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Marry Me a Little (Review)

A distillation of Sondheim themes for all musical theater lovers

0 Comments · Friday, May 15, 2009
The Cincinnati Playhouse has offered a steady diet of musicals by Stephen Sondheim over the past decade. If you've seen them, you might think you're familiar with music by the legendary composer/lyricist. I have news for you: The current Shelterhouse production, 'Marry Me a Little,' will feel like a new show, full of songs that are clearly Sondheim's but seldom heard. It's a show for Sondheim fans and musical theater lovers.  

Last Train to Nibroc (Review)

Playhouse offers a sweet, believable love story

0 Comments · Thursday, April 9, 2009
While Arlene Hutton's play is new to Cincinnati, it's been around for almost a decade. The two-actor, 90-minute script charmed audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and its simplicity appeals to theaters today because it's inexpensive to produce, requiring minimal scenery. But it's rich in the emotion and storytelling that audiences respond to.  

Playhouse Announces Celebratory 50th Season

2009-10 season offers multiple world premieres to fuel the future

1 Comment · Tuesday, March 24, 2009
When the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park kicks off its 50th anniversary season this fall, Ed Stern will be in his 18th year as producing artistic director. That's a remarkably long tenure as a theater leader, but he has an uncanny knack for offering tried-and-true classics alongside works by rising playwrights.  

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.  

Behave Yourself

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Before just about every theater performance I attend there's an announcement about turning off cell phones and unwrapping candy in crinkly wrappers. (The latter always seems to evoke a chuckle for some reason.) Despite these appeals, however, about half the time I'm at a theater a cell phone distracts me. Make no mistake: This is rude and thoughtless behavior. It breaks the concentration of others in the audience, and it could distract a performer.  

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."  

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.  

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