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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For creating and sustaining Cincinnati Young People's Theatre Festival for nearly 30 years, for keeping the Showboat Majestic afloat (literally and artistically) and for turning a deteriorating West Side movie theater into a popular performing arts venue, the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, Tim and Jennifer Perrino and Denny Reed are being honored by the League of Cincinnati Theatres with the 2009 "Continuing Achievement Award." On Sunday evening at Below Zero Lounge in Over-the-Rhine, they'll be inducted into the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Hall of Fame.