by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 06:00 AM | Permalink
The pickings have been kind of slim at Know Theatre over the
past year. The quality has been high (the staging of When the Rain Stops Falling was one of the best shows onstage
locally during 2013, and Mike Bartlett’s Cock
offered a showcase of strong acting), but the works have felt few and far
between. So today’s announcement from Producing Artistic Director Eric Vosmeier
of a full schedule that’s already under way and extends beyond the typical end
of the 2013-2014 season is welcome news. Here’s what’s in store following
Lauren Gunderson’s Macbeth-inspired
comedy Toil and Trouble (presently
onstage through Aug. 24):
Bull by Mike Bartlett (Nov. 1-30): Yes, it’s another piece by
the playwright of Cock, making Know
the first U.S. theater to produce both pieces by the British writer. Both use a
stripped-down aesthetic — no props and no scenery make for a lot of onstage
intensity regarding characters and their relationships. This one is the story
of three mid-level executives who compete for two corporate positions. Brian
Robertson, who also staged Cock,
returns to direct this one, and George Alexander, one of the four actors in the
earlier show, will perform in this one, too.
The Naughty List (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, Dec.
1-30): OTRImprov, an improvisational comedy troupe that’s part of Know’s
Jackson Street Market, will hold forth in the courtyard at Arnold’s Bar &
Grill in downtown Cincinnati for the holidays. Combining long- and short-form
improv, the performers will offer a very irreverent take on the holidays — with
the help of audience suggestions and participation.
Pluto (Jan. 24-Feb. 22, 2014): Know’s former artistic director
Jason Bruffy comes back to town to stage a poignant and evocative new script by
Steve Yockey. The production is part of a rolling world premiere through the
National New Play Network, and it will feature two excellent local
professionals, Annie Fitzpatrick and Tori Wiggins. An ordinary day in a
suburban home takes a strange turn following a local tragedy, what with all
hell breaking loose. Know’s publicity says the show “explores tragedy, loss and
the way love can blind us to the truth.”
TBD (April 4-May
10, 2014): Know is holding a slot for a production to be announced later. You
can be sure it will be another script with the ink still drying.
Cincinnati Fringe Festival (May 27-June 7, 2014): The 11th
annual Fringe will be back with 12 days of theater, music, dance, film, art —
and a lot of stuff in between that kind of defies simple description.
Applications for performers will be accepted starting Sept. 1, 2013 (through
Dec. 6). Info: www.cincyfringe.com.
Moby Dick (Fall 2014): Playwright Julian Rad adapted Herman
Melville’s great American novel for an Off-Off-Broadway production in 2003.
Michael Burnham, recently retired from a long career as a professor of drama at
UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, will co-direct the show with designer
Andrew Hungerford. The tale of revenge and obsession with Captain Ahab pursuing
the great white whale that maimed him has been stripped to its essence for what
promises to be a highly theatrical endeavor that uses sea chanteys and creative
In addition to these full-scale productions, Know has
announced several Fringe “encores,” the return of shows that were hits during
the festival’s 10th iteration back in June. Jon Kovach will repeat his powerful
one-man show based on Ron Jones’ The Wave (Aug. 26-27);
comedian/storyteller/singer Kevin Thornton will present Stairway to Kevin (Sept.
6 and 13); and Paul Strickland’s one-man trailer park fairytale comedy, Ain’t
True and Uncle False (Oct. 11-12).
Tickets for the full-productions are $15 in advance, and $20
the week of the performance; Fringe “encore” tickets are $12. Know offers sets
of six-show flex passes for $90 that do not expire. They can be exchanged for
tickets for any of these productions. For more information: 513-300-5669 or
1 Comment · Wednesday, July 31, 2013
There’s no place like home. That mantra
has put several Cincinnati area community theaters in a good place:
Owning a facility means scheduling flexibility, room to rehearse and the
opportunity to grow.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 19, 2013
As the Sitwell’s Coffee House crowd
buzzes around him, Jon Kovach calmly ticks off his lengthy list of
commitments for the approaching summer.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 12:29 PM | Permalink
The 2013 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wraps up
this weekend with final performances Friday and Saturday. If you still haven’t checked out any of the
freaky, funny, unique performances in this 10th annual fest, go here
to check out show reviews and find a full schedule and festival guide.
