Brains trump beauty in 'Cinderella,' now playing at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, where every December another familiar fairy tale gets a fun musical makeover. This year's installment features a philosophy-loving heroine (exceptional homegrown talent Brooke Rucidlo) in local playwright Joe McDonough's clever script.
You could stand in a check-out line at a grocery story in northwestern Cincinnati behind Joe McDonough and never detect that the guy unloading his cart before you is a playwright whose scripts have been enjoyed by audiences at theaters all over town and beyond. In fact, the self-effacing man who is disinclined to talk about himself at length has been writing plays since 1988. This season he's accomplished something no other local writer has ever managed to do: Two of his scripts will be given their world premieres almost simultaneously by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Playwright Joseph McDonough has a new show onstage at the Playhouse, his third in six years, making him that theater's most frequently presented playwright since 2000. And with good reason: His scripts are evocative, lyrical and always engaging.
Local playwright Joe McDonough returns to the Cincinnati Playhouse this week for his third premiere, 'Travels of Angelica,' winner of the 2009 Mickey Kaplan New American Play Prize. "I was at a conference with other playwrights last summer," he says, "and I was explaining that I had this production coming up and this relationship with the Playhouse: three productions in six years. They were stunned."
'Alice in Wonderland' is Lewis Carroll's beloved whimsical tour de force, written as a cautionary lesson for the daughters of a friend. The story has been updated by Cincinnati playwright Joseph McDonough, with the addition of appropriately silly lyrics and catchy Pop tunes by David Kisor. McDonough's book remains faithful to the spirit of the original, but he hasn't shied away from adding elements familiar to contemporary young people.