Cincinnati Shakespeare's remake of a classic generally “well-cured”
1 Comment · Monday, September 9, 2013
Michael Evan Haney, an associate artist at the Cincinnati
ably directs Neil Bartlett adaptation of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens’ classic orphan tale. While it features several songs, it’s definitely not the jaunty 1960 musical Oliver!
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Here are three categories designed to
satisfy different tastes: theatergoers who love musicals, those who
yearn for the classics and anyone with a taste for new plays. Since this
is CityBeat’s fall preview, these are shows you can catch before
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:18 AM | Permalink
Summer is flying by, or so it seems. This is the final weekend for you to see Cincinnati Shakespeare's production of The 39 Steps (CityBeat review here),
a satiric adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1935 film of
espionage and intrigue. Making it all the more amusing is the fact that
the story is performed by four actors, two of whom play most of the
citizens of London and beyond, using a lot of quick changes and quick
thinking. It's a very entertaining evening of tomfoolery, featuring four
of Cincy Shakes' most talented comedic actors. Your last chances to see
the show are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 513-381-2273.Another entertaining production is Lauren Gunderson's very new play, Toil and Trouble (CityBeat review here),
at Know Theatre. It's a comedy about contemporary slackers trying to
make a quick buck that's got a very Shakespearean ring to it — Macbeth,
to be precise. The humor presses a bit too hard at moments, but if you
go to have a good time, you'll definitely find one. Instead of warriors
and kings vying for the throne, this one focuses on 30-year-olds trying
to strike it rich without working too hard — but the echoes of the
Elizabethan tragedy can't be missed. There's a steady stream of sports
talk, too, making comparisons between baseball and life. It's a strange
brew, but plenty of laughs. Through Aug. 24. Tickets: 513-300-5669.
are always popular, but for some reason they seem especially attractive
fare in the summer months. So we can say thanks to the Carnegie in
Covington for serving up a tasty one, Kander and Ebb's Chicago,
an all-time Broadway favorite. This production — the sexy, salacious
tale of murderous women in Chicago in the 1920s — features choreography
by Broadway veteran and Cincinnati native David Baum in his local
professional debut. Word has it that he's put together some of the most
inventive choreography seen on local stages in a long time. The
production opens on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m.) and repeats on Sunday (3 p.m.). It continues for two more weekends, through Aug. 25. 859-957-1940.
Also onstage this weekend (and running through Aug. 25) is Woody Allen's hit Broadway comedy, Don't Drink the Water.
Amusingly, it's on board the Showboat Majestic (where you definitely
don't want to drink the water) — but it's a humorous tale of tourists
caught in an American embassy behind the Iron Curtain. Lightweight
entertainment, but a lot of fun. 513-241-6550.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:10 AM | Permalink
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is offering a double dose of entertainment this weekend. First and foremost is The 39 Steps at CSC's mainstage (CityBeat review here). If that title sounds familiar, it's because it was a
classic espionage novel a century ago, made into a classic film by
Alfred Hitchcock 80 years ago, now turned into a very funny riff on its
predecessors as a play using only four actors to fill all the roles. CSC
has ramped up the humor by using four of its best comedic actors — Nick
Rose, Miranda McGee, Justin McComb and Billy Chace — who play the
principals, plus much of the population of London, especially McComb and
Chace who will make you dizzy as they shift from one part to another,
sometimes within seconds. It's actually a faithful retelling of the
story, but it's amped up to a high level of hilarity by the onstage
shenanigans. It adds up to great summertime humor. It's being performed
through Aug. 11. Tickets: 513-381-2273, x1.
One show isn't enough for CSC: This weekend they also
launch their annual free Shakespeare in the Park tour with a performance
of Romeo & Juliet at Boone Woods Park in Burlington at 7
p.m. on Saturday. (If you live north of the river, you'll get your
chance next Wednesday evening at Eden Park's Seasongood Pavilion or at
Burnet Woods in Clifton on Thursday.) As noted, these are free
presentations, presented in classic Elizabethan style and use six actors
from the company's resident ensemble. These are the same productions
that CSC tours to schools and community centers, so they're great for
the entire family. A week from now they'll start performing A Midsummer Night's Dream at some locations. For a full schedule, go here.
