WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Rick Pender 09.27.2013
Posted In: Theater at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
stage door 9-13 - fly @ playhouse - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: Memory Lane

Perhaps this weekend you want to take a last-chance trip down Memory Lane. You have that option as the Showboat Majestic is wrapping up its production of Showboat Follies, the final show that Cincinnati Landmark Productions will stage on the historic vessel. It's a revue of songs and skits that should be fun if not profound, but if you go (final performance is Sunday), you'll be able to tell you foriends that you were among the last to visit this nostalgic Cincinnati venue. (Unless the City of Cincinnati finds another operator — which they've been seeking with no success.) Tickets: 513-241-6550. This weekend also offers the final performances of Oliver Twist at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. It's a tale of crime and child abuse from the Victorian era, and not terribly chipper — think A Christmas Carol without any holiday spirits. But as always with Cincy Shakes, there's some fine acting — and they've added some musical elements that keep things interest, too. Through Sunday. Tickets: 513-381-2273, x1. The most engaging theater onstage right now (and sticking around until Oct. 4) is Fly at the Cincinnati Playhouse. It's a creative portrait of four aspiring African Americans striving to be Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. The challenges they faced — prejudice, rigorous training and life-threatening aerial combat — not only made them pioneers who addressed civil rights issues decades before the rest of America, it made them heroes, too. Making this production all the more interesting is a modern tap dancer who "underscores" many of the scenes with movement and rhythm. I suspect you've never seen anything quite like this. Tickets: 513-241-3888. If you're a movie fan I suspect you've seen Carrie (based on Stephen King's novel about a bullied girl who unleashed her telekinetic powers) and Ghost (about a guy who's murdered but comes back with the help of a crazy psychic to save the lover he's lost). They've both been turned into unmemorable musicals that are onstage locally for you to see. I've seen them both, and I'm sorry to say that — despite some fine voices (in Carrie at the Carnegie, presented by Showbiz Players) and a lot of video and special effects (a touring production of Ghost at the Aronoff Center) — I believe you might be better off to pull out your DVD of either film to watch.  I haven't seen it, but I'm intrigued by Northern Kentucky University's production of Moby Dick Rehearsed. Herman Melville's great American novel is brought to life onstage when a company of Shakespearean actors stop rehearsing King Lear and consider a new play drawn from the tale of the Great White Whale. Theater elements become aspects of the Pequod as the crew is lashed along in Captain Ahab's obsessive hunt for the beast that took his leg. Through Oct. 6. Tickets: 859-572-5464.
 
 
by Rick Pender 09.10.2013
Posted In: Theater at 07:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
showboat majestic 1

Landmark Productions Won't Return to Showboat Next Year

Theatre company to focus on Covedale Center after 23 years on the river

Abandon ship! Well, that's not exactly true. In fact, Cincinnati Landmark Productions has done a remarkable and loving job of sustaining the ship — in the form of the Showboat Majestic, which it has operated for 23 years in the face of at least 10 floods and countless repairs (including a leaky hull). But with its lease running out later this month, the company has decided not to return for the 2014 season.  Cincinnati Landmark will focus its endeavors on the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, the converted West Side movie theater where it will offer a "Summer Classics Season" in a vein similar to mainstream fare of classic comedies and musicals that has long drawn audiences to the Majestic. There have been 170 productions on board since 1991, attracting more than 350,000 patrons to the last floating theater in the United States. Cincinnati Landmark is also embarking on a new voyage with a performing arts center to be built in the Incline District in East Price Hill, a venue anticipated to be up and running as early as 2015.Tim Perrino, executive artistic director at Cincinnati Landmark, says, "It's time to say goodbye. Our organization enjoyed a prolific chapter in the Majestic's grand history, painstakingly caring for the old boat" — launched in 1923 — "and producing seasons that paid tribute to her heritage."  Opening this week on Wednesday, Showboat Follies will be Cincinnati Landmark's final production on the Majestic. An annual tradition, it's a compilation of musical showstoppers, comic sketches, audience interaction and a return of the "Queen City Toast," a longtime staple of season-closing shows. "This show has become our love letter to the Majestic," Perrino says, adding that it's "a thank-you to our subscribers, longtime supporters and the many artists who helped make our time on the Showboat so special." Showboat Follies runs through Sept. 29.During the summer of 2014, Cincinnati Landmark will present four productions at the Covedale: Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly! (May 22-June 1); Neil Simon's comedy, The Sunshine Boys (June 19-29); Footloose (July 24-Aug. 3), the 2014 Cincinnati Young People's Theater production, a summer favorite using local high school talent; and a spectacular song-and-dance show, The Will Rogers Follies (Aug. 21-31).  In 1989, the Showboat Majestic was named a National Historic Landmark. No word from the City of Cincinnati, which has owned the Majestic since 1967, as to what might be next. The Majestic was operated with summertime shows by the University of Cincinnati for many years, and it served as a popular venue during several of the Tall Stacks festivals over the years.
 
