Monday Matinee 01.27.14

Last week was a big week in Cincinnati theatre! The League of Cincinnati Theatre’s recommended CLYBOURNE PARK opened at the Playhouse (review posted here) and also the recommended PLUTO opened at the KNOW Theatre (review posted here).  Plus: REVELATION began its run at the Clifton Performance Theatre, and 39 STEPS opened at the Covedale.  All four of these plays offer diverse options in theme, tone, and style and we are fortunate to live in a community that allows us so much theatrical variety.

Tribes_ETCThis week, there are several more great shows opening up this week and today I’d like to preview a few of them.  On Wednesday, I’ll be in attendance for the opening night performance of TRIBES at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.  Here’s a description:

Meet Billy: the deaf son of a fiercely outspoken family obsessed with self-expression. He has adapted brilliantly to his family’s unconventional ways, but they’ve never bothered to return the favor. However, when he finds a new family in the deaf community, tensions reach an all-time high in this touching play about membership in your tribe. With excoriating dialogue and sharp, compassionate insights, this is a savage, funny look at family dynamics, belonging and the limitations of communication.” has posted a wonderful video, featuring one of my favorite local actresses, Kelly Mengelkoch, and Los Angeles actor Dale Dymkoski, talking about this regional premiere and their respective roles in it. I highly recommend you see it and you should absolutely make it a point to see this show.  Tickets are available here.  Ensemble is graciously providing a pay-what-you-can-preview-night on Tuesday at 7 PM.* Also, there will be 14 performances interpreted in American Sign Language and the theatre has purchased 8 Assisted Listening devices to make this show more accessible to those with hearing difficulties.  TRIBES runs through February 16th.

Michael Shooner stars in Falcon Theatre's "Seminar" opening this Friday
Michael Shooner stars in Falcon Theatre’s “Seminar” opening this Friday

Opening on Friday night is another regional premiere. SEMINAR begins Friday night at the Falcon Theatre in Newport, KY.  From Falcon’s web site:  “The play follows a post graduate writing seminar as 4 eager students vie for the approval of a writing professor with a reputation for being incredibly demanding.  As the class progresses, we learn a lot about what these 4 students will do for a chance at success.  We also learn a lot from the professor about what a little success can do to a promising young writer.”  The playwright is a Cincinnati native (and NBC’s Broadway drama “SMASH” writer) Theresa Rebeck and this show got rave reviews with the brilliant Alan Rickman playing the lead role on Broadway.  Equity actor Michael Shooner will star in the local production.  I’ll catch an invited-audience-only preview on Thursday but the show runs through Februrary 15th.  Tickets are available here.

Also opening this weekend is Wright State University’s regional premiere of THE MAGIC FIRE.  This three-act play features the talents of two of my favorites, Layan Elzawani and Mathys Herbert and many more.  I’m also excited about WSU’s season next year, which was just announced:  FENCES, HOT MIKADO, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and the all of a sudden very popular PETER PAN (featuring acting professor and local favorite, Bruce Cromer, as Captain Hook).  Tickets for THE MAGIC FIRE are available here and runs through February 9th.

Jon Hacker and Jamison Stern in TORCH SONG TRILOGY, which opens at the Human Race Theatre this Thursday
Jon Hacker and Jamison Stern in TORCH SONG TRILOGY, which opens at the Human Race Theatre this Thursday

Also opening in Dayton this week is TORCH SONG TRILOGY at the Human Race Theatre in Dayton.  This Harvey Fierstein penned play will feature prolific actor Jamison Stern, Wright State professor Jamie Cordes and Wright State Senior – and my friend – Jon Hacker, (both recently seen in NEXT TO NORMAL at the Victoria Theatre, which was also directed by Scott Stoney).  The wonderful Patricia Linhart, Lisa Ann Goldsmith, and Phillip Thomas Stock round out this excellent cast.  Tickets are available here and the show will run through February 16th.

Finally, I want to mention a unique one-man show that opens this weekend, as well.  Northern Kentucky University will present Daniel Beatty’s EMERGENCY featuring local actor Deondra Means.  He will portray over 27 different characters throughout the show, which features “slam poetry, multi-character transformation, and song:” Here’s an article about this exciting event.  It’s only $6 for general admission and $3 for NKU students.

So much great theatre to see!  Don’t forget about HAMLET at Cincinnati Shakespeare, which runs through February 9th (and will be followed by ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDERSTERN ARE DEAD).  We’re also working on some feature articles (including one coming later this week) and want to provide as much coverage to local productions as possible.  If you are interested in having your show publicized and reviewed and are able to provide media passes as one of our publicity partners, please email us here.  We are also now accepting sponsorships, the details of which can be seen here.

So . . . with all these great options, what are you going to do to support local theatre this week?

*Pay-what-you-can fine print: General admission seating, limited to the first 120 people who arrive to receive an admission pass. One pass per person present. Phone reservations are not accepted. This preview will be presented with ASL Interpretation. 


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