Cincinnati Rollergirls host their last home
game of the season at the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday. The 'girls face Kitchener,
Ontario’s Tri-City Roller Girls in a double-header that kicks off at 7 p.m. And
it’s Fan Appreciation Night, so expect plenty of free CRG goodies throughout
the night! Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($15/$17 for courtside
seats). Happy Hour (dolla dolla beers, y’all) starts at 6 p.m. Find tickets and
more info here.
Last weekend, teams of filmmakers throughout
Cincinnati (and across 125 other participating cities throughout the world)
participated in the 48 Hour Film Project, requiring them to write, shoot and edit a movie in just two days. On Friday,
they received a movie genre, character, prop and a line of dialogue to include
in the short film and the rest was up to them — the finished product had to be
completed by Sunday. This Sunday, the
public can check out the eclectic mix of results at the Thompson House.
Screenings take place at 1:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and admission is
$10 for a single screening group, $30 for the whole day.
Short Vine in Corryville is on its way to
becoming the next happenin’ spot in the local arts scene. Don’t believe me?
Check out the opening of 71 Gallery (2609 Vine St.) 5-10 p.m. Friday. Local
artist Tony Dotson has created the space for outsider artists like himself as
well as graphic designers. The gallery’s debut artist is Eye Candy Design
Berberich, who also works on Short Vine. Berberich also helped develop Artbeat
on Short Vine, a monthly event that also kicks off Friday. Check out our
feature on Dotson and Berberich here.
Movies return to Washington park Saturdays this Summer but don’t let the event
name fool you — anyone can enjoy these free, open-air films. The movies run
9-11 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 17 (no movies Aug. 3-10). This week’s
selection is the 1954 mystery classic, Rear
Window. Go here
for a full lineup of summer events at Washington Park.For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks
full calendar and Rick
for weekend theater offerings.
by Jac Kern
Photography’s bad boy, Tyler Shields, returns
to Cincinnati for another exhibit at Miller Gallery, kicked off with an opening
reception in Over-the-Rhine Friday. Known for his controversial celebrity
photos, Shields last exhibited at Miller Gallery in October as part of
FotoFocus. Now he’s back showing off his latest collection of photos, Suspense, featuring images of people
falling, floating and flipping across striking backgrounds. Friday’s opening is
a pop-up gallery party at the Hanke Building (1130 Main St., OTR). VIP $50
tickets grant 8 p.m. admission, free valet parking, an open bar and photo op
with Shields. General admission from 9 p.m.-midnight is $10 and includes three
drink tickets. It’s
sure to be a super party and a great chance to brush shoulders with the “who’s
who” of the art community. Proceeds benefit Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit with the
mission to photograph every child with cancer until every child is cured. Buy tickets here or bring cash at the door.
Across the river in Newport, Powerhouse
Factories celebrates music festival season with a Summer
Shindig Friday. Enjoy live music from The Pinstripes, a great view from
Powerhouse’s patio, great deals on the factory’s excellent assortment music
posters (BOGO half-off) and frosty beers from MadTree Brewery. The free party
runs 6 p.m.-midnight.
The Fringe Festival continues this weekend
(through June 8), with plenty of original, unusual and just plan weird theater performances throughout the city. Go here
for performance reviews, a complete
festival schedule and the official festival guide. And getcho Fringe on!
The 46th annual Summerfair takes
over Coney Island Friday-Sunday. This festival, one of the oldest continuous
art fairs in the country, features more than 300 fine artists, crafters, youth
arts organizations and performers exhibiting and selling photographs, pottery,
textiles, jewelry and much more.
a Shark or a Jet? A Greaser or a Soc? A Mod or a Rocker? Do you rock a scooter
or a motorcycle? Either way, folks from “both sides of the tracks” will come
together this weekend for the Queen City Mods & Rockers Rally, a
weekend-long event to promote unity between both types of motor enthusiasts.
Events include family-friendly rides, a pin-up girl contest, a bike rally,
happy hour, a group breakfast and more. A $30 pass gets you admission to all
the three-day events. Go here
for more info.
For more art, shows, festivals, concerts and
events to check out this weekend, peep our To Do picks
An adventurous story of storytelling
0 Comments · Friday, May 24, 2013
The Playhouse is wrapping up its 53rd season with Donald Margulies’s 2007 script, Shipwrecked!.
