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Theater Matters

Educational Theatre Association plans to launch programs in underserved schools nationwide

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Later this week more than 100 high school drama teachers will converge in Cincinnati. That might sound like a lot of theater geeks in one place at the historic Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza downtown, but according to the people organizing this get-together, the very future of our nation might be at stake. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement.   
by Rick Pender 07.18.2014 5 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.
 
 

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.   

Actress Dale Hodges Keeps “Hanging in There”

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 9, 2014
While the rest of us kick back during a lazy summer, Cincinnati-based actress Dale Hodges is at work honing her craft. That might surprise some local theatergoers, who already think of her as one of our region’s best theater professionals; if Hodges is onstage with a Cincinnati theater, it’s a sure bet that audiences will show up to watch.   

All the Right Questions

Upstart theater group finds inspiration in the creative process itself

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Over three January days in his unheated Dayton apartment, 2013 Ohio University theater graduate Anthony Kochensparger forced himself to his desk (in all the layers he could manage) to write Milkwhite — a one-act play about a ballerina who goes to college, becomes involved with a girl and then cheats on her girlfriend with her dance instructor.   

And the Winner Is … Cincinnati Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 25, 2014
It’s award season in the theater world, locally and elsewhere, when past work is pored over to find outstanding productions and performances, accolades are bestowed, “thank you” speeches are made and egos are boosted or blasted.   

Sarah Jarosz

Thursday • 20th Century Theater

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The last time Sarah Jarosz showed up in Cincinnati was during the MidPoint Music Festival last year. And I’d wager that the vast majority of people who should have seen her probably missed out.   
by Jac Kern 05.30.2014 54 days ago
Posted In: Events at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
wwwdportrai2

Your Weekend To Do List: 5/30-6/1

It’s Pride Week in Cincinnati, a time to celebrate and support the local LGBTQ community, promote diversity as well as equality and just have a good time as a plethora of events takes over the city. The Pride party has been going all week and the fun continues tonight with the Skyy Vodka Pub Crawl featuring bars and clubs in Over-the-Rhine, Northside, Downtown, Newport and Covington. Shuttles run three loops with six busses stopping at 20 bars. A $10 wristband gets you on the bus all night and into any bars that have cover charges. Find details here. Cincinnati Art Museum’s free Art After Dark series also takes a Pride theme this month. Stop by the museum before the crawl for performances by Young Heirlooms and the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, gallery tours, giveaways and more from 5-9 p.m. Bar crawl wristbands can be purchased at the museum or Millennium Hotel, Below Zero, Rosie's Tavern or Chameleon between 8-10 p.m.  The much-anticipated annual Pride Parade steps off at 2 p.m. Saturday with a slightly different route due to streetcar construction: Seventh and Culvert streets to Vine Street to Fifth at Fountain Square, down Eggleston Avenue. The parade will end at Sawyer Point, where a family-friendly festival runs 3-9 p.m. There will be two entertainment stages (be sure to swing by the CityBeat stage!), rides and games for kids, food and drink. There will also be a public commitment/re-commitment ceremony at 6 p.m., free to all couples interested in participating. The ceremony will cap off with a couples’ first dance. The festival ends with a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Find a full entertainment lineup here. And be sure to check out this week’s Pride Issue. We’ve got interviews with local LGBTQ advocates, a calendar of events and more. The 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival is in full swing this weekend (continuing through June 7). We’ve previewed each of the 30-plus performances and will be posting reviews of every show as well — check them out here. Eccentric painter, sculptor, printmaker and collector of fancy antique oddities Hunt Slonem graces Cincinnati with his colorful, fabulous presence this week. The American artist has work showcased in more than 100 museums across the world — and now, Miller Gallery in Hyde Park. Perhaps best known for his neo-expressionist paintings of tropical birds and other animals, Slonem will be at the gallery for the opening Friday night. Meet the artist and peruse his works from 6-8 p.m.; The Exotic World of Hunt Slonem will be on display at Miller through June 29. Jane’s Saddlebag in Union, Ky., is a unique attraction sprawling over 35 acres of land that features a general store, restaurant, wine shop, petting zoo, historic spaces and recreations. Located near Big Bone Lick State Park, Jane’s is great for a weekend getaway close to home. Visit this weekend as they host their second annual wine festival noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sample wines from 20 local and regional wineries and shop handmade items from more than 40 craft vendors. Tickets are $12 and include four tasting tickets, a wine glass and live music. Go here for more info. For more art openings, parties, festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.
 
 
by Rick Pender 05.30.2014 54 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 08:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 5-30 - spamalot by showbiz players - photo provided

Stage Door: Full Speed Fringe

If you haven't found a couple of 2014 Cincinnati Fringe show that you're dying to see this weekend, you need to go to CityBeat's Fringe hub for some recommendations — including reviews of early performances of all 30-plus shows. But if you're still coming up short, there are more choices from area theaters.  If it's fun you're seeking, you might want to stop by the Carnegie in Covington, where Showbiz Players is presenting Spamalot. It opens tonight and runs through June 8. You probably know that this very amusing musical (it won three 2005 Tony Awards, including best musical) is "lovingly ripped off" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you can repeat lines from that 1975 cult hit, then this is surely the show for you. Tickets ($21.50-$24.50): 859-957-1940 Although it's not part of the Fringe, Marc Bamuthi Joseph's red, black & GREEN: a blues surely could be. The hybrid performance work leads audiences through four seasons in four cities: summer in Chicago, fall in Houston, winter in Harlem and spring in Oakland. Memories, hallucinations, dreams and lamentations are set in shotgun houses and subway cars, on park benches and in father-son conversations. I haven't seen it, but people I know have raved about the power of the work, which ranges from hilarious to poignantly sad. Joseph is a spoken-word poet, and his work is meant to be a conversation starter about sustainability and community building. It's being presented on Friday and Saturday evening by the Contemporary Arts Center at the Aronoff's Jarson-Kaplan Theater. Tickets ($18 for CAC members, $23 for everyone else): 513-621-2787 This is the final weekend for The North Pool at the Cincinnati Playhouse. (CityBeat review here.) Rajiv Joseph's anxiety-filled drama is a sparring match between a hard-nosed vice principal who thinks he knows something and a student, the son of Middle Eastern immigrants, who has things he wants to keep to himself — but it's not what the school official thinks. In fact, they both have secrets that are slowly, painfully revealed. Great script, great actors. This one is definitely worth catching. Tickets ($25 for students; $30-$75 for others): 513-421-3888
 
 

The Next Generation of Local Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I’ve been a theater critic for almost three decades. I’m an optimist: I routinely attend shows hoping to be pleased or surprised. Doesn’t always happen, of course, but I keep going back. Maybe that’s a little crazy, but I’ve kept at it for all these years because our Cincinnati theater scene gets better and better, and I want everyone to hear about it.  

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