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The Foreigner (Review)

The gimmick is only intermittently successful at Cincinnati Playhouse

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2009
As the foundation for its laughter, 'The Foreigner' asks audiences to accept a lulu of a gimmick. Many comedies do. The problem with gimmicks is that once they're established the playwright must create characters and situations so funny and so convincing that they transcend the gimmickry.   

Blackbird (Review)

Playhouse drama is a winner

0 Comments · Friday, February 13, 2009
Sexual contact between an adult and a child is always and automatically abusive. Or is it? Unsettling questions and uncertain answers take the stage at Cincinnati Playhouse in director Michael Evan Haney's flawless production of 'Blackbird,' the 2005 David Harrower script that won an Olivier Award, the English theater's equivalent of a Tony.   

Fascinating Ambiguity

Playhouse's 'Blackbird' lets you draw your own conclusions

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 11, 2009
A provocative play can take you to places you don't expect, says Michael Evan Haney, assistant artistic director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for seven seasons. That's exactly what happened to him and what he expects will grab audiences who come to see David Harrower's 'Blackbird,' opening this week at the Playhouse.  

Travels of Angelica (Review)

McDonough's new play is a treasure hunt through history

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Cincinnati Playwright Joseph McDonough has a new show onstage at the Playhouse, his third in six years, making him that theater's most frequently presented playwright since 2000. And with good reason: His scripts are evocative, lyrical and always engaging.  

Say It's So, Joe

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Local playwright Joe McDonough returns to the Cincinnati Playhouse this week for his third premiere, 'Travels of Angelica,' winner of the 2009 Mickey Kaplan New American Play Prize. "I was at a conference with other playwrights last summer," he says, "and I was explaining that I had this production coming up and this relationship with the Playhouse: three productions in six years. They were stunned."  

Half Empty or Half Full?

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 7, 2009
It's a New Year, a time typically full of hope and new beginnings, including our local theater scene. The economic downturn, however, is having an effect.  

Holiday Shows Are Cause for Hope

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In my review of the Playhouse's 'A Christmas Carol,' I suggest that Charles Dickens' social conscience, outraged in 1843 by the evils of the Industrial Revolution and greedy business operators, seems quite timely in 2008 amid the evils of unfettered financial mismanagement and greedy business operators. Have we made any progress? Come January there will be a change in our nation's leadership, after all, and that's certainly cause for hope.  

A Christmas Carol (Review)

Playhouse sustains holiday traditions

1 Comment · Monday, December 8, 2008
Charles Dickens published 'A Christmas Carol' in 1843, and onstage versions of it are today a holiday staple at theaters across the English-speaking world, cash cows that sustain operating budgets for the theater season. The tale resonates not simply because Scrooge's conversion has become a familiar holiday story but because Dickens wrote with passion about the plight of everyday people.  

Simple Things

Playwright Kolvenbach's 'Love Song' is refreshing and hopeful

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Playwright John Kolvenbach likes simple things. He lives in lower Manhattan and walks across the Brooklyn Bridge to his tiny studio office in an area called “DUMBO” (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) where he works on scripts … and answers the phone for interviews.  

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Review)

Playhouse offers funny, mature look at love and marriage

0 Comments · Friday, November 7, 2008
The desire for love is a fundamental urge, but perhaps as basic is the drive to remake the object of your affection. That's the funny and poignant premise of Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' off-Broadway musical "I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change."   

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