WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Holiday Humor for Hilarity Hunters

0 Comments · Monday, December 16, 2013
Ready to move beyond the predictable in your pursuit of holiday theater? Three shows offer varied choices. A Klingon Christmas Carol gets its local premiere by Hugo West Theatricals at the Art Academy of Cincinnati through Dec. 22.  

Offbeat Holiday Shows

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
It’s early December and time for you to decide which hip holiday show you want to take in. Of course, you just missed last weekend’s tour stop of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, a musical adaptation of the famous Dr. Seuss tale about the green meanie Christmas hater, a latter-day Ebenezer Scrooge.  

Thankful for 'Twelfth Night'

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m wandering down memory lane to offer an insight into why I’m thankful to be a theater critic. I grew up in a small town near Cleveland, acted (poorly) in some high school productions and was infected with an abiding love for theater. As a teenager I sought out productions at places like the Cleveland Playhouse and summer seasons at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.   

Cock-and-Bull Stories

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Know Theatre is typically the last of our local professional theaters out of the gate in the fall. It takes the small company a while to recuperate from the Fringe Festival, from being a venue for the MidPoint Music Festival and from the numerous other activities they host at their Jackson Street venue in Over-the-Rhine. But they’re finally in the midst of the run of their first regular production for fall 2013, Mike Bartlett’s Bull.  

A Chorus Line (Review)

Sweetness and sorrow

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 12, 2013
It’s a rare organization that can pull off a show so demanding. I guess that makes Cincinnati Music Theatre rare, because their present production of A Chorus Line offers excellent dancing, spectacular singing and acting performances that will make audiences laugh and break your heart.  

Boeing Boeing (Review)

Energetic, laugh-out-loud farce shines with spirit

1 Comment · Monday, November 11, 2013
Under the direction of Brant Russell, the newest member of the drama faculty at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, Boeing Boeing is fresh and hilarious, a sheer delight.  
by Rick Pender 11.08.2013
Posted In: Arts community, Theater, Visual Art at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door blog 11-8 - drew pulver as tevye human race - photo scott j. kimmins

Stage Door: Choices Galore

I had occasion to be in downtown Dayton on business earlier this week and thought I'd stay for the evening to catch the Human Race Theatre Company's production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Loft Theatre. It's not a space you'd immediately think of for this often large-scale show, but director Kevin Moore has put of lot of action and choreography (by Chris Crowthers) on the stage, centering on Drew Pulver as the philosophical Jewish milkman, Tevye. He's the show's charismatic core, but he's surrounded by a strong cast who really embody their roles. Wandering on and off the stage, a four-musician band, including George Abud as the expressive fiddler, ably accompanies the cast, several of whom play multiple roles. The intimacy of the Loft amplifies the heartfelt nature of the show, and the actors pour heart and soul into the joyous storytelling. This production runs through Nov. 30, so you have time to plan a trip to Dayton yourself. If you're a fan of musicals, you won't be disappointed. Tickets: 937-228-3630 If you're looking for a good musical closer to home, I can certainly recommend the Cincinnati Playhouse production of Cabaret, which gets my Critic's Pick in the current issue (see review here). Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge has taken it back to 1929 with costumes and choreography very true to the period in a seedy, sexy Berlin nightclub. The Playhouse doesn't often do musicals, but this one is done right. Tickets: 513-421-3888 Know Theatre is staging another work by Mike Bartlett. Last spring it was Cock; this time it's Bull (review here). It's a story of two people bullying a third as they compete for jobs. A nasty tale, not for the faint-hearted, but some fine writing and acting. You'll feel ashamed of yourself for enjoying it, I suspect. Tickets: 513-300-5669 A fine production of John Steinbeck's Depression era tale of migrant workers and a guy who just doesn't fit in, Of Mice and Men (review here), finishes its run this weekend at Cincinnati Shakespeare. Jeremy Dubin's performance as cranky George and Jim Hopkins as simpleminded Lenny are examples of the kind of fine acting that's a regular commodity at Cincy Shakes. Tickets: 513-381-2273.  Finally, if you're in the mood for a hilarious farce, your destination should be the Carnegie in Covington. CCM Drama has transported some of its actors from the UC Campus to Covington, Ky., for a production of a deliriously funny tale of one man in Paris juggling three fiancees, Boeing Boeing. They're all flight attendants, but advances in aviation screw up his neat schedule to keep them discreet from one another. Comedy ensues. Tickets: 859-957-1940
 
 

Flashdance (Review)

Lively choreography spices up an otherwise bland production

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The philosophy picked up by Flashdance: The Musical’s welder/wanna-be-dancer Alex (Jillian Mueller) from her mentor is that trying and falling is better than not trying at all. Its touring production is still trying, including its current stop at Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center. And it does have its moments, mostly when the energetic cast is dancing.  

Plays for Young Audiences Take Root "Off the Hill"

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
When I mention the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, you likely think of the theater that sits on the hilltop above Mount Adams...But the folks who run the Playhouse know that new audiences must be continuously cultivated, and for that reason, they deliver performances through a program they call “Off the Hill,” which tours shows for young audiences to community arts centers across the Tristate.  

Learning Experiences: Cincy Shakes and Xavier Theater Collaborate

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is partnering with the theater program at Xavier University to stage Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. (Oct. 25- Nov. 3; tickets are $15-$30; 513-745-3939.) This came about because Stephen Skiles, who heads XU’s theater program, is friends with Brian Isaac Phillips, CSC’s artistic director. Skiles was an acting intern at the Cincinnati Playhouse 16 years ago when Phillips was recruited to fill out a cast.  

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