WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Rick Pender 09.05.2014 10 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 01:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 9-5 - etc hands on a hardbody - dallas padoven as chris alvaro - photo ryan kurtz

Stage Door: 'Tis the Season for Theater

If you'd like to go to the theater every evening for the next four days, there are plenty of options for you to consider as the 2014-2015 season is getting underway on stages all over town. Here are some good choices to consider: Hands on a Hardbody opened on Wednesday at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, and CityBeat reviewer Stacy Sims called it "effervescent" and "offbeat" in her review, giving it a Critic's Pick. I was there, too, and couldn't agree more about the infectious, heartfelt joy coming from the big cast of 15. The show is based on a true story (the subject of a 1997 documentary) about people in a downtrodden Texas town who enter a contest to win a Nissan pickup truck by outlasting others who vow to keep one hand on the vehicle. The cherry-red truck is as much a character as any of the contestants, the physical embodiment of their hopes and dreams — which take the form of songs by Trey Anastasio (of Phish) and Amanda Green. The script by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright treats these diverse, down-on-their-luck folks with dignity, and the performers (who often perform with the truck as their dance partner) bring every one of them to life in vivid ways. This one is a must-see, a great way to kick-off ETC's theater season. Through Sept. 21. Tickets ($28-$44): 513-421-3555 The Great Gatsby kicks off Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's season tonight. You didn't know Shakespeare wrote it? Well, he didn't. This theater company focuses on the Bard, to be sure, but it frequently branches out to present stage versions of other classics, in this case an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic about a mysterious nouveau-riche millionaire who's obsessed with a one-time debutante. Set in the Jazz Age and inspired by lavish parties the high-flying Fitzgerald attended on the prosperous North Shore of Long Island, Gatsby is a story about the ups and downs of the American Dream. Simon Levy's script is the only one authorized by Fitzgerald's estate, and Cincy Shakes is presenting its regional premiere. (And here's a tip: on opening nights at 6 p.m., the theater offers ticket holders a complimentary catered meal, beer and wine.) Through Oct. 4. Tickets ($22-$36): 513-381-2273 Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club opens next Thursday at the Cincinnati Playhouse, but previews begin for the season opener this Saturday (through Wednesday). Tickets for these performances are discounted, and you'll be seeing a show that's pretty much ready to go. Jeffrey Hatcher's script should be lots of fun for fans of the Victorian sleuth. He's taken the character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and dropped him into a tale conceived by another inventive writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, for a mash-up that will keep even Baker Street regulars guessing. Tickets: 513-421-3888 Serials! at Know Theatre, which has presented episodes of six Fringe-like shows at two-week intervals all summer long, culminates on Monday evening at 8 p.m. with finales of each tale. Who will win the ultimate fist fight with the Devil in Flesh Descending? How long can Luke really stay in his bedroom during The Funeral? Will we ever find out what's really happening in Mars vs. The Atom? These questions and more will be answered on Monday. Even if you've missed a few episodes, don't worry: Each 15-minute performance begins with a brief recap of the story so far. Zany and fun for anyone who's enjoyed the annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Tickets ($15): 513-300-5669 Finally, a tip for an eye-opening theater experience next weekend: On Sunday, Sept. 14, the Cincinnati area's first-ever South Asian Theater Festival happens in an all-day event at the Anderson Theater (7850 Five Mile Rd.). Five plays are scheduled to be presented, as well as panel discussions, seven hours of programming in all. The day begins at 12:30 p.m. and is set to conclude around 8 p.m. A limited number of tickets remain ($19-$29): SATFCincy.org
 
 

Behave Yourself 2.0

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The dos and don'ts of theater attendance, version 2.0.  

Plays By Women: Where Are They?

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 20, 2014
A crowd of female playwrights came together in New York City in 2008 to express their concern that works by women were not getting produced by that city’s theaters. More than 150 playwrights attended the gathering, resulting in standing-room-only at the venue.  

