It is so good to be a theatre lover in Cincinnati this year. So many fantastic options – almost too many to keep up with! Last week I saw the marvelous production of FROM WHITE PLAINS at Xavier, 4,000 MILES at the Playhouse (it earned 4 Stars from League of Cincinnati Theatres), ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (also earned 4 stars!), and a community theater production of ALMOST, MAINE in Ft. Thomas. This week I want to spotlight two productions that open this weekend.
First, ARABIAN NIGHTS will be produced by Northern Kentucky University. This Mary Zimmerman penned play brings the classic stories to a modern audience, much like her METAMORPHOSES, which was recently produced by UC-CCM.
Based on Powys Mather’s translation of The Book of the Thousand and One Night. Twelve-member cast enacts Scheherazade’s tales of love, lust, comedy, and dreams Scheherazade’s cliffhanger stories prevent her husband, the cruel ruler Shahryar, from murdering her, and after 1,001 nights, Shahryar is cured of his madness, and Scheherazade returns to her family. This adaptation offers a wonderful blend of the lesser-known tales from Arabian Nights with the recurring theme of how the magic of storytelling holds the power to change people. The final scene brings the audience back to a modern day Baghdad with the wail of air raid sirens threatening the rich culture and history that are embodied by these tales.
I’ll see this one on Saturday night and am looking forward to my first MainStage production at NKU.
Also this weekend is one of my favorite annual events, Wright State University’s STUCAB 2014.
Look for an in-depth feature article coming later this week, but you should absolutely make plans to see this show on Friday night at 8 PM or Saturday afternoon at 2 PM. Every year the Junior class produces and directs this cabaret featuring the students of the musical theatre, acting, and dance programs – and every year I’ve left blown away by their talent and creativity. Admission is a $5 (or more!) donation and bring extra cash so you can get involved in the bake sale and raffles. Let’s help these amazing students as they raise money for their New York Showcase next year. I’ll be shooting the show on Friday (and might sneak back up to see it on Saturday afternoon).
Other shows are continuing this week that you shouldn’t miss including TRIBES at the Ensemble and PLUTO at the KNOW Theatre both of which close this week. You shouldn’t miss either of them. PINKALICIOUS at the Cincinnati Children’s Theatre is getting good reviews (including a 4-star rating from the League of Cincinnati Theaters) and my must see pick for you is Xavier University’s production of FROM WHITE PLAINS. In fact, Xavier is holding a staged reading of THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER on Saturday afternoon at 2 PM in conjunction with this impressive regional premiere. Here’s a link to the FaceBook event.
So, with all that is happening in our great theaters in the Cincinnati and Dayton area . . . what are you doing to support and celebrate it?