I Left My Heart, A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett (Review)

Bennett revue falls flat

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Cincinnati Landmark Productions’ I Left My Heart, A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts presents a musical tribute to Bennett, with more than 30 songs made famous by or famously sung by the legendary crooner.  
by Rick Pender 03.07.2014
Posted In: Theater at 09:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
les miserables @ ccm - the thenardiers (emily schexnadre and matthew paul hill) whoop it up at their inn - photo mark lyons

Stage Door: Options for All Ages

Can you imagine Les Misérables without a turntable or the immense barricades lumbering down from the wings? Aubrey Berg, head of the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music’s renowned musical theater program, has dramatically re-imagined the legendary show for a run at UC, using a largely bare stage backed by a wall of ladders, staircases, shelves and recessed ledges. Berg's simplified physical production earned my Critic's Pick with its sharper focus on characters, action and music. Les Mis has a remarkable cast of 40 or so with soaring vocal talent for solo numbers and breathtaking choral power when they combine forces in iconic numbers such as “Do You Hear the People Sing?” and “One Day More.” It's a spectacular production, onstage through Sunday. Tickets: 513-556-4183. Wicked just opened a three-week run at the Aronoff (it's the third time the show has been here, and it's set box office records every time). Tickets can be expensive (the cheap seats start at $38 and go up quickly from there), so keep in mind there's lottery for a limited number of $25 orchestra seats for each performance. You need to show up in person 2.5 hours before the curtain time (with a valid photo ID) to submit your name; if it's pulled you can purchase one or two tickets. It's worth a shot. Otherwise, you can purchase tickets by calling 513-621-2787. If you're a Tony Bennett fan, you might consider heading to the West Side for I Left My Heart at the Covedale Center, a salute to the legendary crooner. You'll get to hear 40 standards that he's known for — "Because of You," "I Wanna Be Around," "The Good Life" and, of course, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Tom Highley, Deondra Kamau Means and Brian Wylie will be singing, with Mark Magistrelli at the piano. Through March 23. Tickets: 513-241-6550. Here's an item worth considering for Monday evening: The Educational Theatre Association, a national organization for high school kids involved in theater, is headquartered here in Cincinnati. (They're the folks behind the National Thespian Society.) They're partnering with the School for Creative and Performing Arts on Monday at 7 p.m. for Making Magic, Defying Gravity. Presented at SCPA's Corbett Theatre (108 Central Parkway in Over-the-Rhine), the evening offers a program of music and conversation featuring members of the touring cast of Wicked (as noted above) and performances by high school students from the area. You'll hear from Jason Daunter, Wicked's production stage manager, and Matt Conover, VP with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. They'll talk about how their high school dreams led to careers in the theater. Tickets are $10 in advance; 15 at the door (going on sale at 5:45 p.m.). Proceeds from this event will benefit the Friends of SCPA Scholarship Fund and the Educational Theatre Association's Scholarship Fund, both of which will help develop talent for the future of the theater.

Coming to a Theater Near You

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Blake Robison wants the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park to be at the forefront of Cincinnati’s cultural conversation. “It’s our responsibility to bring the best theatrical material, both old and new, to our community," he says.  

A Shot of Kentucky Creativity: Humana Festival No. 38

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 26, 2014
One of America’s most important theatrical events happens annually just 100 miles south of Cincinnati via I-71: the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, kicking off its 38th year this week  

Common Ground Across Generations

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I’ve had grandparents on my mind recently. Shirley Temple’s passing on Feb. 10 reminded me of her 1937 film Heidi, the story of a neglected orphan in Switzerland, who is handed off to her gruff grandfather. He is warmed by her spirit, and she basks in the glow.  
by Jac Kern 02.07.2014
Posted In: Eats, Events, Drinking, Fun at 01:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 2/7-2/9

Cincinnati Beer Week is in full effect, bringing craft beer tastings, pairings and brewery nights to bars and restaurants across the city through Feb. 13 (followed by the popular Cincy Winter Beerfest Feb. 14-15). Go here for the week’s highlights and find all of today’s CBW events here. Balls Around the Block is a bar crawl with a mission: To expose more locals to the ever-changing downtown landscape by visiting several different local establishments in one night, all while raising money for a good cause. Twelve groups of 25 each begin at a different bar on the same block (so as not to overwhelm one establishment all at once) and continue progressing around to bars like Madonna’s, Rock Bottom Brewery, Igby’s and Nicholson’s. It’s $35 to participate, with food and drink specials along the way. This year’s crawl benefits Fido Field, the privately funded off-leash dog area located at 630 Eggleston Ave. BATB hopes to raise $12,000 this year for the continued construction of Fido Field — the group raised $10,000 in 2013. Go here for more information, to make donations and to join a group for the crawl. Cincy Blues Society’s annual Winter Blue Fest kicks off Friday at The Phoenix. More than 25 local Blues acts perform through Saturday including headliners Tinsley Ellis and Janiva Magness. Read more here. Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Fest is now sold out, but those with tickets are in for a day full delicious dairy from more than 80 cheese companies. More than 40 booths will feature varieties of local, artisan and international cheeses, charcuterie, breads, spreads and more. Beer and wine pairing options available at additional cost. The festival takes over Jungle Jim’s Oscar Event Center from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The Big Cheese Kick-Off Party (also sold out) is 7-10 p.m. Friday.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.

Seminar (Review)

A school for good writing, acting – 'Seminar' at Falcon Theater

0 Comments · Friday, February 7, 2014
Falcon Theater’s production of Theresa Rebeck’s 2011 play Seminar opened strong in the small, charming Monmouth Theatre in Newport, Ky. Rebeck, a Cincinnati native now living in Brooklyn, N.Y., is a triple-threat writer who has had success as a novelist, playwright and TV writer.  

Tribes (Review)

Can you hear me now? 'Tribes' at Ensemble Theatre

0 Comments · Friday, February 7, 2014
Nina Raine’s award-winning play Tribes is overtly — and creatively — about people living with deafness. But it’s also a story of families and the human need to connect.   

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.   

Pluto (Review)

Crossing Wires Between Reality and Fantasy: Pluto

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Know Theatre is presently staging Steve Yockey’s new play Pluto, the second of four “rolling world premieres.” The work is not easy to describe, to watch or to like. That’s not to say it’s not worth seeing — but it’s challenging.