0 Comments · Wednesday, August 19, 2015
“The Count,” a recent study of hundreds
of theater productions nationwide between 2012 and 2015 at nonprofit
theaters such as the Playhouse in the Park and others in Cincinnati,
revealed that roughly one-fifth were written by women. That’s an
improvement over a decade ago, but it’s a long way from parity.
University Theater Programs Educate and Entertain
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 19, 2015
With the fall season, you have plenty of
theater choices to consider. Beyond Cincinnati’s professional and
semi-professional companies, area universities provide excellent theater
fare worth attending.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:07 AM | Permalink
Make ’em Laugh: Midsummer Theater
Hundred Days, a Folk Rock Opera onstage at Know
Theatre, continues to be the go-to show of the summer. The story of a
marriage that gets short-circuited by a fatal illness turns into a
joyous 75-minute concert music written and performed by the dynamic duo
of Abigail and Shaun Bengson, with five musicians and singers behind
them. Rather than wallow in grief about having only 100 days, they
celebrate their love by condensing what they imagine 60 years of life
might have held. It’s a lovely story, told in an imaginative,
contemporary way. Read my CityBeat review, which gave it a “Critic’s Pick.” Tickets: 513-300-5669
Cincinnati Shakespeare has three excellent comic actors
onstage at the moment who know how to wring every possible laugh out of a
satiric script. Geoffrey Barnes, Justin McCombs and Amanda McGee are
performing The Complete History of America (Abridged), another script by the zany trio who wrote The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
I think this one tries a little too hard to be hilarious, so a few
moments feel kind of lame, but these three players manage to pick things
up, make a little fun of themselves and move right on with more gags,
jokes, pratfalls, spit takes and costume changes. It’s an evening of
hilarity. Here’s my CityBeat review. Through Aug. 15. Tickets: 513-381-2273
Cincy Shakes’ FREE Shakespeare in the Park tour
continues this weekend with a 7 p.m. performances of Romeo and Juliet at
Cottell Park in Deerfield (Friday) and the Community Park Pavilion in
Milford (Sunday) as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream — at the Community Pavilion in Glenwood Gardens, a Hamilton County Park.
Finally, if you’re willing to drive to Dayton for the
Human Race Theatre Company’s first-ever Festival of New Works. The
weekend offers a collection of readings of five scripts — three plays
and two musicals — by local, national and international writers. The
lineup includes full readings of Have You Ever Played, Dayton?, a play by Robb Willoughby, and Mann … and Wife, a musical by Douglas J. Cohen and Dan Elish based on the latter’s novel Nine Wives. There will also be three 30-minute “snapshot” readings: Karen Righter’s play, The Day After Epiphany; Central Park Tango, a musical by Nicky Phillips and Robert Gontier; and Scott Stoney’s adaptation of Some Self-Evident Truths,
a play based on the journals of Lucille Wheat and Lois Davies. Open
talkbacks with the creative teams follow the readings. The “snapshots”
(Saturday at 8 p.m.) are presented and ticketed as a group. Readings
will be held in the 60-seat Caryl D. Philips Creativity Center of The
Human Race and The 212-seat Loft Theatre in downtown Dayton. Info:
937-228-3630 or humanracetheatre.org
Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2015
If you read playbills carefully, you’ve
probably seen Dee Anne Bryll’s name. She’s worked at most every theater
in town — from the Playhouse to the Covedale Center, from Northern
Kentucky University to University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory
of Music, plus countless engagements with local schools.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:40 AM | Permalink
Hundred Days? Several hundred years? Theater has a lot to offer this weekend
Did you attend the Cincy Fringe back in 2011? If so, maybe you saw Abigail and Shaun Bengson perform a musical work in progress then called “Songs from the Proof.” They came back in 2012 to present a one-night concert of some of the songs. The work evolved into a show called Hundred Days, which had a staging in San Francisco in early 2014. It’s continued to evolve — and its next incarnation will be onstage at Know Theatre for the next month, opening on Friday and running through Aug. 22. It’s about a young couple who fall in love, only to have their time together cut short by a fatal illness. They decide to live the 100 days they have left as though it were 60 years they had hoped for. Lots of music and creativity have gone into this one, and it promises to be a powerful performance with some great tunes. (Read more in my Curtain Call column in this week’s edition of CityBeat.) Tickets: $25 in advance; rush tickets at the door ($10, if available). Free performances on Wednesdays, but reservations required: 513-300-5669.Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2015-2016 season is beginning as it has for several years with a light-hearted abridgement — but this time it’s The Complete History of America (abridged), opening Friday night and continuing through Aug. 15. The show is the creation of the same nuts responsible for the hilarious Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). It’s the same format: Veteran comic actors Miranda McGee and Justin McCombs, along with newcomer Geoffrey Barnes, will take audiences on a whirlwind tour that sends up America’s greatest hits … and misses. It’s the kind of delirious summer entertainment we’ve come to expect the from our often-more-serious classical theater folks. Tickets ($22-$35): 513-381-2273Last weekend I went to Stanberry Park in Mt. Washington to see The Complete Tom: 3. Abroad, presented by Queen City Flash, Cincinnati’s flash-mob theater company. It’s the third installment of its four-part play cycle of Mark Twain’s tales of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Jim, the runaway slave. It was charmingly performed by Dave Powell, Rico Reid and Trey Tatum — plus some amusing puppets (aka wooden spoons) and a few sheets for ghost stories. This charming episode features the threesome on a trans-Atlantic voyage in a Jules Verne-like airship, meeting a number of interesting characters along the way — played in quick-change manner by the three actors. Free performances begin at 8 p.m. but don’t go to Stanberry Park — they’ll be elsewhere this weekend. In fact, the outdoor locations remain secret until 4 p.m. the day of performance when an email is sent to ticket holders with a map and parking instructions. The show is a lot of fun and great entertainment for kids, and part of the adventure is figuring out where you’re headed. Take a chance! Tickets — no charge — can be reserved at QueenCityFlash.comThis weekend offers the final performances of 1776 at the Incline Theater (513-241-6550) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (859-572-5464). Both are worth seeing.Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Fasten your seat belt — here comes the
2015-2016 theater season. Know Theatre gets bragging rights for being
first out of the local theater gate with Hundred Days, a Rock
& Roll show it played a significant part in developing.
0 Comments · Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The League of Cincinnati Theatres was
established in 1999 to strengthen, nurture and promote local theater
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Tuesday is the long-anticipated opening of Morning Star, Cincinnati Opera’s first world premiere in more than 50 years.
0 Comments · Tuesday, June 16, 2015
A woman pursued by Francis Henshall says,
“I know exactly what he’s after. And if he carries on like this, he’s
going to get it.” In Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors,
Matthew Lewis Johnson plays Henshall in precisely that manner, behaving
manically and getting exactly what this play aims for — unbridled,
0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2015
The 2015 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wrapped up last Saturday, but the glow continues.