Shakespeare is behind the story of Toil and Trouble, the
current offering at Know Theatre. It's a new play (this is just the
second time its been produced; its world premiere was in California last
fall) that offers a contemporary riff on Macbeth (CityBeat review here).
Instead of kings and warriors, however, its characters are a pair of
thirtysomething slackers and Beth, a wildly ambitious sportscaster who
has more testosterone than either of the guys. There's a lot of wacky
moments in this play, replaces Macbeth's witches with fortune
cookies and the kingdom of Scotland with an almost unpopulated island
off the coast of Chile. You can pick up on the laughs through Aug. 24.
At the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, the annual production by Cincinnati Young People's Theatre is Grease,
a tried-and-true musical about kids in the ’50s at Rydell High. Sixty
years haven't dimmed the musicality of the show, and the youthful
performers will bring this one to life if you're in the mood for a
classic. It wraps up with a matinee on Sunday. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
While the Cincinnati Symphony's LumenoCity
isn't exactly theater, the performances in Washington Park on Saturday
and Sunday evening — with a dazzling light show on the facade of Music
Hall — will definitely be theatrical. It's the debut for Louis Langree
as the CSO's new music director, and the program will feature performers
from Cincinnati Ballet and Cincinnati Opera. But the big deal is the
colorful illumination that will let you see historic Music Hall in a
light you've never imagined. It's free, starting at 8:30 p.m. both
nights; big crowds are expected, so come early. Don't you wish the
streetcar were already here so you could ride it to Over-the-Rhine?
0 Comments · Friday, July 26, 2013
Almost a century ago, British novelist
John Buchan wrote a potboiler about espionage and double-dealing. Twenty
years later in 1935, film director Alfred Hitchcock turned The 39 Steps
into a much-admired cinematic thriller.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 10:19 AM | Permalink
Finally, a weekend
with some theater choices for your entertainment, even though the
weather is beautiful enough to keep us outdoors. But you want to see a
curtain go up somewhere, right?You'll have fun for sure if you go to see The 39 Steps
at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. If that title sounds vaguely
familiar, it's because Alfred Hitchcock made a classic film that's at
the root of this very amusing piece of theater. Four actors play all the
roles of what was a taut tale of murder and espionage. The story's
still there, but the telling of it makes it a new experience. It's a
chance to see four of CSC's best comic actors at work, too. Through Aug. 11. Tickets: 513-381-2273.
Speaking of vaguely familiar, this weekend is your first chance to check out a virtually brand-new show at Know Theatre, Toil and Trouble. It's a contemporary take on Shakespeare's Macbeth, but the characters are two slackers and an over-the-top ambitious girlfriend. It opens tonight (running through Aug. 24);
so I haven't seen it yet, but I've read the script, and this one shows
promise. It's only had one production,it's world premiere at Impact
Theatre in Berkeley, Calif., last November.
prefer something definitely familiar, head to the Covedale for the 32nd
annual summer musical by Cincinnati Young People's Theatre, which opens
tonight. It's Grease, a show about rowdy teens in the
1950s. I suspect that local teens from all over Cincinnati will have a
blast with this one. It has a short run, just through Aug. 4. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
One last suggestion: The Showboat Majestic is presenting Big River, a musical based on Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn.
Since it's about the adventures of Huck and Jim, a runaway slave,
escaping on the mighty Mississippi (a river that wouldn't be much
without the contributions of the Ohio), the 'boat seems like the perfect
setting. Tunes by Pop composer Roger Miller make for a rollicking
evening of music. It's one of my favorite shows; I've never been
disappointed by a production of it. It wraps up this weekend on Sunday. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 17, 2013
In recent columns I surveyed Cincinnati
theater companies that came and went during the past 20 years. Some
stumbled because their founders had more passion than management
expertise; others simply lacked the focus to keep audiences coming back.
