Voting for (and the traditional griping
over) this year’s Cincinnati Entertainment Awards is off to a fast and
furious start in just the first week since the ballot was opened online
at www.citybeat.com. If you haven’t voted yet, you have a few weeks to
go — the voting will be closed at noon on Nov. 11. Since you have a little time, why not
make your vote really count and hit the local club scene over the next
couple of weeks to watch and listen to the nominees, several of whom
have local performances scheduled?
In my Sept. 1, 2010, column I recalled a plea I had made earlier in the year to create “a stronger, singular program,” and I described how this combined effort would lead to “a program with a promising future while combining the best features of each program under the Acclaim banner.” Well, as they say, not so fast.
What follows is my own personal “Best of Cincinnati Theater” for the 2010-2011 season. In roughly chronological order, I’ve ranged across nine producing organizations and identified a dozen or so outstanding shows. Along the way I touch on several others worth seeing. My purpose is to offer a reminder that excellent theater can happen on every stage in town.
The Acclaim Awards merged both the Cincinnati Enquirer's program of the same name and CityBeat's Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. The merger has had a rough life and after some turmoil changes are in the works.
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.
During a week when we count our blessings, I want to mention several things I'm grateful for, starting with Mrs. Mary Price, a high school English teacher who pulled me out of a study hall in 1963 and urged me to audition for a play she was directing. I've been in love with theater ever since. I'm grateful to CityBeat for supporting my support for local theater, and I'm grateful to all the fine theaters in Greater Cincinnati that provide a remarkable variety of choice.
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 local music scene's big night out is the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, and Sunday night's 14th annual CEA show will be no exception. The show features live performances by nominees Foxy Shazam, The Cincy Brass, Kim Taylor, The Guitars and Dallas Moore, and awards will be handed out in 19 categories, 16 of which were voted on by the public.
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.