Concluding Blake Robison’s first season as artistic director, the show
continues his promise to offer family-friendly plays designed to appeal
to a broad cross-section of Playhouse theatergoers
by Steven Rosen
Posted In: Visual Art
at 12:52 PM | Permalink
CAC lays off four employees representing 16 percent of staff
In order to avoid deficits for fiscal year 2014 and beyond,
the Contemporary Arts Center on Monday laid off four employees and
Director/Chief Curator Raphaela Platow announced other cost-saving measures.
The four positions were associate curator of education,
exhibitions director, development director and director of communications and
community engagement. Additionally, Platow herself took a 20 percent salary
reduction for the upcoming fiscal year.
Platow said cost-saving decisions were approved by the Board
of Trustees in April. The board has mandated that the CAC reduce its dependency
on its endowment for operational expenses by roughly $60,000 a year for the
next five years. The CAC estimates that cutback, as well as an expected drop in
support from major funders, would create an operating-budget deficit for the
next fiscal year without these moves. The operating budget for the current
fiscal year, which ends in August, is $3.1 million.
She also said there are no plans to raise admission fees or
reduce hours of operation.
While the four eliminated positions represent 16% of the
institution’s staff, there will be several new hirings of “redefined and
reorganized” job descriptions, she said. “By redefining, I mean changing to a
different skill set and position, sometimes on a very different salary level.
This is what we have to do to move forward,” Platow said.
A previously announced new curatorial hire, Steven Matijcio,
arrives from North Carolina in June and will be involved in announcing the
2013-2014 exhibition season on June 26.
(More information will be included in The Big Picture column
in the May 29 issue.)
1 Comment · Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The League of Cincinnati Theatres (LCT)
presented awards for the 2012-2013 theater season on May 20 at Know
Theatre, too late to report the results in this issue of CityBeat.
So I want to offer some thoughts and my own choices.
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Anyone who knows the Allen brothers knows
it’s a blessing and an honor to do so, but some of us have no idea
these men are walking-around Black History Month icons.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 10:55 AM | Permalink
You probably remember Whoopi Goldberg's popular film Sister Act from 1992, an unlikely story about an aspiring singer who witnesses a murder and needs to be hidden until the trial — in a convent. Of course, the contrast between Goldberg and the staid nuns, especially the Mother Superior (played by Maggie Smith). It became a musical in 2009 in London, in 2011 on Broadway and now a touring production. Sister Act: The Musical opened Tuesday at the Aronoff Center.Of course, Goldberg isn't in it, 20 years later. But she is the producer, and her attitude prevails. Her statement about the show pretty well sums it up: "Sister Act is not rocket science — it's hell-bent on being fun and silly, with a little heart thrown in." That's pretty much what I expected.What surprised me was the talent of the touring cast, performers who are fully committed to deliver an evening of entertainment. Ta'rea Campbell has star power in the Delores/Sister Mary Clarence role, and she's surely a better singer than Whoopi Goldberg ever was. She conveys the shift from attitude to gratidude with sincerity. Hollis Resnik, a veteran musical theater performer from Chicago, captures the starchy disdain needed for the Mother Superior.The entire ensemble is solid, especially Lael Van Keuren as the innocent postulant who breaks out of her shell, Florrie Bagel as an enthusiastic, starstruck nun and Diane J. Findlay as an elderly nun who finds her mojo. E. Clayton Cornelious is the socially inept cop looking out for Delores, in part because he had a crush on her in high school; he has dreams of being a smooth operator ("I Could Be That Guy," which features some astonishing costume changes as he fantasizes). And there are cartoonish villains: Delores's violent one-time boyfriend Curtis played by Kingsley Leggs. His three thugs, played hilariously by Ernie Pruneda, Charles Barksdale and Jason Simon bring the house down when they explain how they can have their way with the ladies, even if they're nuns ("Lady in the Long Black Dress").Of course, Sister Act is full of stereotypes and predictable humor, but its all done with energy and polish, which makes it worth seeing. Production values are excellent, from a lot of quick costume changes (you can't imagine how many acres of glittering material went into this show) to a psychedelic Philadelphia cathedral interior that gets wilder and brighter as the story builds, culminating in a performance for the Pope.There's nothing profound about Sister Act, which is part of the fun.