WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Rick Pender 12.27.2013
Posted In: Theater at 11:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
to do onstage 12-25 - complete history of comedy @ playhouse - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: Post-Holiday Options

Don't despair that the Christmas holiday is behind you. Several theaters are still staging enough cheer to keep you going for another week or so. Here's what continues this weekend: At the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park you'll find the traditional Christmas favorite A Christmas Carol as well as The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) onstage through Sunday. It feels a bit odd to be watching Scrooge and the ghosts after Christmas Day, but the Playhouse's rendition is such a lovely show and Bruce Cromer's portrait of the old miser is so entertaining that you'll be charmed, I'm sure. And the Reduced Shakespeare guys doing the "comedy" piece know how to evoke laughter from the making of jokes in ways you haven't imagined. They're the guys who originated this amusing formula with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and they're making it work with this world premiere production. It's a nice bit of entertainment for a weekend between the holidays. Tickets: 513-421-3888. Holiday themed laughs are being served up at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company through Sunday, too, with their eighth annual presentation of Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some). No Shakespeare in evidence (although they're performing on the gussied-up set that was built for the previous production, Twelfth Night) but four of CSC's best comic talents are mashing up every imaginable tale you might think of that has a holiday connection — Charlie Brown, Charles Dickens, Rudolph, the Nutcracker, It's a Wonderful Life and many more. They'll have you laughing from start to finish, especially if you make a stop by the bar in the lobby beforehand. Not for the kids, but a lot of fun for anyone with an adolescent sense of humor. Tickets: 513-381-2273 x 1. If you want a nice outing for the kids, I recommend Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's holiday show, Around the World in 80 Days. Jules Verne's adventure classic about a hectic circumnavigation of the globe in 1899 has been musicalized and condensed in a way that children will enjoy it — but there's enough humor and talent onstage to keep adults entertained, too. ETC'S production actually runs through the weekend after New Year's Day, but if the kids are restless and you want to entertain them with live theater, this is a great choice. Tickets: 513-421-3555. Happy theatergoing!
 
 

Local Stages Kept Things Interesting in 2013

0 Comments · Monday, December 23, 2013
How was 2013 as a year for plays and musicals in Cincinnati? From where I stand — or sit, since I’m most often in a seat at one of our local theaters — it stacked up pretty well.  

Holiday Humor for Hilarity Hunters

0 Comments · Monday, December 16, 2013
Ready to move beyond the predictable in your pursuit of holiday theater? Three shows offer varied choices. A Klingon Christmas Carol gets its local premiere by Hugo West Theatricals at the Art Academy of Cincinnati through Dec. 22.  

Attention, Holiday (Theater) Shoppers!

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Just a few more shopping days before Christmas. Theater is a great idea for last-minute gifts. Start a tradition that’s easy to repeat year after year. A trip to see a show is a wonderful gift, especially for kids. My earliest memory of theatergoing is my grandfather taking me to see the musical Brigadoon. I still remember it.   

Around The World in 80 Days (Review)

Entertaining, Charming and Heart-Warming

1 Comment · Monday, December 9, 2013
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati opened a revamped version of the delightfully spirited Around The World in 80 Days on Dec. 4 to a full house. The production is exactly what you would hope for from a family-friendly holiday show.  

Offbeat Holiday Shows

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 4, 2013
It’s early December and time for you to decide which hip holiday show you want to take in. Of course, you just missed last weekend’s tour stop of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, a musical adaptation of the famous Dr. Seuss tale about the green meanie Christmas hater, a latter-day Ebenezer Scrooge.  

Thankful for 'Twelfth Night'

1 Comment · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
So it’s Thanksgiving week and I’m wandering down memory lane to offer an insight into why I’m thankful to be a theater critic. I grew up in a small town near Cleveland, acted (poorly) in some high school productions and was infected with an abiding love for theater. As a teenager I sought out productions at places like the Cleveland Playhouse and summer seasons at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.   

Flashdance (Review)

Lively choreography spices up an otherwise bland production

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
The philosophy picked up by Flashdance: The Musical’s welder/wanna-be-dancer Alex (Jillian Mueller) from her mentor is that trying and falling is better than not trying at all. Its touring production is still trying, including its current stop at Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center. And it does have its moments, mostly when the energetic cast is dancing.  

Learning Experiences: Cincy Shakes and Xavier Theater Collaborate

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is partnering with the theater program at Xavier University to stage Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. (Oct. 25- Nov. 3; tickets are $15-$30; 513-745-3939.) This came about because Stephen Skiles, who heads XU’s theater program, is friends with Brian Isaac Phillips, CSC’s artistic director. Skiles was an acting intern at the Cincinnati Playhouse 16 years ago when Phillips was recruited to fill out a cast.  

Mike Birbiglia Tests New Material at a Favorite Local Club

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Though he hails from Massachusetts and lives in New York City, Mike Birbiglia has an affinity for Cincinnati and Go Bananas Comedy Club. Through the fall, he will be visiting three of his favorite comedy clubs — including Go Bananas — to work out material for an upcoming theater tour, which will commence in January.  

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