Several times over the past year I’ve written in Curtain Call about awards recognizing theater performers and productions in Cincinnati. A year ago I wrote a column questioning whether we needed two competing programs — the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for theater (originated by CityBeat in 1997) and The Acclaims, supported by The Cincinnati Enquirer since their creation in 2006. Last August I reported that an understanding had been reached to fold the theater CEAs into the Acclaims. (CityBeat readers know that CEAs for music continue to be handed out every November.)
The nominees for the 14th annual Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Music are in. Winners in 16 public categories are being chosen through public voting, while three Critical Achievement categories are decided by the CEA nominating committee. The 2010 class of nominations features the usual mix of veteran artists and newer, up-and-coming acts. Awards will be announced Nov. 21 at the Madison Theater.
At the age of 14, three years before he ever sat behind a kit or held a drumstick in his hand, John Von Ohlen became a drummer. He'd already been playing classical piano for a decade and trombone for half that long when he attended a Stan Kenton concert at some forgotten ballroom in his Indianapolis hometown in 1955 and witnessed the fluid brilliance of Kenton's gifted skinsman Mel Lewis. The event transformed him.
On Nov. 21 at Covington's Madison Theater, Cincinnati Entertainment Awards were presented in 19 categories. An even mix of previous CEA victors (Freekbass, Dallas Moore Band, Ricky Nye) and first-time nominees (I Am the Messenger, Mad Anthony, Pop Empire), winners received the trademark CEA "trophy," a groovy hand-painted faux-"Gold Record" plaque.
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards program is an attempt to remind local musicians that their contributions are greatly appreciated. It's also an attempt to bring together musicians (as
well the non-musicians who work to support and nurture the scene) from across the local music spectrum to have an outrageously good time. Having a full bar in the room might be a factor, too, as will be in evidence Sunday night at the Madison Theater.
Votes are rolling in for the 2009-2010 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. Already more than 1,000 local theater fans have checked off their favorite local theatrical performances. If you haven't voted yet (Aug. 9 is the deadline), please add your own feedback. Results will be announced during the CEA event at Know Theatre on Aug. 29.
The music of Cincinnati (past, present and future) was on glorious display at Covington's Madison Theater Nov. 22 at the 2009 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for Music. The "bar" ambiance (and Kentucky's love of smoking) kept everyone inside, though we heard many of the old "my clothes and hair smell" complaints. Fear not: Official CEA 2010 gasmasks and Hazmat suits are being produced as you read this.
For the 14th consecutive year, the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards are waiting in the wings to remind you of the best in local theater. The nominations are out, with public voting open now. Check out all the nominees and theater companies, plus the eight new categories.
The Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) were established by CityBeat in 1996, using theater critics from all the local media to determine nominees. The Acclaim Awards were created in 2006 and are largely supported by The Cincinnati Enquirer. Our theater scene is excellent for a city this size, but it’s worth asking if competing awards enhance what we have or duplicate recognition.