 

Another Round of Cincinnati Theaters — Come and Gone

1 Comment · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Drawing on my efforts to cover theater in Cincinnati for a quarter-century (including writing for CityBeat since 1994), two weeks ago I wrote about theaters that came and went during the 1990s. This week, I’m looking at companies that started during the 2000s.   

I Do! I Do! (Review)

Fifty years of marriage onstage at Covedale

0 Comments · Monday, October 22, 2012
The folks who run Cincinnati Landmark Productions know their audience: This is the kind of warm-hearted, old-fashioned show that appeals to their subscribers. But I Do! I Do! has really become a history lesson more than a romantic voyage.   

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Review)

Covedale stages Tennessee Williams' challenging portrait of a family's corruption

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tennessee Williams was a brilliant American playwright, but his works are not easy going for people seeking pleasant entertainment. Cat is not an easy piece of theater: There’s not a likable character in this tale of a greedy, selfish family.   

Theater Season Heats Up

0 Comments · Tuesday, August 28, 2012
As the final weeks of summer cool down, it’s time for Cincinnati’s theaters to turn up the heat.   

I Love a Piano (Review)

Covedale show is full of familiar tunes that will stick in your head

0 Comments · Friday, October 14, 2011
Irving Berlin lived for more than a century (1888-1989) and his popular songs have outlasted even that incredible lifetime — including “God Bless America,” “White Christmas,” “Easter Parade” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” — so the current Covedale Center revue I Love a Piano (a title from another of his well known tunes) has a ready advantage with audiences of a certain age.   

Evita (Review)

Cincinnati Landmark Productions takes ambitious swing at Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice classic

0 Comments · Monday, October 4, 2010
Cincinnati Landmark Productions' ninth season kicks off with an ambitious production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's 'Evita,' the tale of the charismatic, controversial Argentine first lady Eva Perón. Brook Rucidlo, Michael Shawn Starks and Mike Sherman are strong vocalists, and this show has a hard-working chorus who play numerous roles and sing and dance from start to finish.   

Meet Me in St. Louis (Review)

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Want to feel younger, instantly? Head to the Covedale on the West Side for 'Meet Me in St. Louis.' If this nostalgic show, based on the 1944 Judy Garland film and full of playful tunes like "Skip to My Lou" and "Under the Bamboo Tree" doesn’t make you feel like a kid again, the audience will.  

My Fair Lady (Review)

Showboat Majestic features an illuminating Eliza

0 Comments · Friday, September 18, 2009
Showboat Majestic closes out the 2009 summer season with the evergreen, ever-lilting, ever-intelligent Alan Lerner-Frederick Loewe 1956 musical 'My Fair Lady,' under Tim Perrino's direction. Much of this show is brightly energetic and cleverly staged, though occasionally ragged in execution on the postage stamp stage. All 18 cast members give the piece their Showboat best.  

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