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of Montreal with Dream Tiger and The Nightbeast

Saturday • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Founded in the ’90s in Athens, Ga., and guided by the mad-genius Avant Pop songwriting instincts of Kevin Barnes, of Montreal is one of the more compelling Indie acts going.  

Nickel Creek with The Secret Sisters

Tuesday • Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Nickel Creek is back. The Bluegrass-y trio first arrived in 1993 and quickly became a well-loved band. In 2007, they embarked on their “Farewell (For Now)” tour. Now, they’ve teamed up once again for the release of A Dotted Line.  

The Band of Heathens with Josh Eagle

Friday • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 26, 2014
While Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest extravaganza continues to jump the shark due to corporate excess and misdirection, the capitol city continues to be an exceptional music town. The Band of Heathens came out of Austin’s rich music scene with a lot of buzz in the mid-’00s.   

Amos Lee with Chris Kasper

Friday • Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Tuesday, March 4, 2014
It’s been a decade since Blue Note Records signed Amos Lee and put out his self-titled EP. Since then, the Folk/Soul singer/songwriter has yet to disappoint. With a voice that could cut through any venue’s rattle-and-rush, and lyrics and stories that seem just right coming from a former teacher, Lee hooks a finger into the listener’s shirt collar and pulls them closer.   
by Rick Pender 02.21.2014
Posted In: Theater at 08:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 2-21 - cynthea mercado as scheherazade in arabian nights @ nku - photo provided by northern kentucky university14an press photo 3 copy

Stage Door: Options Abound

I’m not making up a story when I suggest you could be charmed by Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights at Northern Kentucky University. After all, her play is about telling tales: Scheherazade, the latest bride of a cruel king who has a history of marrying and executing his wives, survives by stringing him along with stories she promises to finish the next night — for a “Thousand and One Nights.” (Read my profile of Mary Zimmerman here.) She plies him with tales of Sinbad and Ali Baba. Audiences at NKU will likely be strung along, too. Senior Cynthea Mercado plays Scheherazade, whose life, she says, “is threatened with the reality of her situation, and yet she is still able to enjoy her own tales and sometimes get lost in them.” No need to get lost. Find your way to Highland Heights and NKU’s Corbett Theatre for this production, through March 2. Tickets: 859-572-5464. If a classic musical is to your taste, you might try Andrew Lloyd Webber’s epic musical Evita, in a touring production at the Aronoff Center through March 2. I caught a performance last evening, and it looks great — some epic scenery and excellent choreography. Josh Young as Che is charismatic and strong-voiced in his role as the show’s commentator. Unfortunately, Caroline Bowman’s Eva Perón gets too shrill way too fast and becomes a grasping harpy before there’s a chance to be won over by her Machiavellian charms. As Juan Peron, Sean MacLaughlin looks young and slimy, without the sinister gravitas that the historical figure possessed. That doesn’t leave much opportunity to convey the complex chemistry — passion and manipulation — that bonded them as a political machine. But the tale of the ambitious young woman who rose to the highest levels of power in Argentina then crashed and burned is a memorable modern tragedy, and the show’s rock-opera tunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber will stick in your head. Tickets: 513-621-ARTS. Cincinnati Shakespeare is keeping the cast of its recent production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet intact with its current production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. This time around, it’s the story of Hamlet’s college buddies Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who move from Shakespeare’s sidelines to Stoppard’s center stage. In this classic 1967 script, the pawns become the central characters, while Prince Hamlet, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius, Ophelia and others wander by. The classic tragedy is turned on its head, and it becomes an existential tragedy for two guys who everyone has a hard time telling apart. Through March 9. Tickets: 513-381-2273. The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s production of Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize finalist script, 4000 Miles, is onstage at the Shelterhouse Theatre. It’s about a 91-year-old grandmother and her 21-year-old grandson bridging a giant generation gap and finding that they actually have a lot in common. Through March 9. Tickets: 513-421-3888.  It’s the final weekend for several shows that have been pleasing audiences. Nina Raine’s Tribes at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati was originally scheduled to close last Sunday, but to meet ticket demand for the show about coping with deafness — and contentious families — ETC added performances through Saturday. (CityBeat review here.) Tickets: 513-421-3555. … A block away at Know Theatre, the off-kilter script by Steve Yockey, Pluto, winds up on Saturday, too. It’s about dealing with tragedy and grief, told in an inventive, sometimes even humorous, manner. Two of Cincinnati’s finest actors — Annie Fitzpatrick and Tori Wiggins — are in this one, making it very watchable. (CityBeat review here.) Tickets: 513-300-5669 … For the younger set, this weekend offers the final public performance, Saturday at 2 p.m., of Children’s Theatre’s Pinkalicious at the Taft. It’s the story of a girl who can’s stop eating pink cupcakes. Tickets: 800-745-3000. And here’s a tip for Monday evening: Dayton native Daniel Beaty, who pleased a lot of Playhouse patrons last season with his tour-de-force one-man show, Through the Night, will be in town for a one-night performance to promote his new book, Transforming Pain to Power. His performance (6:30 p.m. in the Marx Theatre) and the book signing afterward in the Rosenthal Plaza) are free, but you need to make a reservation with the Playhouse box office: 513-421-3888.
 
 

Gregory Alan Isakov with Josh Ritter

Tuesday • Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 19, 2014
It seems a little early (or maybe late) for a Gregory Alan Isakov concert. His warm voice is more on par with a concert in the grass on an Indian summer evening. Still, we should be happy to have him in town whenever we can get him.  

Heavy Adventures

Deafheaven continues to challenge and destroy the boundaries of Black Metal

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Sunbather, the second album from Deafheaven, is a true listening “experience.” Clocking in at just under an hour, it moves from the epic blast-furnace riffage and jackhammer drumming of “Dream House” to the pensive, piano-laced wanderings of “Irresistible” with uncommon grace and fluidity. And that’s just the first two songs.  

8-Bits to Hold You

Anamanaguchi takes Chiptune to the next (game) level with 'Endless Fantasy'

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 11, 2013
In a field crowded with basement/bedroom Laptop Pop experimentalists, New York City quartet Anamanaguchi stands as one of the leading lights at the forefront of the Chiptune genre.  

Goblin with Zombi

Wednesday • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Italian horror movie maestro Dario Argento’s bloody visions found a capable partner in Goblin, a five-piece band whose trippy, creeped-out soundtracks became as important as what was up on the screen.   

!!! with Yip Deceiver

Tuesday • Ballroom at the Taft Theatre

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Coalescing in Sacramento, Calif., more than a dozen years ago, !!! (pronounced "Chk Chk Chk") is one of the prime members of the Dance Punk movement it helped usher in with such like-minded new-millennium acts as LCD Soundsystem, The Juan Maclean and The Rapture.  

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