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Dance: Cinderella

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 10, 2016
This weekend, Cincinnati Ballet’s Cinderella, last seen in 2010, takes the stage at the Aronoff Center.   

Celebrate the Holidays with a Night at the Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The holiday song has it that this is “the most wonderful time of the year.” That’s certainly true if you love holiday-themed theater. Some of what’s available in Cincinnati is family-friendly, while some of it takes some liberties with the holidays.  
by Rick Pender 12.11.2015 61 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Stage Door

Ho-Ho-Ho, try a holiday show!

Most of the theater onstage right now is holiday-themed — or at least family-friendly. If you want to take kids to see something, your best bet is Cinderella at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, a contemporary take on the familiar fairytale — the heroine is a bookworm who prefers to sneakers to glass slippers. There’s lots of humor, especially from the loudmouthed and crass stepsisters in this telling, plus some fine musical moments. This show will be around until Jan. 3. Tickets: 513-421-3555 … Another good choice for kids is A Charlie Brown Christmas, presented at the Taft Theatre by Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. You know the story, I’m sure (this year is the 50th anniversary of the TV special) but it’s a good bet that Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is putting a version onstage that will let kids have a good time. Performances are at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets: 800-745-3000 … Want to start a family tradition? There’s no better choice than Cincinnati Playhouse’s glittering, well-acted production of A Christmas Carol. It’s fast-moving and often funny (Bruce Cromer gives Ebenezer the full range of emotion, from crabby “Bah, humbug” to a joyous “Merry Christmas.”) It’s onstage through Dec. 30. Tickets: 513-421-3888 … The Covedale Center’s production of Mary Poppins isn’t their best work (it feels a tad long for youngsters), but it has great tunes and some memorable special effects — Mary flies and Bert walks up and down the sides of the proscenium — that audiences will enjoy. Through Dec. 27. Tickets: 513-241-6550 The Rock musical Rent, onstage at the Incline Theatre in Price Hill doesn’t exactly qualify as holiday or family entertainment, although its story does start and finish at Christmas (with “525,600 Minutes” in between). But this is an energetically acted and sung production for mature audiences. Through Dec. 20. Tickets: 513-241-6550 … If you can’t quite wait for The Force Awakens to open, you can get a small dose of Star Wars energy from All Childish Things at Know Theatre. It’s a comedy about some slackers trying to steal collectibles from a warehouse — they don’t succeed, but they learn a lesson about heroism that’s akin to the movie. Through Dec. 19. Tickets: 513-300-5669 … This weekend is your final opportunity to see As You Like It at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. It’s a delightful production of one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, but it’s wrapping up on Saturday. (Next week CSC opens Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some) on Wednesday.) Tickets: 513-381-2273 …The most entertaining non-holiday show this season has to be Low Down Dirty Blues on the Playhouse’s Shelterhouse stage. It’s pretty much what the title says: Three singers getting a little raunchy and having a lot of fun with some tunes about being up and down. Great performances and a really good time for grown-ups. Through Dec. 20. Tickets: 513-421-3888 Finally, if you a performance that’s simply feel-good, I heartily recommend going to Ensemble Theatre on Monday evening at 7 p.m. for their one-night-only annual presentation of Expectations of Christmas. It’s a round-up of holiday traditions, origins, music, facts and back-stories — presented by performers who frequent ETC’s stage. Admission is just $10 and all the proceeds go to Tender Mercies (an Over-the-Rhine agency right around the corner from ETC that provides permanent and transitional housing for the homeless with histories of chronic mental illness). Tickets: 513-421-3555 … or walk in on Monday and you’ll likely get in.  Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
 
 

Cinderella

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 11, 2015
  
by Rick Pender 01.16.2015
Posted In: Theater at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Stage Door: A Weekend of Classic Musicals and Plays, Plus a Party and Some Lies

Things are off to a good start for 2015: The touring production of Cinderella at the Aronoff is a very entertaining retooling of music by Rodgers and Hammerstein into a more contemporary version of the classic fairy tale. It's the same story, but the attitudes are of the 21st century, with a "power to the people" thread running through it and Cinderella conveying a populist message, convincing her prince that democracy is the way to go. The music is charming and there's some magical things done with quick changes in and out of ball gowns that will keep audiences guessing as to how it's done. I gave this one a Critic's Pick with my CityBeat review. Tickets: 513-621-2787.Another classic musical is onstage at Covington's Carnegie: West Side Story. The show requires a lot of dancing and strong orchestral support, and this production offers both.The leads have excellent voices, although I felt (CityBeat review here) they were a tad too operatic for "kids" affected by gang warfare. Nevertheless, this show has some of the finest music ever written for the stage — the score is by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics by Stephen Sondheim — so it's definitely worth seeing. Tickets: 859-957-1940.Cincinnati Shakespeare Company opens its production of one of the 20th century's great stage works, Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot this weekend. I haven't seen it yet, but with a cast feature stage veteran Bruce Cromer and longtime Cincy Shakes actor Nick Rose, it's sure to be watchable. Here's a fun fact: Cromer has played Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Cincinnati Playhouse for eight years; this year Rose understudied the role and actually had to cover several performances when Cromer was out of commission with a twisted ankle. I expect their onstage chemistry to fuel a production that audiences will enjoy. 513-381-2273.CCM voice professor Pat Linhart presents her annual faculty recital on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. It's a free event at Patricia Corbett Theater on the UC Campus. Every year Linhart assembles a program of zany humor and heartfelt singing, accompanied by the inestimable Julie Spangler. There are always a few surprises, and this year should be no exception. The theme is "It's My Party" celebrating Pat's 65th birthday, and I'm envisioning party hats and noisemakers for everyone in the audience. Rick Pender's STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
 
