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.
With a zippy production of Anthony Shaffer's 1970 thriller 'Sleuth,' Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has launched a year-long 50th anniversary celebration. Almost 40 years after its 1,200-performance Broadway run, 'Sleuth' survives and thrives under Michael Evan Haney's crafty direction — surprises and intricate trickery intact. Further, while keeping the thrills chilling, Haney instilled some nicely leavening humor.