What should I be doing instead of this?
 
 

Art: Drink and Draw: Valentines and Cards Edition

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2016
During a time when coloring books are marketed to both adults and children alike, the therapeutic benefits of art practice are well appreciated.  

Art: Animals Illustrated at the Library

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2016
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is full of furry creatures — on paper.   

Art: Ji Hyun Kwon: The Guilty at Iris BookCafé

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Iris BookCafé has extended its current photography exhibition, Ji Hyun Kwon: The Guilty, through Feb. 12.  

Art: Miller Gallery

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2016
When remodelers finally took their plastic off the windows of Hyde Park Square’s Miller Gallery in December, it was with the promise of a lighter, more open environment.   

Same Name, Different Frame

Miller Gallery reopens with brighter surroundings and new leadership

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 3, 2016
When remodelers finally took their plastic off the windows of Hyde Park Square’s Miller Gallery in December, it was with the promise of a lighter, more open environment.  

The Ups and Downs of Strong Women

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Audiences will laugh and gasp at Karen Zacarías’ amusing Native Gardens at the Cincinnati Playhouse and feel troubled by the plight of a fighter pilot in George Brant’s gripping Grounded at Ensemble Theatre.  
by Rick Pender 01.29.2016 123 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 01:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
kathleen wise as the pilot in grounded at ensemble theatre - photo by ryan kurtz

Stage Door

Going to war — one way or another

There are so many things happening on local stages it’s a bit of a challenge make recommendations. But every one of these productions has some sort of conflict at its heart. Grounded opened Wednesday night Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. George Brant’s a one-woman script is about a fearless fighter pilot whose career is cut short by an unexpected pregnancy, marriage and parenthood. Her new job is to fly military drones from a trailer outside Las Vegas; but she goes home to her family every night — and before long, she has trouble sorting out the boundaries between her two worlds. Kathleen Wise makes her ETC debut with this challenging performance, a woman who knows her way “in the blue” as a pilot, but must navigate new paths when she’s relegated to the “chair force,” wandering remotely “in the gray,” targeting “personality strikes.” Michael Haney is back in town to stage this one, and he always succeeds with making solo shows a powerful experience. Grounded is a pressure-filled, cautionary tale, gripping but not easy to watch. Nevertheless, it’s compelling theater. Through Feb. 14. Tickets: 513-421-3555. Karen Zacarías’ Native Gardens, a world premiere, opened at the Cincinnati Playhouse last evening. Her Book Club Play was a Playhouse hit in 2013; this time around the subject is a tad more serious, but it’s handled with deft humor as neighbors battle over styles of gardening — formal vs. natural — and choices driven by cultural differences. New neighbors Pablo and Tania are of Hispanic descent, moving in next door to Frank and Virginia, who are as waspy as can be. You can imagine where that goes: Straight down the road to audience gasps as the couples insult one another when boundaries are crossed. The 80-minute show wraps up neatly — maybe a little too much so. But there’s no denying this is a show that has lots of comic appeal involving circumstances many people will recognize. Through Feb. 21. Tickets: 513-421-3888. Tonight is the opening for Black Top Sky at Know Theatre. Christina Anderson, a resident playwright with New York City’s New Dramatists, makes her Cincinnati debut with this show about the residents of a housing project. Ida, 18, befriends Klass, an unpredictable young homeless man. Their friendship forces Idea to make a choice: Embrace the struggle for justice or embrace a life with her successful boyfriend. Kimberly Faith Hickman, who staged 2014’s The Twentieth-Century Way for Know, is back from New York to direct. Andrew Hungerford, Know’s artistic director, chose this show because he was “struck by the poetry of the language, the visual poetry of the stage directions and the gut-wrenching timelessness of the story.” He adds, “It flips from humor to heaviness at the speed of light.” Onstage through Feb. 20. Tickets: 513-300-5669. Shakespeare’s chronicling of King Henry VI took three plays back in the 16th-century; Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has rearranged them into two productions, one onstage now and another coming next season. This portion details the roots of the War of the Roses, with relatives vying for power — it’s truly a historic “game of thrones.” It’s also is a predecessor of today’s action movies, with lots of combat — and the fiery presence of Joan of Arc (played with zest by Caitlin McWethy), as England’s zeal for dominance in France runs a parallel track to the jockeying for position among royal relatives back home. Through Feb. 13. Tickets: 513-381-2273.  Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
 
 

CAC to Begin Free Admission

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 27, 2016
As important as today’s announcement is that the Contemporary Arts Center will start free admission on Feb. 13 for at least three years, the story of how the museum is underwriting it is also impressive.  

Art: The People's State of the Union Exhibition and Story Circle at Artspace Lofts

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Through her work as a cultural agent for the radically inclusive grassroots “U.S. Department of Arts and Culture," artist and activist Joi Sears has organized an exhibition and storytelling event called The People’s State of the Union at the new Artspace Hamilton Lofts this weekend.  

Art: Matthew Kolodziej at Carl Solway Gallery

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Carl Solway Gallery hosts an opening reception for Matthew Kolodziej’s Patch Work: New Paintings, a selection of work informed by the painter’s interest in materials, archeology and construction processes.  

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