Finding love by living
0 Comments · Friday, February 13, 2015
Pets can fill our lives in important ways, but Christian O’Reilly’s play, Chapatti, at the Cincinnati Playhouse, suggests that human interaction — the company of another person — is needed for true fulfillment.
Rosie Clooney's flip side
0 Comments · Monday, November 24, 2014
Rosemary Clooney has long been a favorite of Cincinnatians.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:52 AM | Permalink
Earlier this week I took my mom to see Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical at the Cincinnati Playhouse (CityBeat review here). It was just as good the second time around. Mom, who loved Clooney as a performer in her heyday, had this to say: "It was like seeing her perform live!" I agree: Susan Haefner offers a wonderful interpretation of a Cincinnati icon; and it's great fun to watch Michael Marotta (the only other actor onstage) play her psychiatrist and a dozen or so other characters from Rosie's life. It's a great story of a woman who overcame some daunting demons and made a second career when she had been largely forgotten. Through Jan. 4. Tickets ($30-$85): 513-421-3888.Even though everyone's Christmas decorations have been up for a while, the holiday season doesn't really begin for me until the Cincinnati Playhouse opens its production of A Christmas Carol. Well, there's no more waiting for that one: For the 24th consecutive year, the Mt. Adams theater kicks things off tonight with a glittering production of Charles Dickens' story of the re-education of Ebenezer Scrooge by several ghosts and the loving family of Bob Cratchit. This show is worth seeing simply for Bruce Cromer's winning performance in the pivotal role, but there's so much more — it's a scenically beautiful production, and the ensemble totally enters into the spirit of the season and brings the audience right along, too. Through Dec. 28. Tickets ($30-$85): 513-421-3888.Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors is not exactly a holiday show, but it's a lot of fun (CityBeat review here), what with two sets of twins intersecting without realizing the confusion they're causing. Of course, it all sorts out eventually with a happy ending and multiple weddings. Set in a carnival town and costumed as if it were America in the 1930s, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's production induces laughter from start to finish. It would be a happy weekend outing for anyone, young or old. Through Dec. 13. Tickets ($22-$36): 513-381-2273.Know Theatre's production of The Bureau of Missing Persons is an evocative and entertaining piece of alternative theater (CityBeat review here). The story of a woman's quest from her New York City apartment to a cave in Moscow in search of someone missing is described in the show's publicity as "a poignant tale of loss and redemption — part mystery, part love story." It's also the directorial debut for Tamara Winters, who recently became Know's associate artistic director. There's a preview tonight and the official opening is Saturday evening; it will be onstage through Dec. 20. Tickets ($20 in advance; $10 at the door 10 minutes prior to curtain, if available … cash only): 513-300-5669.Rick Pender's STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 25, 2014
“Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 19, 2014
It’s a minor miracle that Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman — the creative team behind Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Story, opening this week at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park — found each other.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 01:10 PM | Permalink
If you'd like to go to the theater every evening for the
next four days, there are plenty of options for you to consider as the
2014-2015 season is getting underway on stages all over town. Here are
some good choices to consider:
Hands on a Hardbody opened on Wednesday at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, and CityBeat reviewer Stacy Sims called it "effervescent" and "offbeat" in her review,
giving it a Critic's Pick. I was there, too, and couldn't agree more
about the infectious, heartfelt joy coming from the big cast of 15. The
show is based on a true story (the subject of a 1997 documentary) about
people in a downtrodden Texas town who enter a contest to win a Nissan
pickup truck by outlasting others who vow to keep one hand on the
vehicle. The cherry-red truck is as much a character as any of the
contestants, the physical embodiment of their hopes and dreams — which
take the form of songs by Trey Anastasio (of Phish) and Amanda Green.
