Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s 1937 comedy could be termed an old chestnut; it's also a classic, certainly the forbearer of many of today's TV sitcoms, replete with zany stock characters and contrived, hilarious strings of events that pile up the laughs. It's been staged twice locally over the past year (by CCM and the Showboat Majestic), but that doesn't mean the Cincinnati Playhouse's current production is repetitive.
There are several obvious reasons why Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is wrapping up its 50th anniversary season with 'The Fantasticks.' For one, the long-running musical began its onstage life the same year the Playhouse first presented plays in a Cincinnati Parks shelter house in Mount Adams. The show's staying power is amply displayed by the current charming production, staged by Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern.
Short works by Eugene O'Neill and Samuel Beckett from the late 1950s comprise a double bill at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. What's so compelling is the fact that actor Joneal Joplin plays the lead part in both shows.