by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 06:00 AM | Permalink
The pickings have been kind of slim at Know Theatre over the
past year. The quality has been high (the staging of When the Rain Stops Falling was one of the best shows onstage
locally during 2013, and Mike Bartlett’s Cock
offered a showcase of strong acting), but the works have felt few and far
between. So today’s announcement from Producing Artistic Director Eric Vosmeier
of a full schedule that’s already under way and extends beyond the typical end
of the 2013-2014 season is welcome news. Here’s what’s in store following
Lauren Gunderson’s Macbeth-inspired
comedy Toil and Trouble (presently
onstage through Aug. 24):
Bull by Mike Bartlett (Nov. 1-30): Yes, it’s another piece by
the playwright of Cock, making Know
the first U.S. theater to produce both pieces by the British writer. Both use a
stripped-down aesthetic — no props and no scenery make for a lot of onstage
intensity regarding characters and their relationships. This one is the story
of three mid-level executives who compete for two corporate positions. Brian
Robertson, who also staged Cock,
returns to direct this one, and George Alexander, one of the four actors in the
earlier show, will perform in this one, too.
The Naughty List (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, Dec.
1-30): OTRImprov, an improvisational comedy troupe that’s part of Know’s
Jackson Street Market, will hold forth in the courtyard at Arnold’s Bar &
Grill in downtown Cincinnati for the holidays. Combining long- and short-form
improv, the performers will offer a very irreverent take on the holidays — with
the help of audience suggestions and participation.
Pluto (Jan. 24-Feb. 22, 2014): Know’s former artistic director
Jason Bruffy comes back to town to stage a poignant and evocative new script by
Steve Yockey. The production is part of a rolling world premiere through the
National New Play Network, and it will feature two excellent local
professionals, Annie Fitzpatrick and Tori Wiggins. An ordinary day in a
suburban home takes a strange turn following a local tragedy, what with all
hell breaking loose. Know’s publicity says the show “explores tragedy, loss and
the way love can blind us to the truth.”
TBD (April 4-May
10, 2014): Know is holding a slot for a production to be announced later. You
can be sure it will be another script with the ink still drying.
Cincinnati Fringe Festival (May 27-June 7, 2014): The 11th
annual Fringe will be back with 12 days of theater, music, dance, film, art —
and a lot of stuff in between that kind of defies simple description.
Applications for performers will be accepted starting Sept. 1, 2013 (through
Dec. 6). Info: www.cincyfringe.com.
Moby Dick (Fall 2014): Playwright Julian Rad adapted Herman
Melville’s great American novel for an Off-Off-Broadway production in 2003.
Michael Burnham, recently retired from a long career as a professor of drama at
UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, will co-direct the show with designer
Andrew Hungerford. The tale of revenge and obsession with Captain Ahab pursuing
the great white whale that maimed him has been stripped to its essence for what
promises to be a highly theatrical endeavor that uses sea chanteys and creative
In addition to these full-scale productions, Know has
announced several Fringe “encores,” the return of shows that were hits during
the festival’s 10th iteration back in June. Jon Kovach will repeat his powerful
one-man show based on Ron Jones’ The Wave (Aug. 26-27);
comedian/storyteller/singer Kevin Thornton will present Stairway to Kevin (Sept.
6 and 13); and Paul Strickland’s one-man trailer park fairytale comedy, Ain’t
True and Uncle False (Oct. 11-12).
Tickets for the full-productions are $15 in advance, and $20
the week of the performance; Fringe “encore” tickets are $12. Know offers sets
of six-show flex passes for $90 that do not expire. They can be exchanged for
tickets for any of these productions. For more information: 513-300-5669 or
The best address in Dayton is Avenue Q
0 Comments · Monday, June 24, 2013
Much of Avenue Q's humor derives from the use of puppets
very much like those you will remember from Sesame Street. But here
they're gay, racist
Keith Glover brings the Blues back to the Cincinnati Playhouse
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I became CityBeat’s arts and
entertainment editor in 1998, following a few years of being a
contributing writer, covering the local theater scene. In 1999 I wrote
my first big cover story — it was about Keith Glover and his Blues
musical, Thunder Knocking on the Door.
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Most CityBeat readers want to read
about things to do right here and right now, so I don’t allocate many
words to theater season announcements that show up this time of year.
Keep your eye on citybeat.com, especially the arts blog, for
up-to-the-minute information and recommendations.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 28, 2012
you pay attention to theater on a regular basis, you surely know Stephen
Sondheim’s name. He’s has been esteemed as the greatest creator of
musical theater for more than 50 years. When he turned 80 in 2010, there
were celebrations across the United States and around the world.
Cincinnati has been fertile terrain for his work.
0 Comments · Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The idea of “dance theater”
(“Tanztheater” in German) evolved from expressionist dance in 1920s
Vienna, with a new form developing and spreading throughout Central
Europe beginning in 1917. The term re-emerged during the 1980s and Pina
Bausch, a student of one of the leaders of this school of dance, became a
new school practioner of note.
0 Comments · Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When you go to the theater, I suspect you
focus on the actors. That’s as it should be, but it’s important to bear
in mind that it’s the director who pulls a production together and
evokes performances that add up to the larger whole.
0 Comments · Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I keep reading that the tight economy is loosening, but those unemployment figures continue to creep upward and I’m sure there are people out there who would like to attend theater but feel they can’t afford it. So let me spread the word that there are ways to get a theater fix without maxing out your credit card.
ETC's season opening show is a triumphant look at Beethoven's motives
0 Comments · Friday, September 4, 2009
Much was made of this show's Broadway debut earlier this year, especially Jane Fonda's starring role. ETC is offering only the second staging of this Tony Award-nominated work. Despite Amy Warner's moving performance in the role Fonda played, '33 Variations' is more than a star vehicle: It's a strong ensemble production that will engage audiences from start to finish.