The script by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright treats these diverse,
down-on-their-luck folks with dignity, and the performers (who often
perform with the truck as their dance partner) bring every one of them
to life in vivid ways. This one is a must-see, a great way to kick-off
ETC's theater season. Through Sept. 21. Tickets ($28-$44): 513-421-3555
The Great Gatsby kicks off Cincinnati
Shakespeare Company's season tonight. You didn't know Shakespeare wrote
it? Well, he didn't. This theater company focuses on the Bard, to be
sure, but it frequently branches out to present stage versions of other
classics, in this case an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925
classic about a mysterious nouveau-riche millionaire who's obsessed with
a one-time debutante. Set in the Jazz Age and inspired by lavish
parties the high-flying Fitzgerald attended on the prosperous North
Shore of Long Island, Gatsby is a story about the ups and downs
of the American Dream. Simon Levy's script is the only one authorized by
Fitzgerald's estate, and Cincy Shakes is presenting its regional
premiere. (And here's a tip: on opening nights at 6 p.m., the theater
offers ticket holders a complimentary catered meal, beer and wine.)
Through Oct. 4. Tickets ($22-$36): 513-381-2273
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club
opens next Thursday at the Cincinnati Playhouse, but previews begin for
the season opener this Saturday (through Wednesday). Tickets for these
performances are discounted, and you'll be seeing a show that's pretty
much ready to go. Jeffrey Hatcher's script should be lots of fun for
fans of the Victorian sleuth. He's taken the character created by Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle and dropped him into a tale conceived by another
inventive writer, Robert Louis Stevenson, for a mash-up that will keep
even Baker Street regulars guessing. Tickets: 513-421-3888
Serials! at Know Theatre, which has
presented episodes of six Fringe-like shows at two-week intervals all
summer long, culminates on Monday evening at 8 p.m. with finales of each
tale. Who will win the ultimate fist fight with the Devil in Flesh Descending? How long can Luke really stay in his bedroom during The Funeral? Will we ever find out what's really happening in Mars vs. The Atom?
These questions and more will be answered on Monday. Even if you've
missed a few episodes, don't worry: Each 15-minute performance begins
with a brief recap of the story so far. Zany and fun for anyone who's
enjoyed the annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Tickets ($15): 513-300-5669
Finally, a tip for an eye-opening theater experience next weekend: On Sunday, Sept. 14, the Cincinnati area's first-ever South Asian Theater Festival happens
in an all-day event at the Anderson Theater (7850 Five Mile Rd.). Five
plays are scheduled to be presented, as well as panel discussions, seven
hours of programming in all. The day begins at 12:30 p.m. and is set to
conclude around 8 p.m. A limited number of tickets remain ($19-$29): SATFCincy.org
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Events
at 11:38 AM | Permalink
The Cincinnati Rollergirls close their season with the third annual Crosstown Knockdown
Saturday. The double-header opens with a mixed game featuring CRG’s Black Sheep
team and the Battering Rams, Cincy’s men’s team. During the main event, CRG’s
Violent Lambs face-off with the Black-n-Bluegrass Rollergirls’ Blackouts. CRG’s
home rink is at the Cincinnati Gardens; with the arena for sale, it might be
the crew’s last game there. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the first bout begins at 6
p.m. The game is also Fan Appreciation Night — the first 500 fans through the
door will receive CGR cowbells and the girls will be handing out gifts to fans
throughout the games. Tailgating is encouraged, parking is free and dollar
beers are available from 5-6 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door.
Enjoy a taste of the Middle
East this weekend with St. James’ Mediterranean
Food Fest. Guests can binge on traditional fare including hummus and
falafel, stuffed cabbage and grape leaves, varieties of kebabs, gyros, baklava
and more. There will also be live entertainment and plenty of traditional
carnival fare for the kids. The fest runs daily Friday through Sunday. Go here for
directions and more info.
returns to Ault Park for another summer day of classic cars displayed in one of
Cincinnati’s most beautiful parks. More than 200 collector rides will be
showcased, with a spotlight on Mustangs and microcars and the 100th anniversary
of Maserati. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day-of. The show runs from 10
a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Here’s a twist on the
typical summer yard sale: Cincinnati
Playhouse in the Park
opens its scenery shop to the public for a big sale Saturday morning.
