by Jac Kern
Skirtz will discuss and sign her new book Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor
today at Findlay Market’s Skirtz & Johnson. The book looks at how
Cincinnati “has used legislation and the administration of public policy to
serve the ends of privatizing public assets and displacing people who are
perceived as undesirable because they lack economic power and privilege.” Skirtz
is also a social worker and founder of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the
Homeless — proceeds from tonight’s book sales will go to the organization. The
signing runs 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Helping Women is a 24-hour crisis service helping victims of domestic violence,
sexual assault and stalking. The non-shelter program offers intervention and
support services for women — and men — in Southwestern Ohio. Tonight,
Sharonville transforms into Oz for Light Up the Night: Emerald City Ball, a benefit for Women Helping Women. Don your best ruby slippers as you enjoy
dinner-by-the-bite, Wizard of Oz-themed cocktails, auctions and music — all for
a wonderful cause. Tickets should have been reserved in advance. Go here
to get involved with the
organization by adopting a family, donating or volunteering.
Theater Cincinnati takes audiences on a “trip down musical memory lane” with
its production of Life Could be a Dream, onstage tonight. Fans of ETC’s Wonderettes productions will feel at
home with this sock hop-era musical that follows the Crooning Crabcakes as they
try to make the big time and win a local radio contest. Sing along to classic
hits like “Runaround Sue,” “Earth Angel,” “Unchained Melody” and more tunes
from the time. Tickets to tonight’s 7:30 show are $36.Check out our music blog for tonight's live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows and performances.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 03:37 PM | Permalink
just opened Thunder Knocking on the Door, a show it
staged in 1999 and sold a boatload of tickets — the most for any
musical it’s presented in the past two decades! I was there on
Thursday night for the opening, and this is a drop-dead gorgeous
production — costumes, sets, lighting and sound by Broadway
designers, and a cast of five who all have star-power. Even better,
they form a wonderful musical ensemble when they need to. Keith
Glover’s play is a fable about the Blues: Marvell Thunder is a
mystical presence who years earlier lost a “cuttin’ contest” to
a fellow named Jaguar Dupree, and now he’s back to even the score
“where the two roads meet,” somewhere near Bessemer, Alabama. But
Jaguar’s passed, survived by his wife (twice widowed since then)
and his twin brother. Her and Jaguar’s twin children, Jaguar Jr.
and Glory are musical and each have magical guitars that he
bequeathed to them. Jr. has lost his to Thunder, and now he’s
coming for the other one. But it’s complicated, because Thunder is
turning to stone because it’s been so long since he’s been in
love. All this is played out to a wonderful Blues score, most of it
by singer and composer Keb’ Mo’. There’s a great band backing
them up, and to make this tale all the more magical, among its
technical team is an “illusion designer.” You’ll be asking,
“How’d they do that?” more than once. I gave it a Critic’s
Pick, and you should get your tickets right away. 513-421k-3888.
production of the recent off-Broadway and Broadway Rock musical hit,
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a youthful mix of
political commentary, driving Rock performances, history, humor and
sober observations on the will of the people — just what we’ve
come expect from Know Theatre. Not many musicals begin with the cast
flipping the bird at the audience, but then not many musicals are
like this one, spinning a tale of America’s seventh president to
in-your-face Indie Rock tunes. This is Bloody Bloody’s first
professional regional production. I gave it a Critic’s Pick, and
the show is proving to be a big hit for Know. (Through May 12.) Box
Pump Boys &
Dinettes at the Covington’s Carnegie Center is something
like an off-Broadway classic (it had a brief Broadway run) from the
early 1980s. Set in a filling station that’s also a diner, it’s a
framework for downhome Country tunes and cornpone humor. Not much of
a story, but a talented cast makes this one a lot of light-hearted
fun. This is the final weekend. Box office: 859-957-1940.
Covedale Center is
presenting Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s but Joseph and
the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I saw it last Friday and
can recommend it as a production that does justice to a piece of
entertaining fluff. Director Tim Perrino has assembled a fast-paced
production with some fine voices. The jaunty show, which covers the
familiar tale in about 90 minutes (including intermission), has fun
with (and parodies) various musical styles — from Elvis-styled Rock
and Western Swing to French ballads and calypso. Stone walls and
palms slide back to reveal a sphinx and a smoking entrance for the
Pharaoh (aka Elvis). It’s not groundbreaking in any way, but it is
the kind of solid entertainment the Covedale has presented for 10
seasons. Through May 13. Box office: 513-241-6550.
And while I’m talking
about lighthearted shows, make not that a tour of Mamma Mia,
cramming tons of ABBA tunes into an implausible but funny story,
makes a one-week stop at the Aronoff starting on Tuesday. It would be
hard not to have a good time at any production of Mamma Mia.
