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
by Rick Pender
109 days ago
Posted In: Theater
at 08:02 AM | Permalink
I took a trip to my senior year in high school when I attended the opening of Detroit '67 by Dominique Morisseau at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati on Wednesday. It's set in Detroit during that city's 1967 "race riots," but they are the backdrop for a family drama: Sister and brother Chelle and Lank are trying to make ends meet by running an after-hours club in the basement of their family home, now theirs since the death of their parents. Chelle is satisfied with the status quo; Lank dreams of owning his own legit bar. But they'd need to sell the house to make that possible, so they're at an impasse. He's impetuous and makes moves to buy a local joint without her knowledge, only to have the destructive riots threaten his deal. More personal complications make the story interesting, if a bit too pat. Motown tunes — Lank buys an eight-track player to replace his sister's turntable — make this production a walk down memory lane for Baby Boomers. But Detroit '67 will grab everyone because the events of five decades ago are eerily and sadly similar to recent disturbances in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere. (Through April 5; tickets: 513-421-3555)Peter and the Starcatcher at the Cincinnati Playhouse is a playful and over-the-top imagining of the origins of Peter Pan. It's not a very adult cup of tea; it's more a swig of giggle-inducing rum. But if you yearn to head back to childhood for a few hours — playing with words, making fart jokes and having an adventure "against impossible odds" — this production is a joyous must-see. (Through April 4; tickets: 513-421-3888)The Marvelous Wonderettes was a big hit for Ensemble Theatre a few years back. They staged the original story of girls singing Doo-Wop hits in 1958 and coming together again in 1968 for more old tunes, and did well with several sequels that kept audiences eagerly coming back for more. The show is now being presented at the Covedale Center in West Price Hill, and it has a nostalgic draw for people who grew up with those tunes. But the production's characterizations of Cindy Lou, Betty Jean, Missy and Suzy feel a little shallow, reducing the potential charm of the show. Nevertheless, it's a lot of fun if you love the music of the era and remember your own angst about boyfriends and girlfriends. (Through April 4; tickets: 513-241-6550)Cincinnati Shakespeare's very pleasant production of an adaptation of Little Women continues through Saturday evening; tickets: 513-381-2273. The musical based on Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel about the March sisters is onstage through Saturday, too, at Newport's Stained Glass Theatre, produced by Footlighters, Inc., a community theater; tickets: 859-652-3849.The moving play based on The Diary of Anne Frank is being presented this weekend by the School for Creative and Performing Arts with performances remaining on Friday and Saturday evening at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. It's the powerful story of a Jewish family who went into hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II; Anne, the diarist who recorded their tribulations, died at age 15 in a concentration camp. Tickets: here.Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
The fires of 'Detroit '67' are still burning
0 Comments · Friday, March 20, 2015
In late July 1967 more
than 10,000 citizens of Detroit rioted. Police had raided a blind pig — an
unauthorized after-hours hangout very much like the one Chelle and Lank have
established in their family’s basement — where more than 80 patrons, all
African-American, had gathered to celebrate the return of a Vietnam veteran.
Cromer gives an astonishing, memorable performance in ETC’s An Iliad
0 Comments · Thursday, October 16, 2014
Bruce Cromer's embodiment of Poet is an acting performance to cherish, one of the most powerful I have ever witnessed onstage.
Suspense flocks to Cincy Shakes
0 Comments · Monday, October 20, 2014
Put aside what you think know about the narrative of The Birds if you’ve seen Hitchcock’s classic movie
0 Comments · Monday, October 13, 2014
Know Theatre’s 17th Season theme is
“adaptation,” and on the evening of Oct. 10, the company opened Julian
Rad’s 2003 take on Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby Dick.
Playhouse serves up a tasty show about boyfriends and cooking
0 Comments · Friday, October 3, 2014
The show’s gimmick is that it’s set in a working kitchen where LaVecchia
prepares an aromatic three-course Italian meal while animatedly
describing her romantic adventures, starting at age 16 and continuing
into her 40s.