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The Birds (Review)

Suspense flocks to Cincy Shakes

0 Comments · Monday, October 20, 2014
Put aside what you think know about the narrative of The Birds if you’ve seen Hitchcock’s classic movie  
by Rick Pender 09.19.2014 35 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 08:05 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
the riverside _daniel c britt _l_ and gary mcgurk_r_ photo provided

Stage Door: Riverside, Reefer and Sondheim

There are several good productions onstage around town — check out CityBeat coverage of Hands on a Hardbody (a musical at ETC), The Great Gatsby (a classic American novel adapted for the stage at Cincy Shakes), Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club (a new adventure for the great detective at the Cincinnati Playhouse) and Tennessee Williams' prize-winning A Streetcar Named Desire (at the Covedale) — but if you've seen those, you have other choices for onstage entertainment. Here are three suggestions for shows a little more off the beaten path:Local actor/director/writer Kevin Crowley has written a play called The Riverside, rooted in Cincinnati (Crowley is a member of a family that's lived locally for generations) and getting a production — he's directing it, too — at Clifton Performance Theatre, just west of the Clifton/Ludlow business district (404 Ludlow). It's set in an imaginary (or rather an imagined) bar called the Riverside, where a bunch of folks in 1989 are following the Pete Rose case about gambling that eventually got him banned from baseball. But there's a lot more happening — like protests in Tiananmen Square and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In CPT's tiny space is filled up with a lot of talent — Michael Shooner, Daniel Britt, Buz Davis, Mike Dennis, Mindy Heithaus, Reggie Willis, Mark Bowen, MaryKate Moran, Gary McGurk, Pete Wood, Cathy Springfield and Paul Morris — playing folks who hang out and argue about what's going on. I haven't caught this one yet, but everyone who has says it's worth seeing. Through Sept. 27. Tickets ($25): https://cpt.tixato/com/buyCommunity theater company Showbiz Players is staging the musical Reefer Madness at the Carnegie in Covington. It opens tonight (and runs through Sept. 28). This tongue-in-cheek show was inspired by a very serious film from 1936 designed to inspire fear and loathing when clean-cut kids fall prey to marijuana. The producers "warn" that it contains adult humor, religious parody and drug use — and note that it will go "straight to your head." Should be a lot of fun for those mature enough to get the jokes ... Tickets ($19.50-$22.50): 859-957-1940Side by Side by Sondheim was the first musical revue created using songs by the guy who wrote the music and lyrics for shows including Company, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Gypsy and A Little Night Music. That was in 1976 in London, but the tunes are just as fresh and vibrant today as they were nearly four decades ago. Middletown Lyric Theatre is presenting this collection of 25 numbers for two weekends (tonight and tomorrow, as well as Sept. 26-27) — using seven singers and two pianists. Tickets ($15): 513-425-7140
 
 

All Sewn Up: Reba Senske and Caren Brady Young, Design Divas

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 3, 2014
No costume challenge is too daunting for two local design divas Reba Senske and Caren Brady Young.  

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.  

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 98 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.   

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