Each week in Stage
Door, Rick Pender offers theater tips for the weekend, often with a few pieces
of theater news.
Jocular script staged with musicality, theatricality
0 Comments · Friday, April 27, 2012
First staged in 1999, Thunder is the Mt. Adams theater’s best selling musical during producing artistic director Ed Stern’s tenure. It’s the final mainstage production of his 20th and final season. The show tells a mythical
tale of dueling Blues guitarists; it’s stuffed with emotionally
conceived songs by renowned singer and composer Keb’ Mo’ working with
Politics, Rock and the will of the people take center stage
0 Comments · Saturday, April 7, 2012
Not many musicals begin
with the cast flipping the bird at the audience, but then not many
musicals are like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the brash show
that spins a tale of America’s seventh president to in-your-face
Indie Rock tunes.
Covedale presents Webber's tuneful Bible tale
0 Comments · Thursday, April 26, 2012
Before Jesus Christ Superstar and The Phantom of the Opera,
Andrew Lloyd Webber composed together a brief “pop cantata” based on
the biblical story of Joseph and his “coat of many colors.” It was a
piece to be sung by children and subsequently
recorded as a concept album.
Webber later expanded Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, molding it into a bouncy, bubbly show stuffed with musical parodies.
by Jac Kern
The next 48 hours or so present a trifecta of holidays: Saturday is Record Store Day, Sunday is Earth Day, and, thanks to a group of teens in 1971, today (4-20) is unofficially Weed Day. Surely we can find a way to celebrate all three this weekend.
Visionaries and Voices, the Northside gallery that works with artists with disabilities, hosts its annual art auction gala Saturday. Double Vision features live and silent auctions featuring artwork from 20 local artists and other prizes, music by Magnolia Mountain and DJ Mowgli, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The event runs 7-11 p.m. at Memorial Hall; tickets are $50.
While April 22 is officially Earth Day, celebrations take place all weekend long. Cincinnati's 42nd Annual Earth Day Celebration takes over Sawyer Point Saturday from noon-5 p.m. The free event features exhibits, entertainment, kids activities and various recycling opportunities. Go here for a full list of local Earth Day events and be sure to pick up this week's Green Issue, featuring lots of environmental opportunities and the Central Ohio River Valley Local Foods Guide.
Cincinnati is lucky to have numerous quality, independent music retailers around town. From Everybody's Records to Shake It, we all have some great music memories thanks to these stores. Record Store Day, the third Saturday of April, is devoted to celebrating indie music shops and the music they help promote. Each year on this day, these stores present live music, limited releases and sales. Go here to check out local Record Store Day happenings.
We also suggest watching Bully, now in theaters, and Veep, premiering on HBO Sunday.
Check out Stage Door for this weekend's theater offerings, our music blog for a live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows, performances and more this weekend.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Arts
at 09:58 AM | Permalink
Tonight marks O'Bryonville's first Third Thursday Benefit Wine Walk of the year. Support the neighborhood's independent businesses like Hemptations, Phyllis Weston Gallery, Ten Thousand Villages, The Bonbonerie, indigenous and many more as you hop from spot to spot, enjoying complimentary wine and bites at each participating venue. This month's walk benefits Pets in Need (a UCAN affiliate) and Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. tonight.Enjoy a romantic night in Paris...without needing a passport. Art Design Consultants presents en evening with their Design Star, Grace Jones of Dwellings on Madison. Jones will transform the ADC loft space (310 Culvert St., Downtown) into a French apartment. Stop by at 6 for cocktails and stick around for the 7 p.m. unveiling of Jones' designs. Holly Golightly attire is encouraged! RSVP here.Comedian Jim Norton kicks off his three-night gig at Funny Bone on the Levee tonight. Specializing in dark comedy and self-deprecation, the comic has also acted in television and film and has written two humorous nonfiction books. Many will recognize Norton from the Opie & Anthony radio show, Louie, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and several small, odd film roles (two words: Furry Vengeance). Norton goes on tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms
series continues tonight with Shiny and the Spoon and The Tillers. The free concert features local favorite musicians performing in the beautiful
setting of the zoo's gardens. The concert runs 6-8:30 p.m.; admission to
the zoo is free after 5 p.m. (parking is $8). Tunes and Blooms
continues every Thursday this month.Jungle Jim's hosts a mystery mix cigar tasting tonight from 5-8 p.m. The tasting will be held at the Oscar Event Center's Monorail Terrace. Guests can enjoy three different cigars with $15 admission. There will be a cash bar, raffle and plenty of cigars and accessories for sale. Each Thursday, Jungle Jim's presents a different variety of cigars to try. No word yet on whether "mystery mix" is an early 4-20 reference.Follow our music blog for nightly shows and check our To Do page for more art exhibits, theater productions and events.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:08 AM | Permalink
Twenty-nine shows in two weeks, commencing May 29
Know Theatre has announced the 2012 Cincinnati Fringe
Festival, kicking off May 29 and continuing through June 9. Festivities begin
with the official CityBeat Fringe Kick-Off Party on May 29 at 6 p.m. (A
suggested donation of $5 gets you in.) During the Festivals’ two-week run, 29
productions will receive multiple performances. Some shows are locally
originated (14) and others are by touring artists (15) who travel to festivals
around the United States. If everything selected actually happens (that’s
seldom the case), there will be 10 plays, nine solo shows, four dance works and
six multimedia/variety pieces.Several award-winning groups popular with past Fringe
audiences are set to return. One of the most popular performers from 2011,
Kevin J. Thornton — his I Love You (We’re Fucked) had a sold-out run and
returned for another stint last October — is back with Strange Dreamz.