The Brothers Sklar

The shtick works for twins and sports-skewed comedy partners Jason and Randy Sklar

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 20, 2014
A lot of comedy falls under great scrutiny and derision, often unnecessarily so. Impressions, props, magic, duos — anything slightly out of the ordinary seems to open itself up to criticism...Fortunately, the Sklar Brothers have avoided such slings and arrows by developing a truly organic stand-up act.  

Harry & the Thief (Review)

Twerking time with Harriet Tubman at the Know

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Harry & The Thief by Sigrid Gilmer is a wonderfully ridiculous, history-twisting, large cast mash-up of a play about Harriet Tubman (Harry), slavery and time travel. It is also the first play in Know Theatre’s 17th season, with Andrew Hungerford now at the artistic helm. This bodes well.   

Puppets Provide Inspiration for Local Creative

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Wearing a Mister Rogers T-shirt with the words “never forget” emblazoned across it, Terrence Burke studies a newspaper while drinking an iced coffee at Northside’s Sidewinder Coffee. The clothing choice is pretty indicative of Burke. In 2010, Burke founded the zany puppet troupe Wump Mucket Puppets, creating and performing with his original cast of characters, colorful in both personality and hue.  
by Rick Pender 07.18.2014 59 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
route 66 - commonwealth theatre company - photo tyler gabbard

Stage Door: Kentucky's the Place for Theater this Weekend

The Commonwealth Theatre Company's production of Route 66 continues its dinner-theater run at Northern Kentucky University. It's about a band traveling from Chicago to the West Coast in the 1960s along one of America's most legendary highways. Along the way, they meet a lot of colorful characters and see a lot of America. Wes Carman, Roderick Justice, Dain Alan Paige and Joshua Steele make up "The Chicago Avenue Band," who make stops at juke joints, diners, cheap motels and curio shops in this coming of age story. Through July 27. Dinner and the show ($30): 859-572-5464.Last Saturday evening I ended up at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas to see teacher Jason Burgess's production of The Addams Family featuring a herd of high school kids from all over Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. It's a perfect musical for the program Burgess has created (C.A.S.T, the Commonwealth Artists Summer Theatre), bringing together a ton of students who are in love with theater. Surrounding the central characters in The Addams Family, nicely portrayed by Aaron Schilling as Gomez, Lindsey Gwen Franxman as Morticia and Harrison Swayne as Uncle Fester, are 18 ghostly "ancestors." Each one is costumed (designer Laura Martin) from various periods with a clearly evident character; together they sing and dance as a coherent company. (Amy Burgess served as the production's choreographer, and Alex Gartner is the music director — in creepy makeup.) Through Sunday at 2 p.m. General admission ($10) at the door or online via www.showtix4u.com.Monday evening at 8 p.m. brings the third installment of Serials! at Know Theatre (1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine). It's a wacky summer-long set of a half-dozen episodic plays by local playwrights. So far we have seen meat falling from the sky, an NSA spook monitoring a contentious couple, a kid refusing to go to a funeral, a philosophical fetus, a suicidal pair competing over techniques and more. Each 10-15 minute episode is preceded by a clever recap to catch you up, even if it's your first time there. Rest assured there are cliffhangers — not to mention Know's well-stocked Underground Bar. Admission is $15. Tickets: 513-300-5669.
 
 

CCM Alums Take on the Baritone Bad Boys of ‘La Calisto’

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 15, 2014
“Who told you Baroque operas are dull?” Andrew Garland says. “Who told you that?”    

New Company Brings “Short, Sweet, Cheap” Theater to OTR

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 15, 2014
In 2014 it requires equal amounts of energy, will and naïvety to single-handedly start a theater. But that’s what 22-year-old John Leo Muething is up to with Cincinnati’s newest company, Stone on a Walk. He seems to have all those elements readily at hand, as well as a supportive network of friends and family.   

Countrified Musical in Dayton

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Country Music can be slippery territory for musical theater: It deals with primal emotions, lost love, heartbreak and gettin’ even. That might make for a powerful musical.  

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