Last week was filled with some fun stuff! I saw Kathleen Madigan, one of my all time favorite stand up comedians, with a packed house at the Taft Theatre on Thursday. Friday night I saw BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL at Falcon Theatre in Newport, and yesterday I was able to see both the very well-produced THE STORY OF MY LIFE at Mad Anthony Theatre Company in Hamilton (review coming soon) as well as SIZE MATTERS (again – I cried even more this time . . . what a funny, emotional piece of theatre) at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. Plus, I sat down with the writer/actor, Raymond McAnally, and did a video feature with him that will be posted soon so keep your eyes out for that.
This week is a little light as we wind down the “official” theatre season. HELLO DOLLY opens at the Covedale on Thursday night and my sources tell me that Thursday night is almost sold out already. If you want to see it, don’t hesitate to grab your tickets. Leslie Hitch plays the title character and some of my other local favorites – like Eileen Earnest, Allison Muennich, CCM student Chris Collins-Pisano, and more! It’s a big cast and a big show . . .but the Covedale has a big stage and a big house. If you’ve never been you really should check it out. There’s a distinct west-side cultural vibe there.
Next week, the CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL kicks off and I’m starting to get very excited. I’m gonna do my best to see every show the Fringe has to offer this year and will be live tweeting often @sappycritic so make sure you follow me if you want to know what to see and where to see it. Some of the companies producing shows have been in touch and are providing lots of info.
I’m really excited about BLOGGING BEHIND BARS from UNITY PRODUCTIONS. Jon Kovach (“NOTHING,” “THE WAVE”) directs this original piece adapted from the work of a man who literally blogged behind bars and has put together a great cast including Xavier University graduate Patrick Phillips, recent Playhouse acting intern Rico Reid, and one of Cincinnati’s finest actors Matt Dentino among others. It’s tops on my list to see. Here’s a synopsis:
The creators of Cincy Fringe hits THE WAVE, and NOTHING, present the true events of Whitney Smith; a young non-violent criminal writing an award-nominated blog from inside the walls of a maximum-security prison. Caged with America’s most violent convicts, Whit’s sober insight and self-deprecating humor aid in coping with the anguish of institutionalization. Influenced by Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes), reflections on prison reform have never been illustrated so “wittily.”
HUGO WEST THEATRICALS (Joshua Steele and Mike Hall), who last year got rave reviews for their Ghostbusters-themed show DON’T CROSS THE STREAMS, will produce a shows called HOT DAMN! IT’S THE LOVELAND FROG. It features one of my favorite Cincy Shakes actresses Miranda McGee, THE WHALE’S Reggie Willis, Steve Goers and Brad Myers (who rocked PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES at The Carnegie awhile back and who play together frequently in the marvelous orchestras at CCM) and others. It’s a “bluegrass musical,” which sounds right up my alley. Here’s a synopsis:
Something is lurking in Loveland, the Sweetheart of Ohio, where the disappearance of a strange old man has rekindled the hysteria surrounding America’s most alluring cryptozoological phenomenon: The Loveland Frog. Join Luke Honeywell and a smoking’ bluegrass band on a riotous river adventure with maniacal moonshiners, crooked cops and the last Twightwee Indian as they rescue Pee Paw from the wondrous and elusive Loveland Frog.
We heard from an out of town producer about their show LIGATURE MARKS, which also sounds intriguing and I’ll have more info on it posted soon. Plus the Ensemble Theatre intern acting company has produced two different shows, New Edgecliff Theatre has a show called TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY, and so does Kevin Crowley from the Clifton Players is doing a piece about Jerry Sandusky’s wife featuring Christine Dye called SARGE, and Ben Dudley, Carter Bratton, et al from Untethered Theatre Company are producing a show called WHERE EDWARD WENT. There’s so many and we’ll have more coverage as we get closer so stay tuned. There is surely something for everyone at the Fringe!
In the meantime, be sure to check out my not to be missed pick, THE NORTH POOL, at the Playhouse in the Park as well as TWO NOBLE KINSMEN, which completes the canon for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. BAT BOY runs two more weekends at Falcon, too, and SIZE MATTERS wraps up this week at Ensemble Theatre Company.
Oh! One more thing… LCT has announced that this year’s more casual party-style Year Ends Award celebration will be on Monday, June 16th at Arnold’s Bar and Grill downtown on 8th Street. More details on that coming soon, too! LCT also announced this year’s RISING STAR AWARD winners here.
Get out and support local theatre! Let us know what you saw and what you thought in the comments section underneath this post!