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Ensemble offers 'next to normal' through July 1

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati produced next to normal last September with considerable success, selling out most of its performances in one of the show’s first productions following its Broadway success. Based on its strong audience appeal, ETC is giving its production a brief revival, onstage through July 1.  

The Great Escape

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 20, 2012
For Night and Day, a two-person show by Brooklyn-based artists Mike Perry and Naomi Reis currently on view at the gallery/shop/studio YES, I’ve let my guard down a little. The temptation to experience something approaching the sublime beneath the surface of lighthearted illustrations wrapped in psychedelic colors or brittle, architectural depictions of a modernist sphere was just too strong.  
by Rick Pender 06.18.2012
Posted In: Theater at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
covedale center

Another Cincinnati Landmark?

Operator of Showboat Majestic and Covedale Center to open new facility in East Price Hill

Cincinnati Landmark Productions (CLP), operator of the Showboat Majestic and owner and operator of the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, is looking to expand its entertainment empire with a new facility in East Price Hill, not far from the Primivista Restaurant. At a meeting today with the East Price Hill Improvement Association, representatives from CLP will present a proposal to build a new performing arts center in the Incline District.The plan is for a theater with approximately 250 seats that will be programmed throughout the year. CLP estimates 112 evenings of performances, including theatrical productions, a summer season, concerts, comedy events and cabarets. CLP recently marked the tenth anniversary of the Covedale Center, a onetime movie theater that the group acquired and renovated. The West Side fixture has seen stead growth in attendance over the decade since opening in 2002. In its first year, there were 804 subscribers; 3,600 are anticipated for the coming season. Season attendance in 2002-2003 was 13, 990; for 2011-2012 it grew to 35,300.Representatives from CLP have already met with developers and leaders of the East Price Hill Development Association for exploratory purposes. CLP’s executive artistic director Tim Perrino says that both his organization and the developers view the partnership as a win-win. The vacant parcel on Matson Place has nearby parking and dining — as well as the spectacular view that’s familiar to generations of diners at Primavista. “The people we’ve talked to,” Perrino explains, “see the true value an arts center can bring to a neighborhood. The arts create neighborhood vibrancy, more pedestrians, good news stories, visitors from outside the neighborhood, more bar and restaurant patrons and improved neighborhood perception.The project is still a concept without a budget or plans, but it’s an exciting prospect coming from an organization that clearly knows how to connect with audiences.
 
 

Public (Art) Inquiry

Local organizations to put impressive public art on view this summer

0 Comments · Thursday, June 14, 2012
As the mercury begins its steady ascent and the humid days give way to sultry nights, the climate-controlled environs of Cincinnati’s art galleries beckon. But with the spring season nearing its end and several galleries paring back their programming, despite best efforts to beat the heat, this summer’s hottest works are going to be found outside.   
by Rick Pender 06.15.2012
Posted In: Theater at 08:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
arts lead - 9-7 - next to normal @ etc - charlie clark (dr. madden - dr. fine) and jessica hendy (diana) - photo ryan kurtz

Stage Door: 'next to normal' Is Back

If you missed my recommendations last September about seeing the Tony Award-winning musical next to normal at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, you have a reprieve. Starting today, the show is back for a two-week revival. It’s the story of a woman struggling with paranoid schizophrenia and how it affects her family; that might not sound like the stuff that musicals are made of, but it uses the power of a brilliant Rock score to deliver the impact of this story. ETC has reassembled all of the superb cast, including Jessica Hendy in the central role; the one role that needed a new performer is that of the beleaguered husband, and ETC has lined up one of our area’s best actors, Bruce Cromer. Tickets are being snapped up already, but this is the hot show to be seen at the moment. Box office: 513-421-3555 The Showboat Majestic just opened a production of the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. It won’t break any new ground, but it is one of the funniest shows you’re likely to see, the tale of an off-kilter set of relatives who keep their quite normal nephew astonished and scrambling to keep them in line. His aunts take in boarders, quiet elderly men who are alone in the world, and polish them off with elderberry wine laced with arsenic; they convince their addled brother, who believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt, to bury them in the basement by telling him they’re victims of yellow fever who have been working on digging the Panama Canal. There’s lots more, but you get the picture. Box office: 513-241-6550 Another stage full of laughs is available from Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in the form of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). It’s your chance to see at least a passing mention of all the Bard’s works — although many are completely unrecognizable, thanks the three buffoonish characters who undertake the task. The second act is a wild send-up of Hamlet that involves the audience. There’s never a dull moment, and the CSC actors seem to especially relish the task of poking fun at their usual fare. Box office: 513-381-2273, x1. Summer is the season for lighter entertainment at the Commonwealth Dinner Theater, on campus at Northern Kentucky University. They’re offering Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, a glimpse into the relationships of three couples that occupy the same suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. One couple is celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary in the same room where they honeymooned; another is an oft-married Hollywood producer who’s hoping for an encounter; the third is a mother and father trying to coax their bride-to-be daughter out of the locked bathroom and downstairs to the impatient wedding guests. Box office: 859-572-5464 Each week in Stage Door, Rick Pender offers theater tips for the weekend, often with a few pieces of theater news.
 
 

Summer Sticks in the Mud

Adventure races thrill, challenge weekend warriors

0 Comments · Thursday, June 14, 2012
For many folks, first-person video games offer all the thrills they need. But others crave the tactile realness of an actual obstacle course with knotted ropes to climb, mud pits to crawl through and walls to be surmounted. The typical ingredients of adventure races include a military-style course, a river of mud and whatever torture tests a perverse mind can conjure. Throw in a small legion of weekend warriors and you’ve got yourself a fresh baked adventure — or a hot mess, depending on your point of view.  

Ninth Annual Cincy Fringe Sets Records

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The most successful Cincinnati Fringe Festival since the annual event’s launch in 2004 wrapped up on June 9, boasting a nearly 9 percent increase in overall attendance compared to 2011, from 7,177 to 7,728. More than 230 artists performed, and the number of sold-out performances, 24, set a new record.   

Chris Abani's Vehicle for Hope

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The theme of The Mercantile Library’s Harriet Beecher Stowe Lecture series is “writing to change the world.” Few writers live up to that idea better than Chris Abani, who was imprisoned in his native Nigeria after the publication of his first novel, 1985’s Masters of the Board.   

Patti Smith Is Coming to CAC

1 Comment · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Word has started to get out that Contemporary Arts Center’s 2012-2013 season will feature a major show by Patti Smith. But it hasn’t yet been made clear — because the show isn’t scheduled until next May — that this is meant to be far more than just a local stop on a national museum tour.   

Tweet Victory

Rob Delaney builds his comedy following 140 characters at a time

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Many popular comedians are recognized from TV performances, movie work or perhaps a radio program like The Bob & Tom Show. Or maybe they have a popular podcast like Marc Maron or Jimmy Pardo. Rob Delaney has become one of today’s hottest comedians without any of that. Most comedy fans know Delaney strictly from Twitter. (Follow him at @robdelaney, if you don’t already.)   

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