Bill Burr is undoubtedly a comedian’s
comedian, that rare comic who other stand-ups will go out of their way
to see. However, Burr also has a sizeable and loyal fanbase that
relishes in his observations on everything from Hitler to fast food.
What makes Bruce Cromer one of our
region’s best actors? He’s especially good at virtuous characters such
as Atticus Finch, the admirable, broadminded attorney in To Kill a Mockingbird, a role he’s currently playing for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC).
The Capitol Steps are on their way to
Cincinnati, and they’ll stop at nothing to get audience members laughing
as this grueling election year surges forward. The Steps are a group of Capitol Hill
staffers turned political satirists, and no party is safe from ridicule
when these performers take the stage.
Cincinnati native Alan Kenny, fresh
from graduate studies and a nearly completed master’s degree from UCLA,
is back in town to stage the campy musical Xanadu at Covington’s
Carnegie Center. It opens on Saturday for an eight-performance run,
through Aug. 26.
A hybrid of opera, music theater and
performance piece, the surreal storyline follows Maria from birth to her
arrival in Buenos Aires, where tango seduces her and leads to a life of
prostitution. She is murdered and resurrected, becoming the embodiment
Puccini’s opera Turandot challenges even the biggest opera companies. But if the singers have the dramatic heft required and the orchestral and choral forces are on board, outsize sets and costumes hardly matter. Fortunately, UC’s College-Conservatory of Music has the musical resources to mount a concert performance of Turandot, presented in collaboration with Beijing’s Central Opera Troupe and the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Music Society.
There’s nothing emaciated or delicate about these 21 dancers, complemented by two singers and two percussionists. In fact, this show of “dance-sport” is about beautiful curves and well-defined musculature. And lots of gorgeous skin, accentuated by beautiful, often minimal costumes that change continuously, sometimes startlingly.
Shakespeare’s King John is not frequently produced. It has many unfamiliar historical characters (John reigned during the early 13th century; history remembers him because he was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215). He was a ruthless schemer, more concerned with pomp and personal preservation than ruling justly, and Shakespeare’s play is shot through with murky themes of devious politics.
When he hears people describe fellow comedians Jon Stewart and Bill Maher as “liberal comics,” Jimmy Dore bristles. “They’re comedians,” he insists. “They tell jokes.” More than once on his Jimmy Dore Live radio show, as well as his podcast Comedy and Everything Else, he has stated that a comedian should “speak truth to power.”