 

Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance — Shows Coming Our Way Next Season

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 5, 2014
With this week’s announcements of the 2014-15 seasons for touring shows presented by Broadway in Cincinnati and by Cincinnati Landmark Productions at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, you have more than a dozen choices to consider.  
by Jac Kern 05.16.2013
Posted In: Fun, TV/Celebrity, Music at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

98 Degrees appeared on Bravo’s late night show, Watch What Happens Live, last week and, shockingly, Justin Jeffre didn’t wear a fedora! But seriously, on the after-show, Nick played “Plead the Fifth” (without pleading the fifth!), a regular game in which host Andy Cohen asks a guest three personal questions, and they can only decline to answer one. Nick revealed, “The best thing about not having Joe Simpson anymore as a father-in-law is that I don't have to play grab-ass under the table on Easter Sunday anymore.” And judging by the reaction (plus the rumors about Joe batting for the other team), he ain’t talking about Jess… But the best part of this episode was the night's bartender, Internet sensation of yesteryear, Sweet Brown! In case you were wondering, no, she still ain’t got time for that. Hold on to your knickers, girls, because Robb Stark (government name: Richard Madden) is going to portray Prince Charming in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of Cinderella. If you somehow avoided the Internet late last week, perhaps you missed the genius that is Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal, a series of Vine videos by Ryan McHenry. IknowIknowIknow ANOTHER Ryan Gosling meme — but this one will make you spew milk out of your nose. That is, if you’ll ever eat cereal again knowing RG’s disdain for it. Peep them all here, conveniently compiled by Buzzfeed. Well, it’s time. Seven years after cancelling one of the smartest comedies on television, the folks behind Arrested Development  “unmade a huge mistake.” Season Four comes to Netflix May 26 and the first official trailer is here. According to HuffPo, AD goes live at 12:01 a.m. PT, which is 3:01 a.m. our time. Early morning frozen bananas, anyone? After all, breakfast is the most important thing — out of things you eat. Kristen Wiig hosted Saturday Night Live last week (don’t even get me started on that mess) and Vampire Weekend performed two songs from their new album, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s pretty good; you should buy it here. Does anyone know if lead singer Ezra Koenig (right) and actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, A Serious Man) are related?   Seth Meyers, head writer for SNL and Weekend Update host, is now the confirmed replacement for Jimmy Fallon when he leaves Late Night to take over The Tonight Show. Longtime veteran Jay Leno will be stepping down early next year. When the switch goes down, both The Tonight Show and Late Night will be filmed in New York. Lots of questions still remain: Will The Roots stay with Jimmy or stick to Late Night? How will old people react to two goofy, youngish SNL alumni with normal chins taking over their screens two hours each weeknight? Seriously, has anyone checked on Conan O’Brien lately? Is he doing OK? I can be suckered into any number of advertising campaigns (HELLO, TARGET) but it really irks me when an ad tries too hard and I can totally see through it. For example, remember last spring when Mike and Ike billboards were popping up and — oh my gosh, someone vandalized them! Every single one! That’s right, the ads appeared to have either Mike or Ike scribbled out and then a few weeks later, the next wave of ads were released, which revealed that Mike and Ike have “broken up.” I really do not give a shit about boring movie candy. Do kids even know what Mike and Ikes are anymore? I guess that’s the point. Well, a year later, Mike and Ike are back at it. This time, they're getting some street cred thanks to their new friend, Nelly. From a press release: Award-winning hip hop artist, Nelly has teamed up with MIKE AND IKE® to honor their recent reunion after a highly publicized split last Spring! As a long-time fan of the candy, Nelly played a role in helping Mike and Ike get back together and is excited to be part of their new campaign! Read more of this thrilling, newsworthy announcement here. And don’t forget to check out Tom+Chee on Shark Tank this Friday!
 
 

Cinderella (Review)

Glitter and glitz abound in Covedale's holiday fairytale

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 11, 2012
It might not have occurred to you that Cinderella is a fairytale for the holidays, but at the Covedale Center they’ve made it into a cheerful family-friendly extravaganza, decked out with tinsel, glitter, snow, a midwinter ball and Christmas caroling.   

Cinderella (Review)

Spirit of invention animates NKU's production

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your box office. Consider Cinderella at Northern Kentucky University, an inventive take on a familiar show that's quickly selling out. Director Ken Jones and company have taken a simple, timeworn stage scheme and run with it, adding a trio of cute rodent clowns, a full repertoire of eccentric line readings and gestures, endless gags and, yes, a giant pest-ensnarement device set center stage as this tuneful, two-hour fairytale unfolds.  

God Bless Our Holiday Shows, Every One!

0 Comments · Monday, December 6, 2010
I annually face the holidays with mixed emotions. I love the holiday season, but I also know that it means I'll be in overdrive, attending numerous theatrical holiday productions. But there are excellent options again this holiday season, starting with Cincinnati Playhouse's 'A Christmas Carol' and ETC's 'Cinderella.'  

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