Furniture, glassware, china, costumes, and other items seen onstage in popular
Playhouse productions will all be priced to sell from 8 a.m.-noon. Bring cash
or a check; all proceeds benefit the not-for-profit Playhouse.
The MidPoint Indie Summer Series continues Friday with a great lineup
of local acts. The Mason School of Rock opens the night at 7 p.m., followed by
Honey & Houston, The Tigerlilies and Wussy at 10 p.m. Advance tickets to
MidPoint Music Festival ($69 all music access and $179 VIP) will be on sale at
Fountain Square. Check out the full Indie Summer Series schedule here.Second Sunday on Main kicks off this weekend, bringing more than 80 local
vendors, food trucks, street performers, live music and specials at Main Street
business to the street, between 13th and Liberty streets. This “Main Street
runs noon- 5 p.m., featuring music by The Hot Magnolias, a celebrity chef demo,
a dog parade and contest, a clothing swap and community yard sale, entertainment
at the Rock Paper Scissors performance tent and much more.
For more art openings, parties, festivals and other
stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks,
full calendar and Rick
for weekend theater offerings.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:02 AM | Permalink
You really can't go wrong with a show at the Cincinnati Playhouse this weekend. I gave both productions Critic's Picks. The North Pool, on the Shelterhouse stage through June 1,
is a taut dialogue between a suspicious high school vice principal and a
wary student of Middle Eastern descent. (CityBeat review here.) It takes a while (the show is
about 90 minutes, played in real time) to decide who's the good guy and
who's the bad guy, and you'll be turned around several times in the
process. Excellent acting and a fine script by Ohio native (and Miami
University grad) Rajiv Joseph makes this an excellent theatrical
experience. On the Playhouse's Marx Stage, it's the final weekend for
another kind of cat-and-mouse game. Venus in Fur is all
about sexual tension, between an imperious playwright/director and the
woman who's auditioning for a role in a play he's adapted from an erotic
novel. (CityBeat review here.) David Ives' witty and allusive script (it's literary and
mythical in some most amusing ways) is being produced at theaters from
coast-to-coast, but I can't imagine there's a finer production than this
one anywhere. Tickets: ($30-$75) 513-421-3888.
At Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, you still have two weeks to catch a rare production of The Two Noble Kinsmen.
The play is rarely staged (perhaps with good reason: it's not one of
Shakespeare's best), but Cincy Shakes' rendition is noteworthy because
it's the final work to complete their endeavor of staging all 38 of the
Bard's works. (More on that feat here; CityBeat review of The Two Noble Kinsmen here.) It's a feat accomplished by just a handful of theaters
worldwide, and it's your chance to check this one off your bucket list.
Through May 25. Tickets ($22-$35): 513-381-2273.
Falcon theater, which produces shows in the tiny Monmouth Theater in Newport, Ky., opens Bat Boy the Musical
tonight. It's a show that was lifted from the headlines of the Weekly
World News (yes, found in the finest grocery store check-out lines)
about a strange creature found in a cave in West Virginia. Of course
it's crazy, but the show is actually a really entertaining piece about
acceptance and community. Three weekends, through May 31. Tickets ($17-$20): 513-479-6783
If you missed The Irish Curse
presented by Clifton Players at the tiny Clifton Performance Theatre on
Ludlow Avenue back in February and March, they've brought it back for a
couple of weekends, this being the second of two. It's an amusing adult
comedy about a bunch of guys fretting over the size of their
"equipment." Tickets can be ordered online (brownpapertickets.com) or purchased at the door (but be aware: it's a small venue that quickly sells out).
A most satisfying drama at the Playhouse
0 Comments · Monday, May 12, 2014
North Pool leads you down a circuitous path.
More than once you’ll think you know what’s behind this conversation and where