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The Understudy (Review)

Comedy about theater world packs the Shelterhouse with love and hate

0 Comments · Monday, September 27, 2010
Somewhere in playwright Theresa Rebeck's past there must have been a 420-too-friendly techie who smoked up the booth, a big-name hack who got the plum job and a lover who walked out without a word. Or maybe these professional disasters and personal heartbreaks, captured so hilariously and affectingly in the Cincinnati native's 'The Understudy,' are simply the products of Rebeck's rich imagination. Either way, the comedy has a ring of authenticity that anyone who's ever acted (onstage or in life) should appreciate.  

Cincinnati Theater? Big News? You Bet!

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Over the past week, there's been a lot of theater news to report. The 14th and final Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Theater were held Aug. 29, where it was confirmed that the CEAs would join forces with the Acclaim Awards for the upcoming theater season. Earlier in the week, Ed Stern announced his departure from Playhouse in the Park following the 2011-12 season.  

Fall Arts Preview: Live Theater

Season begins on a 'high' note at the Playhouse

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 1, 2010
September marks the beginning of Greater Cincinnati's 2010-11 theater season. Check it out: Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre, Cincinnati Shakespeare, Know Theatre, Human Race Theatre Company, Broadway Across America, the Covedale Center, CCM, Falcon Theater, NKU, the Footlighters and Cincinnati Musical Theatre are offering up a huge array of live theater this fall.  

Cyrano

1 Comment · Friday, June 4, 2010
This 'Cyrano,' by Jo Roets, is a highly condensed version of Edmond Rostand's three-hour romantic comedy. It's sleeker and sharper but lacks some of the poetry and dimensionality of the original. What remains is a post-modern machine for shaking out the story and meaning of Cyrano and Roxanne.  

A Year of Great Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A lot of theater awards are handed out around the nation this time of year, including the Acclaims earlier this week in Cincinnati. I organize the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, which will return in August (for year 15) to honor excellence from this season just before the next one kicks off. Awards are arbitrary, subjective and unscientific, but that doesn’t stop us from being fascinated or rooting for our favorites.  

The Fantasticks (Review)

Playhouse wraps up 50th anniversary season with 50-year-old classic musical

0 Comments · Sunday, May 23, 2010
There are several obvious reasons why Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is wrapping up its 50th anniversary season with 'The Fantasticks.' For one, the long-running musical began its onstage life the same year the Playhouse first presented plays in a Cincinnati Parks shelter house in Mount Adams. The show's staying power is amply displayed by the current charming production, staged by Producing Artistic Director Ed Stern.  

Ain't Misbehavin' (Review)

Playhouse 'misbehaves' with too much motion and too little music

0 Comments · Monday, May 10, 2010
While watching the opening night of 'Ain't Misbehavin' at the Cincinnati Playhouse, I kept wondering, "How could so much of the Fats Waller revue seem so perfunctory, mechanical and tired of itself?" As the show barreled along, there was no end to the energy — or was it frenzy? And there was no shortage of style — or was it shtick?   

Springtime Avalanche of Theater

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Actors and stages and shows ... oh, my! April has offered Cincinnatians several unparalleled weeks of "We're off to see the theater." No matter which yellow brick road you followed, it likely led to a stage with an excellent production. Let me recap...  

The History of Invulnerability (Review)

Powerful Playhouse world premiere should be required viewing

1 Comment · Sunday, April 11, 2010
David Bar Katz's story about Superman and his comic book creator might sound like an amusing, nostalgic show. The Shelterhouse Theatre is papered with comic book panels, and the lights come up on Superman (handsome Steve Wilson) with a confident "I'm in charge" look as he begins to describe his genealogy. The true subject, however, is vulnerability rather than invulnerability.  

David Bar Katz and the Truth of 'Invulnerability'

1 Comment · Monday, April 12, 2010
David Bar Katz probably has more in common with Jerry Siegel than with Superman, but he's put them onstage together in his world premiere play 'The History of Invulnerability' at the Cincinnati Playhouse. "They interact with one another," Bar Katz explains. "Superman represents his unconscious provoking him."  

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