0 Comments · Wednesday, April 15, 2015
I spent last weekend in Kentucky at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville watching a half-dozen brand new works. The festival is an invigorating whirl of creativity, conviviality and engaging performances.
0 Comments · Monday, April 13, 2015
When you hear the name Steve Martin, you surely think of a
funny guy — "wild and crazy," in fact — both as an actor and a
comedian. But he's also a playwright, and you have the opportunity to
see one of his most amusing works at the Carnegie where The Underpants is onstage through April 26.
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 31, 2015
When I was a high school senior and the teacher who staged the school plays — her name was Mary Price — picked Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew,
there was a lot of moaning and groaning. Why do we have to perform in
some dusty old play from centuries earlier?
Julie Taymor transformed a cartoon into a blockbuster stage production
0 Comments · Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The Lion King began as a popular
Disney animated feature film in 1994, but back then no one imagined that
it would become a worldwide blockbuster stage production.
0 Comments · Monday, March 30, 2015
When I was
a teenager, I devoured comic books ... I haven’t spent much time with those stories or
characters for years, but Know Theatre’s production of Hearts Like Fists took me back to the days of two-dimensional
characters, clear delineation between good and evil and lots of slam-bam
Tracey Scott Wilson's plays keep people talking about race in America
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Tracey Scott Wilson, whose recent play Buzzer
opens this week at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (it’s onstage
through April 19), once said in an interview, “The biggest issue we have
in this country is race, and it’s an issue that Americans don’t talk
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I had a conversation recently with
someone who loves going to the movies but seldom heads to the theater.
She asked why she should consider changing her habits.
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 4, 2015
At a CityBeat party 10 years ago
an acquaintance pulled me aside and asked earnestly, “When you write a
harsh review of a play, do you use a different byline? Is it Tom
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:37 AM | Permalink
I hope my Curtain Call column (found here) in a recent issue moves you to head to UC's College Conservatory of Music for Richard Hess's staging of Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize winner, The Heidi Chronicles, onstage through Sunday. If you remember the 1970s and ’80s, this production will transport you back in time as you watch young feminist Heidi Holland grow up, grow weary and grow wise. Tickets: 513-556-4183.A dog might be man's best friend, but sometimes that's not quite enough. That's one of the lessons of Christian O'Reilly'sChapatti, which opened last night at the Cincinnati Playhouse. Set in contemporary Ireland, it's about two lonely hearts, both in their 60s, who love animals — he's a dog guy ("Chapatti" is his dog's name) and she's a cat lady (she has 19 of them). That brings them together, but what they need is human companionship. That might sound predictable, but there's more to it than that. (Through March 8.) Tickets: 513-421-3888.Falcon Theatre in Newport is opening its stage adaptation of In the Heat of the Night this evening for a two-weekend run. It's the story of a black homicide detective from L.A. who gets caught up in an Alabama homicide investigation in the early 1960s. It's a powerful drama that reminds us of how messy race relations were a half-century ago. With Ed Cohen as director and Derek Snow as Virgil Tibbs, this is likely to be a solid production. Tickets: 513-479-6783.Get a kid started on going to theater: Take her or him to see School House Rock Live! JR., presented by the Children's Theatre of Cincinnati this weekend at the Taft. It's an adaptation of the educational cartoon from the '70s and '80s. And grown-ups are likely to have fun, too, since the local rock band The Rusty Griswolds is performing tunes like "Conjunction Junction" and "Three Is a Magic Number." Public performances tonight (7:30 p.m.), Saturday (2 and 5 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) Tickets: 800-745-3000.Three well-received productions have their final performances this weekend on Sunday: Ensemble Theatre's riveting mystery/psychological drama, The Other Place (CityBeat review here), with a fine cast led by Regina Pugh; the Cincinnati Playhouse's assemblage of Johnny Cash numbers, Ring of Fire (CityBeat interview here), featuring four singers and six excellent supporting musicians; and the funny two-man, 20+ character show Greater Tuna at the Covedale Center (CityBeat review here). And The Handmaid's Tale at Know Theatre, a one-woman adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, has just one more week in its run.The energizer bunnies at Know keep things going with Serials 2: Thunderdome on Monday evening, 15-minute episodes of five new scripts. The concept had a big following over the summer, and one of those works has its parts reassembled as a "full-length" piece: Saturday the 14th, a dark romantic comedy. Playing two lonely losers who meet as they mutually contemplate suicide are Miranda McGee from Cincinnati Shakespeare and Nic Pajic. Tickets: 513-300-5669.The Broadway Series offers a quick stop (they call it a "season extra") of the musical Anything Goes next week, openingTuesday and running through Sunday. If you can't get away for a mid-February cruise, this Cole Porter classic on an ocean liner might be just the ticket for an evening's escape. Tickets: 513-621-2786.
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 4, 2015
In a “Curtain Call” column last August, I
pointed out the scarcity of plays by women staged locally. But I
neglected to mention one of the most important writers of the late 20th
century: Wendy Wasserstein.