by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 11:22 AM | Permalink
I saw Cincinnati
Opera's production of Silent Night on Thursday evening. It's the
regional premiere of a work that won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for music, and our
local opera is doing a bang-up job of presenting it. And "bang-up" is
the operative term: This opera is set during some of the darkest days of World
War I, and the opening segment of the production reproduces the violent and
deadly combat between troops from England (actually a regiment from Scotland),
France and Germany. You're not likely to see a more gripping onstage
representation of battle than what's happening at Music Hall. Before Thursday's
performance I listened to composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell talk
about how to "musicalize" such a scene: Their research included
studying the opening sequence of the Saving Private Ryan, the graphic,
Academy Award-winning film of the D-Day invasion during World War II. It's a
powerfully real scene, a perfect opening to the moving tale of soldiers pitted
as enemies who found common ground in one another's humanity on Christmas Eve
1914. You can get good seats for the concluding performance on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m.)
for $30-$45 by calling the Opera's box office: 513-241-2742.
high school students are the talent in onstage for Commonwealth Artists Summer
Theatre (C.A.S.T.) at Highlands High School (2400 Memorial Pkwy., Fort Thomas).
Starting tonight is a two-week run (July
11-20) of The Addams Family, a Broadway
musical based on cartoonist Charles Addams' bizarre and
beloved family of characters. The group is headed up by Fort Thomas
theater instructor Jason Burgess, who has assembled theater kids from the
Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky who are eager to develop their skills
in performance and production. Tickets: $10 (http://www.showtix4u.com) or at the door.
Tony Award-winning musical next to normal, about a
woman with bipolar disorder, gets not one but two productions by
Cincinnati-area community theaters: Sunset Players on the West Side and
Paradise Players for East Side siders. You can choose between them tonight. The
venerable Sunset Players, which presents shows at the Dunham Arts Center (in
the Dunham Recreation Complex, 4320 Guerley Rd., Price Hill), has performances
through July 26,
mostly at 8 p.m.
Tickets ($14-$16): 513-588-4988. Meanwhile,
Paradise Players, a newish group offering summer productions at McNicholas High
School's Jeanne Spurlock Theatre (6536 Beechmont Ave.), is presenting its
rendition of the show this weekend only, tonight at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at
2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15 (http://mcnhs.seatyourself.biz).
tend to be a bit harder to come by at Northern Kentucky University for a
dinner-theater production by Commonwealth Theatre Company of Route 66.
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. The production features four
solid local performers: Wes Carman, Roderick Justice, Dain Alan Paige and Joshua Steele
are likely to make this a very entertaining evening. Through July 27. Dinner
and the show ($30): 859-572-5464.
Touring Broadway production uses oddball characters to show the dark side of life
1 Comment · Wednesday, March 28, 2012
When you base a musical on legendary cartoons, you better
be sure that the original material is referenced and that it delivers the same
level of humor. That means more in the way of faithfulness than originality,
but who cares when it’s The Addams Family?
The touring production of the recent Broadway show, currently onstage at the
Aronoff Center, delivers on humor, entertainment and a faithful recreation of
the oddball characters who revel in the dark side of life.