The truth is it’s hard to identify a niche and settle into it
by Kenneth McNulty
Posted In: Theater
at 02:53 PM | Permalink
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company presents seventh annual summer series
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues its summer
tradition of Shakespeare in the Park as the free series returns for the seventh
year this August. Romeo and Juliet and
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be
showcased in parks around the Greater Cincinnati area and Northern Kentucky
CSC Ensemble Member Nicholas Rose is directing the classic
lovers tale, Romeo and Juliet. While
the fantastic story of betrayal and magic in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is being directed by CSC Education
Associate Miranda McGee. Six actors from the CSC Resident Ensemble will be
acting in these performances. After the free park tour, they will continue to
tour community centers, schools, venues and other performance centers into May
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is continuing its partnership
with Cincinnati Parks and Recreation, offering free shows at Seasongood
Pavilion in Eden Park, Burnet Woods, Mt. Echo Park and the new Smale Riverfront
Park. Washington Park will see the group on their tour, alongside parks in
Madeira, Colerain and Monroe in Ohio, and Burlington, Edgewood and Maysville in
Kentucky. The acting troupe will have two performances at the Vinoklet Winery
as well. Certain park locations will be accepting canned food and
non-perishable items — CSC has a partnership with the Freestore Foodbank.
If a free, al fresco viewing of Shakespeare’s best sounds
fun, then make sure to get to each performance early to ensure good seating.
All shows are general admission with first-come, first-serve seating. For more
information go to cincyshakes.com.
For show times and locations, refer to the list below:
Saturday, Aug. 3, Romeo
and Juliet at 7 p.m. in Boone Woods Park, Burlington
Wednesday, Aug. 7, Romeo
and Juliet at 7 p.m. in Eden Park – Seasongood Pavilion, Mount Adams
Thursday, Aug. 8 Romeo
and Juliet at 7 p.m. in Burnet Woods, Clifton
Friday, Aug. 9 Romeo
and Juliet at 7 p.m. in the Monroe Community Park, Monroe, Ohio
Saturday, Aug. 10 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 6:30 p.m. in the Harry Whiting Brown Lawn,
Sunday, Aug. 11 Romeo
and Juliet at 7 p.m. in the McDonald Commons Park, Madeira
Wednesday, Aug. 14 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. in Browning Shelter, Maysville, Ky.
Thursday, Aug. 15 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. in Mt. Echo Park, Price Hill
Friday, Aug. 16 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. at the Vinoklet Winery, Colerain
Saturday, Aug. 17 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. at the Miami Whitewater Forest – Harbor
Sunday, Aug. 18 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. in Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine
Wednesday, Aug. 21 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. in
Burnet Woods, Clifton
Thursday, Aug. 22 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. in Colerain Park
Friday, Aug. 23 Romeo
and Juliet at 7 p.m. at the Vinoklet Winery, Colerain
Saturday, Aug. 24 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream in Keehner Park, West Chester
Sunday, Aug. 25 Romeo
and Juliet at 6 p.m. in Presidents Park, Edgewood, Ky.
Tuesday, Aug. 27 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. in Uptown Park, Oxford
Wednesday, Aug. 28 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center Lawn
Thursday, Aug. 29 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. at the Smale Riverfront Park, Downtown
Friday, Aug. 30 A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7 p.m. at the Eden Park – Seasongood Pavilion,
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 07:44 AM | Permalink
Well, the big show
that's on the way will be fireworks next week, of course. That means
that most theaters are wrapping up early summer productions.But you still have a chance to see The Hound of the Baskervilles
at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. It's a daffy take on a Sherlock
Holmes mystery. In truth, it pretty well follows Sir Arthur
Conan-Doyle's brilliant deducer as he unthreads a mystery surrounding a
diabolical dog that seems to be pursuing a cursed family on the remote
moors of Devon. But the story is told using just three actors — all male
performers from Cincinnati Shakespeare's corps of veterans — who play
male and female, making quick (and sometimes mistaken) costume changes.
Nick Rose, Jeremy Dubin and Brent Vimtrup milk every last drop of humor
from this amusing script, with the able assistance of director Michael
Evan Haney. Haney, who has served as the Cincinnati Playhouse's
associate artistic director for more than a decade brings out the best
in comic timing, so you're sure to have a rollicking good time. Final
performances at Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: 513-381-2273, x1.
You can also catch The Odd Couple on board the Showboat Majestic through Sunday.
Neil Simon's comedy about two divorced guys who just can't get along is
an American classic, to be sure — so maybe that makes this a perfect
show for the weekend before the July 4th
holiday. Felix and Oscar would like nothing better than declaring their
"independence," but instead, they slowly drive one another mad. Two
good actors, Joshua Steele and Mike Hall, are no doubt making this an
amusing piece of theater. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Several slots for the 2013-2014 season
have been filled in by local theaters as the current season finishes.