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The Thrill of the New

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 4, 2009
For some reason, February and March seem to be a time when many theaters go into creativity overdrive and produce new works. I recently attended the fourth annual Colorado New Play Summit, presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company, where I heard readings of four new scripts plus a revised version of Meredith Willson's 1960 musical 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown' that's working its way toward an eventual Broadway production.  

Gem of the Ocean (Review)

Poetry, emotion and affecting characters make ETC production a can't miss

0 Comments · Thursday, February 5, 2009
All too often, August Wilson is termed a great African-American playwright. That's foolishness. Go see 'Gem of the Ocean' at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and tell me if you can think of a better script by any American playwright, one with more poetry, emotion or affecting characters.   

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.  

Dying City (Review)

Examining war through a personal lens

0 Comments · Friday, January 9, 2009
Big stories in the news — events like 9/11 and the Iraq War — have been the focus of many plays and films during the past several years. They are points of reference in Dying City, a 2007 play by Christopher Shinn that portrays the effects of such world-changing events in the context of a small but powerful personal drama. New Stage Collective is giving the play its local premiere, the first work by Shinn presented on a Cincinnati stage. His provocative script and this strong production will warm up the January theater scene.  

Half Empty or Half Full?

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 7, 2009
It's a New Year, a time typically full of hope and new beginnings, including our local theater scene. The economic downturn, however, is having an effect.  

Stage This

Local theaters offered a great array of shows in 2008

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Cincinnati doesn’t have a theater scene that compares to that of New York or Chicago or the Twin Cities. But for a city our size, we have a ton of theater. I see 60-70 local productions annually. Are there enough serious theatergoers in Greater Cincinnati to support more?  

Bail Out a Theater

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Everyones feeling a little pinched these days, including our local theaters and other performing arts organizations. Cincinnati Ballet canceled its Dec. 26 performance of The Nutcracker, citing weak ticket sales. The Cincinnati Playhouse has cut short the run of local playwright Joe McDonoughs Travels of Angelica, which opens Jan.  

Striking 12 (Review)

The music is the good part at New Stage Collective

1 Comment · Monday, December 15, 2008
As an anti-traditional, anti-sentimental entertainment, New Stage Collective's 'Striking 12' zips right along. At least it does when the six singer-musicians are making, as they do, some fine and fascinating music. When they set their hands to acting the meager semi-script, the show proves something less than zippy.  

The Women (Review)

NKU has a mob of actresses for The Women

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Actress/author/ambassador Clare Boothe Luce simply called Manhattan women of wealth "The Women" and said she wrote her acid-tongued 1936 comedy to get the scabrous bunch of them out of her mind. Blessed be university theaters with mobs of actresses who can tackle such scripts and succeed with them. What contemporary theater company could meet a payroll with 25 players in the cast?  

Twelfth Night (Review)

Cincinnati Shakespeare offers a celebratory, smiling tone

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's holiday season production travels to the Jazz Age, the decade of the 1920s, using period costumes, lots of popular music and cultural references to add texture to an amusing story of mistaken identities, cross-gender confusion and uproarious mischief-making. It’s exactly the celebratory, smiling tone called for by the holidays.  

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