True Theatre and other storytelling endeavors connect Cincinnatians
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2016
"Tell me a story.” That’s been a human
desire since prehistoric times as tales have been spoken from person to
person and passed from place to place, even before they were written
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 10:20 AM | Permalink
Get 'Kinky' — or look out for 'True Food'
If you turn up at the Aronoff Center for the touring production of Kinky Boots
(it’s onstage through Jan. 17), you might think you’ve landed in
Over-the-Rhine. That’s how much the show’s opening vista of a factory in
Northampton, England, resembles our own historic neighborhood. It’s the
Victorian brick façade of a shoe factory that’s struggling in the 21st
century because it’s still manufacturing old-fashioned men’s shoes. Even
if they’re “the most beautiful thing in the world” (the theme of the
show’s opening song), not so many people want to buy them today. As a
last-ditch effort to keep the company from closing, the
fourth-generation heir to the business, Charlie Price, decides to make
“kinky boots,” high-fashion footwear for drag queens whose male frames
are too much for standard female shoe heels. His customer No. 1 is Lola,
an extrovert of a diva who — not unlike Charlie — has struggled with
living up to his dad’s expectations. There’s a lot of fun and frippery
along the way: Lola has a half-dozen “Angels” — drag queens who back up
her act — and they’re spectacularly clad and built. A perky factory
worker, Lauren, keeps giving Charlie advice (while falling for him
despite his imminent fiancée in London). Another employee, Don, a
hardcore male chauvinist, wants nothing to do with Lola. Watching events
unfold is the fun of this show, even if you know where it’s all headed. Kinky Boots
offers a meaningful message about tolerance and finding your own path,
and there’s a lot of fancy dancing and fine singing along the way.
Tickets: 513-621-2787Whether or not your New Year’s resolution had to do with
losing weight, you still have to eat. So the topic this quarter’s True
Theatre, True Food, should be of interest. These are true
personal narratives, sometimes confessional, often humorous, told by
everyday people. Monday night’s stories are about what a homeless woman
did when she had access to a kitchen, a man who ate the wrong thing at
the wrong time, another man reconsidering his family’s “roots” and two
guys who eat like there’s no tomorrow, day in and day out. What happens
when a foodie and a picky eater cross paths? You can find out on Monday
when folks crowd into Know Theatre’s Underground Bar (1120 Jackson St.,
Over-the-Rhine) to get the dish on these stories. Call for tickets
($18); these events are often sold out.
Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 11:07 AM | Permalink
If you paid attention to the local theater season just concluded, you will recall that Cincinnati Shakespeare Company completed a herculean task: During its 20-year existence, the classic theater has produced all 38 of Shakespeare's plays. This summer three of Cincy Shakes' best actors are repeating the feat — sort of — with a production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), opening tonight. Jeremy Dubin, Justin McCombs and Nicholas Rose will be careening through the comedies, histories and tragedies digging props, wigs and ridiculous costumes out of a trunk. This is a perfect summer laugh-fest, and it's been a predictable hit in past seasons for Cincy Shakes, so tickets are sure to sell fast. Through Aug. 11. Tickets ($22-$35): 513-381-2273.Summertime musicals are another great tradition, and Cincinnati Young People's Theatre has been presenting them with big casts of high school students for three decades. In fact, the just-opened production of Footloose at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts is the 33rd summer show. It's the stage version of the popular 1984 movie musical, and it's a perfect vehicle for youthful energy focused on a group of high school kids — despite a repressive conservative atmosphere, kids in a small farming town just want to dance and have fun. With Tim Perrino at the helm, CYPT has steered more than 2,300 teens through entertaining shows, and this one will be another notch in his director's belt, providing experience for performers and techies alike. Through Aug. 3, you'll be able to come out and "Hear It for the Boy"! Tickets ($12-$16): 513-241-6559.I wrote a CityBeat column a week ago about John Leo Muething, an ambitious young theater artistic who's staging a couple of shows this summer at the Art Academy's auditorium on Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine. His second of three shows, repertory theatre, will be produced this weekend (Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.). It's about a timid young playwright who approaches a veteran director about his new play. With Shakespeare's Hamlet echoing throughout, things get wilder and wilder. This show was a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe for two years, and its original production is still touring in England; this is its U.S. premiere. Tickets ($10) at the door.The Commonwealth Theatre Company's Route 66 winds up its run at Northern Kentucky University this weekend on Sunday. It's the tale of a band headed for the West Coast in the 1960s stopping at juke joints, diners, cheap motels and curio shops along one of America's legendary highways. Wes Carman, Roderick Justice, Dain Alan Paige and Joshua Steele play The Chicago Avenue Band. Dinner and the show ($30): 859-572-5464.If Monday evening arrives and you're still yearning for something entertaining onstage, you can't go wrong with the next quarterly installment of TrueTheatre. This time around it's trueBLOOD, with the warning that if you cringe easily, this might not be the show for you. Whether it's stories that make your blood run cold — or just run — you can be sure that there will be first-person tales of memorable experiences. Great fun with a lively audience. One night only, Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Know Theatre. Tickets ($15, only a few left): 513-300-5669.
