Gallery in October as part of
FotoFocus. Now he’s back showing off his latest collection of photos, Suspense, featuring images of people
falling, floating and flipping across striking backgrounds. Friday’s opening is
a pop-up gallery party at the Hanke Building (1130 Main St., OTR). VIP $50
tickets grant 8 p.m. admission, free valet parking, an open bar and photo op
with Shields. General admission from 9 p.m.-midnight is $10 and includes three
drink tickets. It’s
sure to be a super party and a great chance to brush shoulders with the “who’s
who” of the art community. Proceeds benefit Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit with the
mission to photograph every child with cancer until every child is cured. Buy tickets here or bring cash at the door.
Across the river in Newport, Powerhouse
Factories celebrates music festival season with a Summer
Shindig Friday. Enjoy live music from The Pinstripes, a great view from
Powerhouse’s patio, great deals on the factory’s excellent assortment music
posters (BOGO half-off) and frosty beers from MadTree Brewery. The free party
runs 6 p.m.-midnight.
The Fringe Festival continues this weekend
(through June 8), with plenty of original, unusual and just plan weird theater performances throughout the city. Go here
for performance reviews, a complete
festival schedule and the official festival guide. And getcho Fringe on!
The 46th annual Summerfair takes
over Coney Island Friday-Sunday. This festival, one of the oldest continuous
art fairs in the country, features more than 300 fine artists, crafters, youth
arts organizations and performers exhibiting and selling photographs, pottery,
textiles, jewelry and much more.
a Shark or a Jet? A Greaser or a Soc? A Mod or a Rocker? Do you rock a scooter
or a motorcycle? Either way, folks from “both sides of the tracks” will come
together this weekend for the Queen City Mods & Rockers Rally, a
weekend-long event to promote unity between both types of motor enthusiasts.
Events include family-friendly rides, a pin-up girl contest, a bike rally,
happy hour, a group breakfast and more. A $30 pass gets you admission to all
the three-day events. Go here
for more info.
For more art, shows, festivals, concerts and
events to check out this weekend, peep our To Do picks
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:01 AM | Permalink
There's plenty of good theater available around town in the next few days, including the just-opened production of Hank Williams: Lost Highway at the Cincinnati Playhouse, as well as Romeo and Juliet and Titus Andronicus, which finish their runs at Cincinnati Shakespeare this weekend. But for this week's edition of Stage Door, I'm recommending three productions that might not be on your radar.One of the big hits of the 2012 Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Grim and Fischer, is back for performances on Friday and Saturday. It was only offered three times back in June, and a lot of people missed the unusual "full-face mask" show about death (aka Grim, as in "Grim Reaper") matching wits with elderly Mrs. Fischer, who's not ready to take her leave of this world. Everyone who saw the wordless piece raved about it, so Know Theatre (they guys who present the Fringe) have brought back the two performers from Wonderheads Theatre in Portland, Ore., to give us three more chances, Friday and Saturday evening at 8 p.m. plus a 3 p.m. Saturday matinee. I'm not missing their 50-minute performance this time around. Tickets ($12): 513-300-5669.Community theater often brings back classics that audiences love, and Footlighters (you can find them at Newport's Stained Glass Theatre, right across the street from the York Street Cafe) is doing just that with Thornton Wilder's 1938 Pulitzer Prize winner, Our Town. But don't think you've been there and done that, since this production takes several familiar conventions and freshens them. The "Stage Manager," usually a folksy older guy, is played by a woman, and many of the references to New England life in the early 1900s are minimized, which makes the show feel a lot more universal and relevant to life today. Through Nov. 18. Tickets ($20): 859-652-3849. And my third recommendation is from another community theater, one that really knows its way around musicals: Cincinnati Music Theatre is staging Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's Company, a Tony winner from 1970 — and again in 2007 when the Cincinnati Playhouse's revival of the story of Bobby and his married friends moved to Broadway and was named the year's best musical revival. It has a brilliant and energetic score, great comic scenes and songs you're likely to know, including "Another Hundred People," "The Ladies Who Lunch" and "Being Alive." CMT presents its shows at the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theater. Through Nov. 17. Tickets ($22): 513-621-2787.
by Jac Kern
Books By The Banks may be a month away (Oct. 20 at Duke Energy
Convention Center), but local bibliophiles can get in on the fun early with
tonight’s Books By The Banks Poster Debut. The festival, now in its sixth year,
brings more than 100 local, regional and national authors to Cincinnati for
workshops, lectures, meet-and-greets and more for children and adult readers
alike. Each year an artist is commissioned to create a poster to
represent BBTB. Tonight at Joseph-Beth Cincinnati,
Covington artist Marlene Steele will unveil her design. Steele will discuss her poster and join past BBTB artists in a Q&A. 2012’s poster will be on sale
for $15; past years’ posters are $10.
Channel your inner
Marie Antoinette while supporting Transitions Global during tonight’s
ELLiPSiS…The Masquerade. Guests are encouraged to dress in their best mystery disguise
while enjoying music, art, cocktails, eats and a fashion show. Tickets
$35, $100 for VIP early admission, champagne, hors d'oeuvres and prime catwalk seating. Proceeds benefit
Transitions Global, a non-profit organization that helps rehabilitate rescued
sex traffic workers and reintegrates them back into society as strong,
independent women. Learn more about this important charity here. Tonight’s masquerade at The Bell Event Center
opens to the public at 7 p.m.
Actor and comedian Kevin Pollack performs at the Levee Funny Bone
tonight through Saturday in support of us upcoming book, How I Slept My Way to the
Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs. Pollack, who got his big movie break in the
Ron Howard/George Lucas adventure, Willow,
is best known for roles in A Few Good Men
and The Usual Suspects as well
as his spot-on impressions. Tonight’s show begins at 8 p.m. He does a mean
you missed this summer’s Fringe Festival or couldn’t make it to every show
(it’s a difficult task!), Know Theater is presenting four encore Fringe performances
through Saturday. Tonight’s Fall Fringe offerings include OCCUPY This: Tales of an Accidental Activist and Kevin J. Thornton: UNFRINGED. Solo
performance OCCUPY This (7 p.m.) tells
the story of a man who went to Occupy protests just to carry humorous signs but
ended up believing in the cause. Thornton’s unscripted show (8:30 p.m.) blends
comedic storytelling with original music to create a uniquely engaging performance
every time. Find tickets and more information here.