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Lauren Groff's Paradise Lost (and Mostly Regained)

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Lauren Groff’s engrossing second novel, Arcadia, centers on the first child born in an upstate New York commune where utopian ideals inevitably clash with the darker side of human nature.  
by Rick Pender 04.20.2012
Posted In: Theater at 09:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
onstage 4-18 - carnegie - cast of pump boys & dinettes - photo matt steffen.widea

Stage Door: More Musicals

I was at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music last evening to see this weekend’s production of Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia. I love this densely intellectual script that’s awash in math and physics theory as well as conflicting perspectives deriving from the Romantic movement and the Age of Enlightenment. The play alternates between 1809 and 1993, with characters in the more recent era speculating about actions and motives of people, including the poet Lord Byron, from nearly two centuries earlier. It’s a fascinating conceit, but it’s also three hours of dialogue that require close attention — and a lot of the CCM audience took off at intermission. The challenge is exacerbated by a lot of fast-talking using British accents and amplification (the actors wear body mics) that sounds blurry. That’s too bad, because the production looks great, is nicely costumed and has some fine performances, and Stoppard’s script is one of the great plays of the past 30 years. But unless you’ve seen it or read it, you might find this production a challenge. Box office: 513-556-4183 Pump Boys & Dinettes at the Covington’s Carnegie Center is something like an off-Broadway classic (it had a brief Broadway run) from the early 1980s. Set in a filling station that’s also a diner — where you can “Eat and Get Gas” — it’s a jaunty framework for downhome Country tunes and cornpone humor. It opens a three-weekend run a week ago, and I found it to be a delightfully entertaining production. Read my review here. Box office: 859-957-1940 More musical froth is available this weekend, including My Favorite Year, through Sunday at Northern Kentucky University (859-572-5464), and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through May 13 at the Covedale Center (513-241-6550). The former is a story about backstage shenanigans in the early days of television; the latter is an early show by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on a familiar biblical story. Neither is profound, but both should fun to watch. For a musical with some sharper edge, you might check out Know Theatre’s production of the recent off-Broadway and Broadway Rock musical hit, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. The show is a youthful mix of political commentary, driving Rock performances, history, humor and sober observations on the will of the people — just what we’ve come expect from Know Theatre. (The “orchestra” for the production is the local band The Dukes Are Dead.) The show has a cast of strong musical theater performers, and they make this sassy political satire a Critic’s Pick. This is Bloody Bloody’s first professional regional production, and it will surely be the big hit of Know’s season. (Through May 12.) Box office: 513-300-5669. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of The Grapes of Wrath (running through April 29) is a powerful theatrical interpretation of John Steinbeck’s grim tale about a Depression-era family of Oklahoma sharecroppers driven to homelessness by ecological and economic disasters. It’s a portrait of the desperate life wrought by the Depression in the 1930s and a powerful reminder that life hasn’t improved for many Americans 80 years later. CSC’s production is made all the more relevant by folksy musical interludes performed live by some of the actors. A downer of a story, but definitely worth seeing. Box office: 513-381-2273, x1.Each week in Stage Door, Rick Pender offers theater tips for the weekend, often with a few pieces of theater news.
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.18.2012
Posted In: Movies, Events, Performances, Concerts, Culture, Arts, Holidays at 08:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
to do_willem_dafoe_the_hunter

Your Wednesday To Do List

Celebrate: Today's oddball holidays include International Jugglers Day and National Columnists Day. Apparently a "juggler" can refer to an actual entertainer who can juggle several objects at once or a person who "juggles" multiple tasks or responsibilities (isn't that all of us?). Be sure to also show support for your favorite local columnists today. All chocolates, flowers and exotic dancers can be directed to 811 Race St., Downtown.Cincy World Cinema continues to present unique film opportunities for the Tri-State by screening The Hunter at Covington's Carnegie Center tonight and Thursday. Directed by Daniel Netthein, The Hunter  is based on Julia Leigh's critically acclaimed novel of the same name. Willem Dafoe stars as a Martin, a mercenary sent to Tasmania to hunt the last of a rare tiger breed. Martin is sent from Europe by an ambiguous biotech organization in an effort to extract mysteriously valuable genetic material from the nearly-extinct tiger. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. both days. Tickets at $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Read our review here.University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music's production of Arcadia opens tonight with a preview at 8 p.m. The 1993 Tom Stoppard comedy takes place in an English country house in 1809 and 1993, weaving two story lines into one witty, cohesive piece. Both stories delves into past and present pursuits of knowledge and passion. The show runs through Sunday in CCM's Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets for tonight's preview are just $11.The Mercantile Library turns 177 today, and to celebrate the institution, Civil War historian Peter Cozzens will present a lecture on Cincinnati Generals Hayes and Lytle and their involvement in the Civil War. Hayes was a member of the Mercantile Library and is one of three members to go on to become president. Signed copies of some of Cozzen's 16 books will be available for purchase. The 7 p.m. lecture is $15 for members, $20 non-members. Reserve your spot by calling 513-621-0717. Happy Birthday, Merc! You don't look a day over 150.Check out our music blog and To Do page for more arts, theater, events and concerts.
 
 

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