WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Rick Pender 12.08.2014 10 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 09:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
christmas carol_cincinnati playhouse - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: A Ho-Ho-Whole Lotta ​Holiday Shows

If you want to go to the theater this weekend, you have plenty of choices, so long as you have the spirit of the season. Let's start with the familiar: Cincinnati Playhouse launched its 24th year of A Christmas Carol last week, and it's always a pleasure to see, featuring Bruce Cromer as Scrooge. But there are many more fine acting performances, including Ryan Wesley Gilreath as Bob Cratchit and Douglas Rees as the ebullient Mr. Fezziwig. Played out on a wingding of a set that spins and glitters and makes it possible to tell the story swiftly, Dickens' classic tale is a wonderful holiday tradition. Through Dec. 28. Tickets ($30-$85): 513-421-3888 Another tradition continues at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, where Sleeping Beauty is being revived for the fourth time. For 18 seasons, ETC has presented original shows by two local creators, playwright Joseph McDonough and composer David Kisor. It's a family-friendly piece that's conceived to entertain kids and adults with its innocent charm and a message that one person can truly make a difference. Many of ETC's regular actors return annually to do these shows, especially Deb G. Girdler (as the evil Wisteria) and Michael G. Bath (as her nefarious henchman). Intern Deirdre Manning is the sweet princess who sleeps for 100 years, and Terrance J. Ganser is both the prince who fulfills her curse and the one who breaks her free a century later. Especially enjoyable as a trio of mischievous fairies are Sara Mackie, Denise Devlin and Brooke Steele as Marigold, Lilac and Daisy. (They will be familiar to ETC audiences from several productions of the "Marvelous Wonderettes.") Through Jan. 4. Tickets ($28-$44): 513-421-3555 Lots of good holiday choices are up and running elsewhere: Forever Plaid – Plaid Tidings at the Covedale Center on the West Side; The Comedy of Errors at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company downtown; The Eight Reindeer Monologues at Falcon Theatre in Newport; and the Children's Theatre of Cincinnati's production of The Snow Queen at the Taft Theatre downtown. If you prefer to avoid elves, nutcrackers and bah-humbugs, you should try Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical (CityBeat review here) at the Playhouse or The Bureau of Missing Persons, a the magical, mysterious production at Know Theatre (CityBeat review here). Ho, ho, ho, indeed. That's enough theater to make anyone jolly.Rick Pender's STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
 
 

In Defense of Presents

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice or anything in between, it’s one of the few times a year when you don’t have to be rational.  

In Defense of Everything You Think You Hate About the Holidays

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2014
This year, we’re defending everything you think hate about the holidays, from mother-in-laws to mass to matzo and all the glittery crap in between.   

In Defense of Scaring Children into Good Behavior

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2014
 Kids are dicks, scientifically speaking.  

Princess and Christmas in 1969

0 Comments · Thursday, December 4, 2014
I think about this a lot around this time of year—Princess and Christmas in 1969.  

The Gift Guide

Presents for People You Know

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 19, 2014
With Black Friday quickly approaching (aka Nov. 28, if you’re the type to pretend to ignore capitalism and Walmart ads), the hive mind of America is focusing in on the holiest of all holiday celebrations: shopping.   

No Time for Humbug: A Dickens of a Christmas Story

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 25, 2014
“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”  
by Jac Kern 12.20.2013
Posted In: Events at 01:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo

Your Weekend To Do List: 12/20-12/22

Beelistic Tattoo on Short Vine presents its second annual Holiday Art Show Friday. The exhibit features works by local and national tattoo artists on sale for $25 or less. In addition to browsing artwork, guests can enjoy free craft cocktails and book future tattoo appointments. Bring a donation of toys, clothing, books or $5 to benefit the Children’s Home of Cincinnati. The festive fun continues along Short Vine with more art on display at Gallery 77, Popp=d Art and Bogart’s, drink specials at Dive Bar, shopping at Vursa Limited, music at Mio’s Pizzeria and more. Beelistic’s party kicks off at 5 p.m. and continues until midnight (or until the art sells out). Rabbit Hash’s annual Christmas Parade takes place Saturday at 4 p.m. Cajun Jazz group Lagniappe will inject a little Southern flair at the holiday party that follows. Swing by the General Store, drink a little something to warm you up and frolic with the famous Rabbit Hash dogs! Former Cincinnati Ballet members Joseph Gatti and Adiarys Almeida return to the city and company for holiday classic The Nutcracker. This family-friendly production opens Friday, runs all weekend and continues through Dec. 29. Read our interview with the couple here. Nothing says happy holidays like a booze cruise! Enjoy some of Greater Cincinnati’s finest — from beer to views — on the Christian Moerlein Brew Ho Ho Ho Dinner Cruise Saturday. Attendees will board the boat at 6 p.m. and set sail from BB Riverboats 7-9:30 p.m. The night includes a four-beer tasting, buffet, music from a live DJ and a souvenir Moerlein pint glass. Adult tickets are $55, $26 for sightseeing only. Book the cruise here. Enjoy a Christmas Carol-inspired brunch this Sunday at Orchids at Palm Court’s Dickens Brunch. English favorites like roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, mince meat pie and figgy pudding accompany brunch classics, including an omelet and waffle bar. Sunday is the last chance to try the Dickens Brunch, which runs 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Find more information here. For more art openings, parties 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 Jac Kern 12.18.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, technology, Movies, Music, Humor at 12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The 2014 Golden Globes, hosted by the dream team of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, take place Jan. 12 and nominations have been announced. Here we go! In the motion picture sector, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle lead the pack with seven nominations each. The America’s Sweethearts Showdown will finally play out as Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) is pitted against Julie Roberts (August: Osage County) for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (along with Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine, Lupita Nyong'o – 12 Years a Slave and June Squibb ­– Nebraska). Yes, I'm really trying to make the J. Law/JuRo(?) rivalry happen. Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey were rewarded for the physical deterioration they underwent to star in Dallas Buyers Club — they’re up for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama, respectively. On to television selections, Netflix series House of Cards raked in four nominations, the most of any series. The HBO film Behind the Candelabra also garnered four nods, but in three categories — stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas are up against one another for Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie. Rob Lowe’s amazing work as Liberace’s plastic surgeon/pill pusher in Candelabra gets lauded with a nomination for the broad Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie category, but that statue will likely go to Aaron Paul for his performance in the final season of Breaking Bad. New-to-2013 shows Masters of Sex, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Ray Donovan each received two nominations. I was totally in love with the inaugural season of Masters this year, so I’m happy to see it up against some solid series for Best TV Series, Drama, even if it probably won’t win. I can’t bring myself to watch Brooklyn (despite my love for Andy Samberg!) because it looks decidedly unfunny, but I keep hearing I need to check it out, so judgment reserved. Ray was a decent new drama. Jon Voight killed it as the fresh-out-of-prison father to the titular character, a Hollywood “fixer” played by Liev Schreiber (also nominated). Voight’s Mickey brought the laughs in an otherwise dark story, from his penchant for big-booty video girls to the advice he gives to his nauseated grandson: “Maybe you need to faht!” Noticeably absent are Homeland, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men, and I am OUTRAGED! OK, I’m starting to sound like everyone who’s ever listened to a local band after the CEA nominations are announced. #sitthehelldown But seriously, Damien Lewis’ performance as Homeland’s Brody, while limited on screen this season, was incredible. He truly has played so many sides and shades of the character. That detox scene? Haunting. He nailed the deterioration of Brody completely. I also thought this was one of the best seasons of Boardwalk. Completely biased opinion: John Huston’s Richard Harrow has been my favorite character of the series (besides Lucy, played by the incomparable queen of mot messes Paz de la Huerta, OBVS). With so many other amazing characters, it’s totally understandable that he wouldn’t leave with an award, but…Richard! "Hold me." As for Mad Men, neither the show nor its actors have won a Globe since 2009, when it was awarded for Best TV Series, Drama. The show is not suffering — in fact, watching Don (Jon Hamm) finally crack and start to act like a real human was incredible this season. Oh, well. There’s always next year’s Emmys, I guess? Read all the nominations here.It’s almost Christmas, so what better time for another Apple ad to make you unexpectedly shrivel up and bawl? Beyoncé blew the top off the Internet late last week, surprise-releasing 14 new songs plus 17 music videos in a full, mega, meta “visual experience” of an album, leaving most of us with nothing left on our holiday wish lists. Titled simply Beyoncé, the package features collaborations with Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Drake and Blue MFing Ivy, sexy-ass songs with some straight up raunch, audio/video from Star Search and home movies and several shots of Bey’s thonged butt. It’s perfection. And because no one can ever get enough Yoncé (That’s right, it’s Yoncé, Mrs. Carter if you’re nasty), she’s also releasing a mini-documentary about the album in various parts, day by day. Buy the package, watch the videos and get swept up in the Carter life here. John Mayer and Katy Perry are totes an item and, in case you needed any reminders of what a supreme douche J. May is, well, here’s their first couples interview (gag) — skip to 2:50 for John’s really touching words about Katy’s craft/to hear him drop an F bomb (edited out, thanks ABC!) while doing so. Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames. R. Kelly(’s PR) thought it would be a good idea to get #askrkelly trending, to spark a sort of AMA with Twitter fans, and it was a total marketing fail. In fact, the timing of the backfired publicity stunt led perfectly to this Village Voice interview with the Chicago Sun-Times music critic that broke the story detailing R. Kelly’s involvement with underage girls almost 15 years ago. This journalist, Jim DeRogatis, reminds us just how disgusting of a rap sheet R. has. I guess somewhere between Trapped in the Closet parts V and XXVI, we forgot the dude was a legit pedo. Buzzfeed dubbed Newport Aquarium’s Scuba Santa one of eight “Most Badass Santas in the World,” not to be confused with “One of Most Extreme Santas in World,” as reported by basically every other local media outlet (buncha babies). If there’s just one viral family Christmas video-card (ugh) making its rounds that particularly makes me want to gouge my eyes out, it’s the Holderness family’s. Set to the tune of the very current “Welcome to Miami,” this family of four teaches us what the holidays are truly about: bragging about the year’s accomplishments. Namely, running triathlons, appearing in blockbuster films and learning Chinese — in their "Christmas jammies." Fucking white people. Shia LaBeouf was a child actor, so I guess he never went to school to learn that copying off your neighbor's work is pretty much universally looked down upon. That's the only explanation I can come up with to justify his plagiarizing of Daniel Clowes' comic Justin M. Damiano for his new short film, HowardCantour.com. Read all about the fiasco here, and see the similarities for yourself. LaBeouf said sorry via Twitter, which should be enough, but he apparently lifted his apology off Yahoo Answers. So help us all.
 
 

Christmas Me Home

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 18, 2013
They’re here. They’re my human Christmas cards, joy in the flesh and unwrapped, laughing presents exploding with a year’s worth of stories, relationships, work and secrets about places women find joy.  

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