This week is chockfull of theatre options in Cincinnati and Dayton; let’s not waste any time getting down to it! First, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati will open HANDS ON A HARDBODY this Wednesday night. (There’s a Pay-What-You-Can Preview tonight and another ticketed preview tomorrow, both at 7PM). This musical, based on a documentary, will feature characters all with their hands on a pickup truck in attempt to win it. The original competition this was based on in Texas and was featured in a documentary by the same name. WCPO’s Matt Peiken did a great video preview here which will bring you up to speed. The cast of fifteen is stunning, by the way. Names like Sara Mackie, Annie Fitzpatrick, Michael Bath, Phil Fiorini, Brook Steele, recent CCM grad Jordan De Leon and current CCM Senior Dallas Padoven, Michael Gerard Carr, Michael Flannagan, Kate Wilford, and more will light up the stage. I’ll be there opening night. For tickets, click here.
Also opening this week is Human Race Theatre Company’s MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET. Here’s a description: “60 years ago, Grandpa Nowak had a vision of the Virgin Mary in his Buffalo, New York barbershop and had an unusual statue of her made to commemorate the miracle. For decades, his family has faithfully tended to his quirky shrine—a source of hope and inspiration in an otherwise run-down part of town. That is until a deathbed confession knocks them for a loop in this hilarious hit comedy that proves when it comes to local legends, there’s more than meets the eye.”
The last time Jennifer Joplin was on stage with Human Race, she brought me to tears as the depressed daughter in OTHER DESERT CITIES; I expect that this time she’ll have me rolling in the aisles with laughter. When I spoke to her last, she told me she was playing a “lady bowler.” I will see this on Sunday afternoon and can’t wait. You should get your tickets now by clicking here.
Speaking of Joplin, her brother Jared will be on stage at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in THE GREAT GATSBY starting on Friday. This adaption of the great F. Scott Fitzgerald novel by Simon Levy will take us back to the early 20th century and I can’t wait to enjoy this American classic on the stage. I’ll be there Saturday night. Tickets and more info can be found here.
This weekend will feature a very limited run of another American classic – albeit a more modern one. RENT will be performed at the Victoria Theatre in downtown Dayton by a new theatre company called Dare to Defy Productions.
We did a feature article on this show recently and I’m very excited to see some of Wright State and Dayton’s best local performers take the stage.
The show only runs Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening so you do not want to miss your opportunity to see this rock musical staged by some wonderfully talented folks. I’m especially excited about Mark Beyer as “Roger” and Paige Dobkins as “Maureen.” I’ll be there Friday night.
Tickets are available here. There are still some great seats available but don’t wait too long!
Also in a limited run, Xavier University will produce its first show of the season, THE LAST FIVE YEARS. The show only runs twice; Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Featuring one of Cincinnati’s future stars, Maya Farhat, and Griff Bludworth, this intimate show tells the story of a young couple both forwards and backwards. This show won the Drama Desk Award for best music and lyrics and was named one of Time Magazine’s 10 best shows of 2001. I’m excited to see what director Stephen Skiles does with it. I’ll be there Saturday afternoon. Tickets for this (and all of Xavier’s season) can be found here.
Well, that’s a lot for one week and plenty of opportunities to get out and support local theatre. So. . .what are you going to see this week?