Thornton has appeared in the Capital Fringe, Indy Fringe, NYC Frigid Festival,
Tucson Fringe Festival, Phoenix Fringe Festival, Orlando Fringe Festival,
Kansas City Fringe Festival, and the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
Four Humors Theater from the Twin Cities is back for
the fifth consecutive year, this time presenting Bombus and Berrylinne, or the
Bumblebee and the Hummingbird. The group has previously produced Mortem
Capiendum (Producer’s Pick of the Fringe, 2008), April Fools (2009), and Harold
(Critic’s Pick of the Fringe, 2010) and the hilarious James Bond-inspired
puppet show You Only Live Forever Once (2011).
The longevity honors will continue to be held by Cincinnati
Fringe veteran group Performance Gallery, returning for their ninth year with Rodney
Rumple's Random Reality. Past Cincinnati Fringe appearances include Images of a
Beating Heart (2004), The Killer Whispers and Prays (2005), Godsplay (2006), Girlfight
(2007), Fricative (2008), KAZ/m (2009), The Council (2010) and The Body Speaks
(2011). Brad Cupples, the playwright for Performance Gallery’s 2010 entry,
returns with Third Quarter Moon: A Complex Derivative Love Story.
We’ll see shows from established local companies, including Quake:
A Love Story from New Edgecliff Theatre (they presented Darker in 2011) and Don't
Cross The Streams: The Cease and Desist Musical, a stage musical from
Covington’s Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center.
Two new local companies will present for the first time.
Homegrown Theatre, led by local actress Leah Strasser will present an absurdist
piece, The Doppelganger Cometh and Overtaketh, while
Essex Theatre Arts Studio, founded by actors Bob Allen and Elizabeth Harris,
will stage Love Knots, a series of shorts plays about love and romance by
local playwright Phil Paradis.
There will be plenty of new acts, including Grim &
Fisher (the award-winning A deathly comedy in full-face mask) from Portland,
Ore., and Rebecca King (Storms Beneath Her Skin), a transgender artist from
Chicago. New York artist Tanya O’Debra’s Radio Star has won awards in San
Francisco, Montreal and New York City.
There will be dance performances by Houston-based dance
company Psophonia (Delicious) and two local groups, MamLuft&Co.’s (Latitude)
and Pones, Inc. (Project Activate). The latter is a collaborative and
participatory performance that asks “How do you
activate Cincinnati?” It’s the product of five local service organizations with
12 professional artists from a variety of disciplines.Each evening after performances, artists, audience members,
staff, and volunteers gather at Know Theatre’s Underground bar for the Fringe
Bar Series featuring the “Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News Update.”
Events there include Fringe previews, Fringe Olympics, Fringe-e-Oke, Fringe
Prom, and the 22.5 hour play project.
This year marks the second year of FringeNext, offering
three shows created and performed by high school students. Two are originating
from the School for Creative and Performing Arts; the third is from Lakota West
Individual tickets to shows are still $12. “Full Frontal”
passes are $200, providing access to every event in the festival. “Flexible
Voyeur” six-show passes are on sale for $60, the price equivalent of five tickets.
“One Night Stand” passes are $35; that’s good for one weeknight (as many as
three shows) and a drink at Know Theatre's Bar. Pre-sale single tickets will go
on sale mid-May.
For more information about the performances or to purchase
passes, check out www.cincyfringe.com or call (513) 300-KNOW (5669).
New Edgecliff production is typical LaBute
3 Comments · Sunday, April 15, 2012
Reasons to be Pretty, getting its
local premiere at New Edgecliff Theatre, was Neil LaBute's first play to make
it to Broadway, where it landed in 2009 and earned a few Tony
Good times abound at Carnegie
0 Comments · Sunday, April 15, 2012
production of Pump Boys & Dinettes works hard to appear
effortless, and its effervescent cast chases away any worries you
might have brought to the Otto M. Budig Theatre.