by Rick Pender
121 days ago
Posted In: Theater
at 08:19 AM | Permalink
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's 30th season will present three world premieres, the revival of a great musical and Cinderella
While other Cincinnati theaters hustle to get their seasons announced in order to ramp up subscription sales, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati has built enough faith with its audiences that they'll start signing up sight unseen. Artistic Director Lynn Meyers tells regulars that they'll be pleased, and they take her at her word; she adds that if they aren't happy with the shows she picks, they can have their money back. No one asks for it. Of course, ETC presents shows that haven't appeared elsewhere in our region yet, typically premieres that have only recently been onstage in New York City. And they're given productions with great acting and beautiful design so well assembled that many shows have extended runs. (That's happening with the show concluding the current season, John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar, which opens on Wednesday with a stellar cast that includes local stage veteran Dale Hodges and Cincy Shakes Artistic Director Brian Phillips. ETC has announced it will run a week longer than initially indicated, now closing on May 30.)For its 30th season, ETC has assembled three regional premieres and a revival of a musical it staged to great acclaim in 1999, with a TBA slot (March 22-April 10, 2016) that's likely to bring another show that's been a recent Broadway or off-Broadway hit. Here's the lineup announced over the weekend:Luna Gale (Sept. 8-27, 2015) by Rebecca Gilman: The show recently received the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, and it was considered by many to be a strong contender for the Pulitzer Prize in drama. It portrays the moral dilemma facing a social worker with a crushing caseload and personal baggage. She must decide whether to leave a child with neglectful drug addict parents or place her with a grandmother who is a religious zealot. It's a complex and disturbing work about faith and forgiveness that doesn't offer easy answers for the lifelong after-effects of abuse. Its first production was in January 2014 at the Chicago's Goodman Theatre. It's slated for productions at Cleveland Playhouse and Actors Theatre of Louisville in the coming season, but ETC's happens first. Buyer and Cellar (Oct. 13-Nov. 1, 2015) by Jonathan Tollins: The one-many comedy was a big New York hit in 2013, telling the story of an out-of-work actor who takes on the odd job of playing shopkeeper for Barbra Streisand in the basement of her lavish Malibu estate. It's a fanciful imagining of what one does with decades of memories and acres of memorabilia. Performing the piece will be Nick Cearley, a Cincinnati native who has appeared at ETC in next to normal and The Great American Trailer Park Musical.Cinderella (Dec. 2-Jan. 3, 2016) by Joe McDonough, David Kisor and Fitz Patton: ETC's holiday show is a remount of its contemporary take on the classic fairy tale that demonstrates that being smart can be truly beautiful. Grounded (Jan. 26-Feb. 14, 2016) by George Brant: It's another solo show, described by one critic as "ardently humane," about a woman who's an ace pilot reassigned to operate a remote-controlled drone from a windowless trailer near Las Vegas. It's a hit at New York City's Public Theater right now featuring Anne Hathaway in a production directed by Julie Taymor. Hunting terrorists by day and returning to her family at night, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert where she lives and the one she patrols half a world away in Iraq.Violet (May 3-22, 2016). Jeanine Tesori's musical won the Drama Critics Circle Award and the Lucille Award for best musical when it premiered off-Broadway in 1997. It was a local award winner, too, but not seen by many who have come to love ETC's offerings. The score features American Roots tunes as well as Folk and Gospel styles. Violet's story is set in the 1960s; she is a young woman disfigured in a childhood accident who dreams of a miraculous transformation through the power of faith provided by a televangelist. It was one of ETC's best early productions, and it's a great choice to cap off a celebration of three decades of fine theater.Subscriptions are currently available. Call 513-421-3555 for information.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The role of art collecting in the
emerging (and possibly illusory) “sharing economy” has yet to be set,
but the local experiments with community ownership/financing of artworks
Cincinnati Art Museum's Rosenthal Education Center gives adults and kids fresh ways to engage in arts learning
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s most recent
renovation, the Rosenthal Education Center, built just to the left of
the Great Hall, is bright, open and cheerful.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Rachel DeVore Fogarty, Gwyneth Walker,
Sarah Hopkins and Elizabeth Alexander are acclaimed composers whose
music you may have never heard. MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir,
provides an opportunity to do so Saturday with two concerts titled Here and Aware.
0 Comments · Monday, April 13, 2015
When you hear the name Steve Martin, you surely think of a
funny guy — "wild and crazy," in fact — both as an actor and a
comedian. But he's also a playwright, and you have the opportunity to
see one of his most amusing works at the Carnegie where The Underpants is onstage through April 26.
Four impressive shows round out Cincinnati Opera's upcoming season
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
One intriguing opera in a new venue plus
three warhorses equals Cincinnati Opera’s summer season. Factor in casts
featuring many of opera’s most exciting and acclaimed young singers,
along with young directors and acclaimed conductors, and the formula may
come up a winner.
World premiere of 'King Arthur's Camelot' is the centerpiece of Cincinnati Ballet's 50th anniversary season
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Honor, valor, love, betrayal — these are
the thematic elements of Cincinnati Ballet artistic director and CEO
Victoria Morgan’s full-length world premiere, King Arthur’s Camelot,
opening this weekend with five performances at the Aronoff Center.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Brainstorming various aspects of the concept of time marked the impetus of MamLuft&Co. Dance’s most recent work, /SHIFT/, premiering at the Aronoff Center this weekend.
Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra turns 40 amid fiscal and leadership challenges
0 Comments · Wednesday, May 28, 2014
The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra concludes
its 40th season on June 1 amid symptoms of classic midlife crisis.
There’s no equivalent of a red Porsche, but there are serious concerns
about the organization’s viability and how it might reinvent itself in a
continually uncertain marketplace.
The eclectic Constella Festival aims to change how people think about Classical music events
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The Constella Festival rolls out its
fourth season this week, marking not only a shift in timing, but also
lessons learned from its previous three years, according to Artistic
Director Tatiana Berman.