by Jac Kern
at 10:58 AM | Permalink
This weekend marks the end of the Fringe Festival. If you
haven’t seen any shows yet, go here
to check out all reviews, show times and ticket info and go see some before
Saturday’s final performances. Tonight at Know Theater, local live storytelling
collective True Theater presents a special Fringe edition. True Fringe features five Fringe performers who will divulge
personal stories of their experiences during this year’s theatrical fest. This
is a one-time event, and True Theater shows are always intriguing, so stop by
Know or go here
for tickets ($12). Stories being at 7 p.m.
It’s Northside Second Saturdays time again! Celebrate the
funky-fab neighborhood by visiting local shops, salons, bars, restaurants and
more between 6-10 p.m. Participating businesses offer sales, extended happy
hours, food and drink specials and plenty o’ good times. This weekend,
Fabricate opens Oh, Smell the People!,
a mixed media exhibition by Michael Reuter, and NVISION presents an exhibit of
youthful paintings and drawings by Angela Oster, titled Abandon Ship!.
Last Year’s Crosstown Shootout ended in an all-out brawl,
and Saturday’s Rollergirls Crosstown Knockdown is sure to bring body-slammin’
action, too — on the rink, that is. If you want to see a badass competition
without the worry of getting punched by an athlete, cheer on your favorite
chicks on wheels as the Cincinnati Rollergirls take on the Black-n-Bluegrass
Rollergirls in the first-ever Crosstown Knockdown at Cincinnati Gardens.
Cincy’s B-team, the Violent Lambs will compete against the Little Steel Derby
Girls at 7 p.m. and the main event kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Tickets start at just
$12. If you’ve never experienced a roller derby before, this will be an awesome
introduction. Grab tickets here.
Cincinnati’s curated urban flea market is back for the
summer this Saturday! The City Flea makes its home at Twelfth and Vine streets
in the Gateway District this season and it promises to be even bigger and
better than last year’s inaugural summer. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, browse
the open air market with vendors like Queen City Cookies, Fab Ferments, Brush
Factory, Cincy Craft Cartel, Charmingly Modern and lots more local food, arts,
clothing and other retailers. Find ‘em all here.
People love comedian Aziz Ansari for his many laugh-out-loud
roles. Some know him as Tom Haverford from Parks
and Recreation, others recognize him from his small-yet-memorable characters in
Funny People, Observe and Report or
Flight of the Conchords, while longtime fans (ahem) still quote his
hilarious sketches on Human Giant, but his stand-up trumps ‘em all. Saturday,
the dude who has everyone “treatin’ they selves” performs at the Aronoff
Center. From his family to celebrity encounters to everyday observations,
Ansari brings the LOLs. Hopefully his alter-ego RAAAAAAAANDY will make an
appearance. Go here
to get tickets to tomorrow’s show, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
Second Sundays on Main also makes a return this weekend. Hop around
OTR as you enjoy live music, food, beer and local shopping from noon-5 p.m.
Sunday. Highlights this week include a Crafty Supermarket mini-market, Dr. Bongonatti's Art Parade,
celebrity chef demos by Executive Chef Jose Salazar
and Pastry Chef Russ Wheeler of The Palace and the ever-popular drag races.
Follow our music and To Do pages for even more fun weekend stuff.
TRUE Theatre begins 2011 with more personal tales
0 Comments · Monday, January 3, 2011
Five storytellers, some selected, some volunteers, each take the microphone for 10 minutes, sans notes, to tell a true story from their own lives in line with this installment's theme: "beginnings."
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I occasionally write about concepts that theaters might consider to give us a broader array of performances. Know Theatre recently established an umbrella concept, the Jackson Street Market, that’s beginning to produce results. With a goal of building and retaining the local artist community, the Market seeks to help local “artistic entrepreneurs” to leverage Know Theatre’s resources on their behalf.