WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Rick Pender 02.14.2014 63 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
curtain call - 4000 miles @ playhouse - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: Valentine's Weekend

Last night I caught the opening of 4000 Miles at the Cincinnati Playhouse. What with today being Valentine's Day, this tale of a feisty grandmother and her hippie grandson — separated by a 70-year gap in age — might not seem like a very typical love story. But it's about understanding and finding common ground, and what else is that but true love? Actor Robbie Tann plays 21-year-old Leo and Rosemary Prinz is Vera, his 91-year-old grandmother. You'd think that seven decades might be an uncrossable chasm, but each is a lonely soul — she as the result of old age, he by virtue of the tragic accidental death of his best friend — and they find consolation and support from one another as the become better acquainted. Both actors are delightful in their roles, he kind of spacey but caring, she feisty and loving. If you're looking for a good date night for Valentine's weekend, you should give Amy Herzog's play a chance. It happens to be a very credible script, by the way, having been a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. Through March 9. Tickets: 513-421-3888.Tonight is the opening for Cincinnati Shakespeare's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard's now-classic through-the-looking-glass take on Hamlet. Since Cincy Shakes just finished a production of the latter, it's the same cast, but with the royals in the background and two lowly minor characters moved to center stage. Their plight? They don't quite understand the intrigues swirling around them, and they wonder about the meaning of their own existence. There's a lot of dark humor, and actors Billy Chace and Justin McComb are just the guys to carry it off. Through: March 9. Tickets: 513-381-2273.If it's darkness you crave, you might also consider Pluto at Know Theatre. No, it's not about the Disney dog, but rather about unexpected changes in life — like the demotion of the solar system's one-time farthest planet into something less — as well as the Roman god of the underworld. How does all that fit together in a modest contemporary kitchen? Steve Yockey's play is an absurdist study in contemporary angst, an instant of tragedy dissected and set in amber. It's not easy to watch (there's some extreme gun violence), but the show's strong cast, especially Annie Fitzpatrick and Tori Wiggins plus NKU student actor Wesley Carman, make it extremely watchable. You just have one more week to catch this one. Tickets: 513-300-5669.If you thought you'd missed out on Tribes at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, you actually have a grace period, since the show about deafness and family strife has been extended to Feb. 22. It was originally set to close on Feb. 16; the additional dates should make it possible for anyone who's interested to get tickets. Watching the fine acting performances of guest actor Dale Dymkoski as a young man who has been isolated by deafness and Cincy Shakes regular Kelly Mengelkoch as a young woman, adept with sign language, who is losing her hearing, will make you glad you made the effort to see this one. Tickets: 513-421-3555.
 
 

Power of Storytelling

Mary Zimmerman's mythic tales are landing on local stages

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 5, 2014
“I’ve always lived with one foot in an imaginary world. I’ve never grown out of that,” Mary Zimmerman says. When she was a child, her academic parents took her along for stays in England and France. A British teacher read to her from Homer’s Odyssey, and Zimmerman, at age 5, was captivated.   

Stacking Up

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 14, 2009
In case you’re keeping track, the most produced play in the United States this season is Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Boom, presently in its regional premiere at Know Theatre of Cincinnati. According to American Theatre magazine, nine productions of the absurdist comedy are scheduled this season. The list excludes works by Shakespeare and holiday-themed shows.  

Recruiting, Inspiring, Motivating

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Jay Kalagayan’s departure from Know Theatre, the company he founded in 1997, surprised a lot of people. He evolved from founder to actor, writer, artistic director, executive director and development director. I wondered if perhaps he simply ran out of roles to play. In reality, he’s evolved: He married Jan in 2006 and they now have a daughter. Kalagayan, who came to Cincinnati from Virginia to attend Xavier University, launched what was first called the “Know Theatre Tribe” to create a kind of family locally.  

Fringe ... What We Need in 2009

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Although there’s still a lot of winter chill in the air, my thoughts are already turning to the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, our annual theatrical treat that I think of as the kick-off for summer. It usually happens in late May and early June, just before the solstice, so it’s a reminder of good things to come. The sixth annual Cincinnati Fringe is set to open on May 26; performances will continue through June 6. Organized by Know Theatre of Cincinnati, the Fringe has become a much-anticipated annual component of our performing arts scene.  

No Kidding

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The topic of children's theater might conjure images of cardboard scenery and childish actors. That's definitely not what you'll find at The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, which this weekend debuts 'High School Musical 2' at the Taft Theatre.  

Jesus Christ Superstar (Review)

Carnegie gets the formula right for Superstar

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The Carnegie in Covington has spent several years in search of the best way to present musicals on the small, tight stage in its renovated Otto M. Budig Theatre. With this month’s minimally staged but aggressively choreographed production of Jesus Christ Superstar the formula now seems evident: Put the energy into the performance, keep the production simple and let the passion do the dazzling.  

Devil of a Night

ETC’s Seafarer offers raucous, linguistic music

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 22, 2008
When playwright Conor McPherson brings five of them together in The Seafarer and fuels their conversation with pints of Harp and shots of poteen (Irish moonshine), the opportunities expand exponentially.  

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