As it stands now, there is barely any free time in the schedule of violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama. The married mother of two is a world-class instrumentalist and teacher with a constantly full slate of concert appearances and recording sessions, and the juggling necessary to balance it all could be considered just another of her many skills.
Some contemporary theatergoers bemoan today's lack of tuneful musicals. That's because of shows like Cole Porter's 1934 hit, 'Anything Goes,' currently at UC's College-Conservatory of Music. Roughly 30 performers belt out tunes that have been standards for decades: "You're the Top," "It's De-Lovely," "I Get a Kick Out of You," "Let's Misbehave" and "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" will be stuck in your head for days if you go.
Once every generation or so a Broadway musical turns the complacent world of happy entertainment upside down. The current generation’s trendsetter, Spring Awakening (2006 Tony winner), about adolescents dealing with coming-of-age anxieties, is onstage in a touring production Jan. 12-24 at the Aronoff Center.
The new year for Chamber music opens with strings. And flutes. And clarinets, prepared piano, flexatones, harmonicas, bongos and cowbells. That's standard operating procedure for eighth blackbird, the wildly innovative sextet acclaimed as the country's premier contemporary music ensemble (performing Jan. 12 at CCM). Acknowledges flautist Tim Munro, "We like to wreak havoc in a creative way."
The University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music is one of the best musical theater training programs at any American university. The program was established slightly more than four decades ago, and its graduates have been lighting up Broadway ever since. Most recently, grad Karen Olivo picked up a 2009 Tony as Anita in the Broadway revival of 'West Side Story.'
You might have seen similar artworks while strolling around Summerfair this weekend: a creative idea, an appealing palette, an artful frame. But an unfinished composition. In 'Painted,' six talented and likeable performers (most CCM students or recent grads) color one another, literally, with the experiences of a lifetime.
CCM professor of drama k. Jenny Jones and a group of students have created their own modern-day Aesop's fable as a Fringe entertainment and an amusing morality lesson. Much of their production at Know Theatre is exercises in actorly invention, and most of the 45 minutes are very entertaining.
The Cincy Fringe Festival soon kicks off its sixth annual celebration of offbeat theater and other art forms. Not every city has a Fringe Festival, and occasionally people ask why we have one. The quick response is similar to the one sometimes offered as to why a city needs an alternative newsweekly like CityBeat: A conservative, buttoned-down place needs events and media that shake things up, that give us a new perspective on things.