Monday Matinee 08.04.14 – This Week in Cincinnati Theatre

This is gonna be a tremendous week with the opening of two big season openers!  Let’s get to it, shall we?

tc_sweeney-todd1I sat down with Joshua Steele, Managing Director of The Carnegie, last week for the first in a series of Season Preview Podcasts.  You can listen to it here.  Not only did we talk about all four of the shows they’ll be producing, but we got a nice preview of their first. SWEENEY TODD opens on Friday and I can’t wait.  This is a joint production between The Carnegie and Commonwealth Theatre, which is the professional arm of Northern Kentucky University’s Theatre program and the show is directed by the head of that program, Ken Jones.  Starring as the title character is Justin Glaser, a veteran of national tours of “Beauty and the Beast,” “Annie,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He’s joined on stage by the helmers of the Walnut Hills High School drama department, Michael Sherman (Judge Turpin) and Helen Anneliesa Raymond-Goers (Mrs. Lovett).

I’m most excited about the various college students in the Ensemble including CCM’s Ben Biggers, Wright State grads Mathys Herbert and Kaitlyn Sage (along with rising junior, Cassi Mikat) and a host of NKU students, as well.  Plus in a rare on stage appearance, Ed Cohen will play the role of the Asylum keeper.  This is going to be fantastic, folks.

The show opens on Friday. Tickets and more information are available here. I’ll be there for Opening Night.

10561712_10152643676735972_3696384011579832554_nAlso opening on Friday is one of the shows I’m most hopeful about for this season.  HARRY AND THE THIEF begins its run at KNOW Theatre and here’s a synopsis:

“Harry and the Thief is an epic summer blockbuster, a socially conscious riot of a play that mashes up costume melodrama with an over-the-top action movie to tell a story full of adventure, social relevance, and answering the call of destiny.”

Who doesn’t want to see that?  Not only is the premise attractive, but this cast is full of some of the best actors in town. Torie Wiggins?  No brainer..  Burgess Byrd? Please and thank you.  Jon Kovach?  Um, duh, I’m there and maybe more than once.  Brent “Hamlet Proctor” Vimtrup?  Can’t wait.  And Piper Davis, who you might know from her role in real life as “Piper Davis” (trust me, she’s a real life character and one of my favorite people) . . . she’ll be playing Harry, i.e. Harriet Tubman.  Plus there’s Ken Early, Darnell Benjamin, Playhouse internship grads Meggy Hai Trang and Rico Reid, and Sola Thompson, fresh off her internship with ETC.  And the show is directed by Holly L. Derr, who I had the pleasure or meeting at SERIALS! a few weeks back.  I am just so excited.  I’ll be there for the Sunday afternoon matinee.  Tickets and more information is available here.  UPDATE:  Piper Davis has taken ill and her role will be filled for part of the run by Keisha Kemper.  Get well quick, Pipes!

Also, don’t forget to check out the uproarious “THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED)” playing at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (and their free SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK shows, too) through August 16th.  Also, single tickets go on sale today for Ensemble Theatre Company and Playhouse in the Park so if you’re not gonna subscribe, today is the second best option to get the best seats in the house!  And be sure to listen to the season preview podcasts that are going up as they’re done including this one with Mad Anthony Theatre’s Artistic Director Henry Cepluch.

So, with all this great theatre kicking off the 2014-2015 season, what are YOU going to do to support local theatre?

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