by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:12 AM | Permalink
Cincinnati stages were pretty quiet over
the Independence Day weekend, but this week they start waking up and
getting ready for more. Tonight at 8 p.m. is the second installment of Serials!
at Know Theatre. You can see six fresh, 10-minute episodes of brand-new
plays by local playwrights — Trey Tatum, Chris Wesselman, Jon Kovach,
Ben Dudley, Michael Hall and the team of Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth
Martin — and featuring lots of Cincinnati-area actors. New artistic
director Andrew Hungerford calls it a "theater party" offering cold
beer, air-conditioning and world-premiere stories in Know's Underground
bar (1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine). Even if you missed the "pilots"
on June 23, you'll get caught up with a recap before each episode. I had
a blast watching these tantalizing tidbits two weeks ago, and I suspect
tickets will become harder to get as the summer progresses. (Subsequent
performances on July 21, Aug. 11 and 25 and Sept. 8.) Tickets ($15): 513-300-5669.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is assembling a cast for its season opener, Hands on a Hardbody (Sept. 3-21),
a recent Tony-nominated musical about 10 people vying to win a truck by
outlasting their competitors and keeping their hands touching the
vehicle — which will be onstage at the Over-the-Rhine theater (1127 Vine
St.). ETC is seeking actors, singers and dancers for the show with an
open audition on Wednesday this week (July 9, 5-8 p.m.). All are welcome, but an appointment is required. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org) Ensemble Theatre is an AEA Theatre. Union and non-union actors are encouraged to apply. Rehearsals begin August 11. ETC is seeking a diverse cast, and all ethnicities are encouraged to apply, especially African-American men and Hispanic males and females.
ETC had a big hit on its hands three years ago with the Tony Award-winning musical next to normal
about a woman with bipolar disorder. In fact it was such a draw that
they revived it in the summer of 2012. Although the Rock musical is a
challenging work, this week features not one but two productions by
Cincinnati-area community theaters: Sunset Players on the West Side and
Paradise Players on the East Side. Both productions open Friday
evening. 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. (July 20 is a 2 p.m. matinee.) 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.), will offer the show just this week, July 10-11 (7:30 p.m.) and July 12 (2:30 and 7:30 p.m.). Tickets: $15 (http://mcnhs.seatyourself.biz)
high schoolers now have Commonwealth Artists Summer Theatre (C.A.S.T.)
as a summer outlet for theatrical opportunities at Highlands High School
(2400 Memorial Pkwy., Fort Thomas). Starting Friday is a two-week run (July 11-20) of The Addams Family,
a Broadway musical based on the bizarre and beloved family of
characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams. C.A.S.T., headed by
Fort Thomas Independent Schools' theater instructor Jason Burgess,
enables kids from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to
develop their skills in performance and production beyond their school
year and beyond their school population. Tickets: $10 (http://www.showtix4u.com) or at the door.
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.
Can you hear me now? 'Tribes' at Ensemble Theatre
0 Comments · Friday, February 7, 2014
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.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 11:14 AM | Permalink
Don't despair that the Christmas holiday is behind you. Several theaters
are still staging enough cheer to keep you going for another week or so. Here's
what continues this weekend:
At the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park you'll find the traditional
Christmas favorite A Christmas Carol as well as The
Complete History of Comedy (abridged) onstage through Sunday. It feels
a bit odd to be watching Scrooge and the ghosts after Christmas Day, but the
Playhouse's rendition is such a lovely show and Bruce Cromer's portrait of the
old miser is so entertaining that you'll be charmed, I'm sure. And the Reduced
Shakespeare guys doing the "comedy" piece know how to evoke laughter
from the making of jokes in ways you haven't imagined. They're the guys who
originated this amusing formula with The Complete Works of William
Shakespeare (abridged), and they're making it work with this world premiere
production. It's a nice bit of entertainment for a weekend between the
holidays. Tickets: 513-421-3888.
Holiday themed laughs are being served up at Cincinnati Shakespeare
Company through Sunday, too, with their eighth annual presentation of Every
Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some). No Shakespeare in evidence
(although they're performing on the gussied-up set that was built for the
previous production, Twelfth Night) but four of CSC's best comic talents
are mashing up every imaginable tale you might think of that has a holiday
connection — Charlie Brown, Charles Dickens, Rudolph, the Nutcracker, It's a
Wonderful Life and many more. They'll have you laughing from start to
finish, especially if you make a stop by the bar in the lobby beforehand. Not
for the kids, but a lot of fun for anyone with an adolescent sense of humor.
Tickets: 513-381-2273 x 1.
If you want a nice outing for the kids, I recommend Ensemble Theatre
Cincinnati's holiday show, Around the World in 80 Days. Jules
Verne's adventure classic about a hectic circumnavigation of the globe in 1899
has been musicalized and condensed in a way that children will enjoy it — but
there's enough humor and talent onstage to keep adults entertained, too. ETC'S
production actually runs through the weekend after New Year's Day, but if the
kids are restless and you want to entertain them with live theater, this is a
great choice. Tickets: 513-421-3555.
0 Comments · Monday, December 16, 2013
Ready to move beyond the predictable in your pursuit of holiday theater? Three shows offer varied choices. A Klingon Christmas Carol gets its local premiere by Hugo West Theatricals at the Art Academy of Cincinnati through Dec. 22.
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
It’s early December and time for you to
decide which hip holiday show you want to take in. Of course, you just
missed last weekend’s tour stop of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,
a musical adaptation of the famous Dr. Seuss tale about the green
meanie Christmas hater, a latter-day Ebenezer Scrooge.
1 Comment · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m
wandering down memory lane to offer an insight into why I’m thankful to
be a theater critic. I grew up in a small town near Cleveland, acted
(poorly) in some high school productions and was infected with an
abiding love for theater. As a teenager I sought out productions at
places like the Cleveland Playhouse and summer seasons at Great Lakes
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Know Theatre is typically the last of our
local professional theaters out of the gate in the fall. It takes the
small company a while to recuperate from the Fringe Festival, from being
a venue for the MidPoint Music Festival and from the numerous other
activities they host at their Jackson Street venue in Over-the-Rhine.
But they’re finally in the midst of the run of their first regular
production for fall 2013, Mike Bartlett’s Bull.
Sweetness and sorrow
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 12, 2013
It’s a rare organization that can pull off a show so demanding. I guess
that makes Cincinnati Music Theatre rare, because their present
production of A Chorus Line offers excellent dancing, spectacular singing and acting performances that will make audiences laugh and break your heart.
Energetic, laugh-out-loud farce shines with spirit
1 Comment · Monday, November 11, 2013
Under the direction of Brant Russell, the newest member of
the drama faculty at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, Boeing Boeing
is fresh and hilarious, a sheer delight.