Collaboration is the byword for many
arts organizations today, especially theaters where financial support is
tough to obtain and ticket revenues are seldom enough to support the
cost of productions. By working together, economies can be achieved and,
in some cases, multiple constituencies can be activated.
surprising that one of the most frequently produced and honored
playwrights of the 20th century hasn’t previously had one of his works
staged at our award-winning regional theater, but it’s almost worth the
wait given the current staging of Neil Simon’s 1983 Tony Award winner, Brighton Beach Memoirs.
More often than not, I try to introduce CityBeat
readers to new plays and writers. We see quite a few such shows locally
thanks to Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC), the Cincinnati Playhouse
and Know Theatre. In fact, looking at American Theatre’s list of
2012-2013’s “Top 10” most-produced plays, six have already been
If you haven’t ventured to Covington’s Carnegie Center for a show at the Otto M. Budig Theatre, you’re overlooking a pleasant evening’s entertainment. From the opening lines, it’s easy to like The Odd Couple, especially with the poker buddies who provide context for the “couple.”
Neil Simon is a comic playwright, but in 1983 his writing showed new depth with Brighton Beach Memoirs. The first of several autobiographical plays, this one features his alter ego, Eugene, at 14, growing up part of an extended family in the Brooklyn/Coney Island neighborhood of Brighton Beach, an enclave of second-generation Jewish immigrants.