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Shakespeare and Stoppard: The Absurdity of Existence

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Whether or not you’re a Shakespeare aficionado, you’ve certainly heard of Hamlet, generally considered one of his greatest plays, if not one of the greatest works ever written for the stage.  

Thankful for 'Twelfth Night'

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m wandering down memory lane to offer an insight into why I’m thankful to be a theater critic. I grew up in a small town near Cleveland, acted (poorly) in some high school productions and was infected with an abiding love for theater. As a teenager I sought out productions at places like the Cleveland Playhouse and summer seasons at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.   

Toil and Trouble (Review)

In-the-moment, fast-talking producting loses some humor in the fury

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Lauren Gunderson’s Toil and Trouble is a very new play inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The title page of her script calls it a “Scottish-ish” comedy. Know Theatre of Cincinnati is giving the script just its second production.  
by Rick Pender 06.21.2013
Posted In: Arts community, COMMUNITY, Theater, Visual Art at 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door image for human races avenue q - katie pees & andrew ian adams - photo scott j. kimmins

Stage Door: The Droll Days of Summer

Most of our local theaters are cooling their jets for the summer months, but you still have two more weekends to catch the hilarious, three-actor Sherlock Holmes spoof of Hound of the Baskervilles at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. This one is definitely fine-tuned, featuring a trio of Cincy Shakes best actors — Jeremy Dubin, Nick Rose and Brent Vimtrup — directed by Michael Evan Haney from the Cincinnati Playhouse. It's a revival of a hit from last summer, so they have the comic timing of quick costume changes and fast-paced tomfoolery down pat. I understand that this weekend is almost sold out, but don't let that keep you from trying. Final performance is June 30. I hope you've deduced that you need to get for it this time around, even if you saw it before. (If you did, you know how funny it is.) It's elementary! Tickets: 513-381-2273, x1 The Showboat Majestic is a venue that floats along every summer with solid entertainment. Right now you can come on board for a classic piece of comedy by Neil Simon, The Odd Couple. It's a hit from 1965 in a production featuring a couple of great local actors: Joshua Steele as the prissy Felix and Mike Hall as the messy Oscar. They're a pair who know their way around a funny script, so it's a fine show for a summer's laugh. Tickets: 513-241-6550 Maybe you thought Sesame Street was funny when you were a kid. How'd you like to see some raunchy puppet behavior? Avenue Q is onstage in Dayton at the Human Race Theatre. The 2004 Tony Award-winning musical offers laugh-out-loud musical mayhem. But leave the kids at home: This one is aimed at those who are twentysomething and up, offering answers to a simple question: What happens to the kids who were raised on Sesame Street when they grow up? You'll find the answers — in songs like "It Sucks to Be Me" and "The Internet Is for Porn" — at the Loft Theatre, 126 North Main St. in downtown Dayton. Tickets: 937-228-3630
 
 

Measure for Measure (Review)

Cincy Shakes presents strange brew of drama, comedy

0 Comments · Monday, May 6, 2013
Director Brian Isaac Phillips has set his production in the U.S. in the 1920s. It’s a good match to Jacobean London and we are given visual insight into the characters — from puritanical tyrants in three-piece business suits to loose men in fur coats and lowlife women as flappers.  

Richard II (Review)

CSC portrays the fall of a king

0 Comments · Monday, January 14, 2013
Audiences seeing Richard II will wonder why it’s not presented more often because this production works so well. The common wisdom is that Richard II is more about head than heart. Shakespeare’s other histories are full of glory and combat, whereas this play focuses on a king whose weakness leads to his downfall.     

The Merchant of Venice (Review)

Comedy, tragedy staged in complex Shakespearean production

0 Comments · Monday, May 14, 2012
 Let’s give props to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company for bringing to the stage The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare’s most difficult plays. It’s officially categorized as a comedy, and it contains humorous and romantic elements, including a subplot about contesting for the hand of a wealthy heiress. But the central story of a more dire contest between a moneylender and a businessman is anything but amusing.   

Gnomeo & Juliet (Review)

Animated Shakespeare adaptation aided by Elton John

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 15, 2011
As things stand, this is certainly not the strangest adaptation of the Bard; in fact, it could be argued that Gnomeo & Juliet is rather conventional, especially for kiddie 3-D fare, when a few creative sparks (and a richer use of the extra dimension) might have been able to woo a few more hearts. Just be thankful Shakespeare never came up with a sequel. Grade: C  

Titus Andronicus with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

June 15 • Southgate House

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Titus Andronicus is a catalyst trying to destroy music. While the band is definitely not for the faint of eardrum, there is a surprising amount of depth and devotion to their sound.   

Two Gentlemen of Verona (Review)

CCM production is full of infectious dance energy

0 Comments · Friday, February 27, 2009
UC’s College-Conservatory of Music epitomizes the concept of "musical comedy" with this 1971 show featuring music by 'Hair' composer Galt MacDermot. It has the joyful, youthful energy of his earlier hit, plus a delightfully silly story from Shakespeare about two young men and their pursuit of love.   

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