WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Rick Pender 11.21.2014 36 hours ago
Posted In: Theater at 09:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
susan haefner as rosemary clooney at cincinnati playhouse - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: A Girl Singer and Two Pairs of Twins

Many Cincinnati stages are momentarily paused, readying shows for the holidays. Last night the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park opened its production of Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical. Susan Haefner does a remarkable job of channeling the "girl singer" from Maysville, Ky., who grew up in Greater Cincinnati. We learn how she became a star, rose to fame, almost lost it to pills and dissolute behavior, then battled back for a "flip side" to her singing career. All the other characters in her story — male and female, young and old, famous and unknown — are performed by Michael Marotta, who principally plays her counselor but is amusingly convincing as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Merv Griffin and many more. It's a thoroughly entertaining two hours on the Playhouse's Shelterhouse stage, and it's already appealing to audiences apparently, since the show's run has been extended from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4. Tickets ($30-$85): 513-421-3888 Cincinnati Shakespeare Company kicks off its next production of the 2014-2015 season tonight with The Comedy of Errors. The emphasis in this show, one of Shakespeare's earliest works, is definitely on the comedy, what with two pairs of twins whose adventures are hysterically compounded by mistaken identities when they end up in the same town on the same day. For this staging, it's set in a seaside resort in America of the 1930s in the midst of a classic carnival, adding to the story's hilarity. This one will only be onstage until Dec. 13, so this weekend is the perfect time to catch a performance, before holiday shows take center stage elsewhere. Tickets ($22-$36): 513-381-2273 One last treat I'll mention, which happens to be operatic rather than theatrical: It's Great Scott, a new work that Cincinnati Opera is nurturing in partnership with UC's College-Conservatory of Music. The production's creators have been in town all this week honing this brand new opera, the story of a struggling opera company and the hometown football team. They come into conflict when the team is to play in the Super Bowl on the same day the company has planned to premiere a long lost opera. To heighten the drama, the team's owner is married to the opera company's founder. The composer is Jake Heggie, who wrote the music for Dead Man Walking, a work produced by Cincinnati Opera at Music Hall in 2002, and Great Scott's script is by prize-winning playwright Terrence McNally. The week's work will culminate in a public reading on Tuesday evening. It's free, but you are asked to make a reservation by calling 513-241-2742 to see it at Memorial Hall (1225 Elm Street, next door to Music Hall; it's easy to park your car in the nearby Washington Park Garage). Rick Pender's STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
 
 

The Gift Guide

Presents for People You Know

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 19, 2014
With Black Friday quickly approaching (aka Nov. 28, if you’re the type to pretend to ignore capitalism and Walmart ads), the hive mind of America is focusing in on the holiest of all holiday celebrations: shopping.   

Christmas Me Home

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 18, 2013
They’re here. They’re my human Christmas cards, joy in the flesh and unwrapped, laughing presents exploding with a year’s worth of stories, relationships, work and secrets about places women find joy.  
by Zachary McAuliffe 12.02.2013
Posted In: Shopping, Holidays at 01:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
black friday pic

Black Friday Is the Worst

Marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday is easily the most disgusting bastardization of what a holiday is.  Let’s start with a brief history of where Black Friday began. This day has been a grotesque part of the holiday season here in America for years. Notably, in 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to an earlier date, stretching out the holiday shopping season. This change was brought on by retailers during the Depression Era, allowing people more time to go gift shopping or, more importantly, spend their money in the retailers’ stores.  Later in the 1950s and '60s, the day began to be viewed as a kind of worker-less void for shop owners as their employees started to not show up to work in order to go shopping.  Finally, in the '80s, store owners began to state how profitable the day was, or how much their profits were “in the black." See what they did there? Now, the day is a barbaric ritual for many people across America as they wait until store-doors open so they can grab a hodgepodge of items away from their competition and fight anyone who gets in their way.  Black Friday is like the Hunger Games but without all the talk about a rebellion against an oppressive regime. It’s just people fighting each other, and sometimes dying, for seemingly no good reason other than saving a buck or two.  Like back in 2011 when Walter Vance was trampled to death by other shoppers while trying to shop at his local Target in West Virginia. No one noticed they were literally running over a person to get their goodies.  Deaths do happen on this “holiday,” which is unsettling on its own, but the injuries far outnumber the deaths.  According to blackfridaydeathcount.com, there have been seven deaths attributed to Black Friday and a total of 89 injuries. This data only dates back to 2006, though, which means there are surely more from earlier years. Just a quick look at this same website shows people are not afraid to pepper-spray, stab or even shoot each other, again, all in the name of savings.  What is even more unsettling is how ravenous customers are. The following compilation of Black Friday videos over the years shows just how crazy people can act on this unholy of days as people break down doors to enter stores, tear apart in-store kiosks and basically act like filthy animals. Watching videos of Black Friday is simply depressing, and when you remember these are people and not zombies from The Walking Dead, it’s hard to think of this day as a holiday.  By definition, a holiday is when little to no work is done and people celebrate something, but more than that, holidays are meant to bring people together.  One clear example of what a holiday should be is the Christmas Truce of 1914 during the first World War. Both sides of the fighting had a ceasefire on Christmas Day along many points of the Western Front, and some points saw friendly and enemy soldiers alike exchanging gifts, food and good tidings.  That’s a holiday. Everyone put aside their differences for a short period and came together as humans.  If soldiers fighting a war can do this, why can’t shoppers perform these same acts of kindness and decency towards each other?
 
 

Give and Get Back

Tailor your generosity this holiday season by considering what matters most to you

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 20, 2012
The holiday season is known as a time to celebrate, but, more importantly, it’s a time to give. It’s easy to translate your personal interests into the volunteer world.  

'Tis the Season

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.   

Six Ways to Fight the Fiscal Cliff with Holiday Spirit

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 20, 2012
With tax hikes and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff” on the horizon and a Congress that has been unwilling to meet under the mistletoe to decide how they will rear the 2013 New Year’s Budget-Baby, it seems that we as citizens need to provide our elected officials an example of how to kiss and make up this holiday season.  

Sensible Season

Tips for surviving high-calorie celebrations

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Feasting with family and friends doesn't have to mean facing holiday weight gain this year. Planning ahead and including few simple substitutions will make your upcoming celebrations both happy and healthy (without sacrificing flavor) for everyone sharing your season.  

The Truth About the Truth About Christmas

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We hope you enjoy our holiday-themed section "The Truth About Christmas" and enjoy the season in whatever way or for whatever reasons you and yours do. It's going to look really nice out there if it snows and, really, the long winter ahead is going to suck a lot worse than a couple dinners with the relatives. That's the truth.  

Breaking Holiday Sex Slumps

Advice from an expert on how to un-slump

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Forget about the spontaneous moment of lust that scares up the sex-drive ghosts of Christmas Past. It ain't gonna happen in the midst of party planning, shopping, wrapping or hiding gifts, paying credit card bills and every other thing that comes up during the holiday season, according to Patty Brisben.  

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