Monday Matinee 10.20.14 – This Week in Cincinnati Theatre

Christine Dye in SARGE plays one more time tonight at 404 Ludlow Avenue
Christine Dye in SARGE plays one more time tonight at 404 Ludlow Avenue

Last week was absolutely chock full of theatre; I saw seven different shows.  GRANTS WISH, a CPI reading, had an interesting premise but the script needs some work (dialogue in a play needs to sound natural, like real conversation).  Ensemble Theatre’s AN ILIAD is great (earning a 5 star recommendation from the League of Cincinnati Theatres), THE WOMAN IN BLACK at Falcon Theatre is getting rave reviews (4.5 stars from LCT), Cincinnati Shakespeare’s THE BIRDS is a tense psychological thriller, SARGE and THE MONKEY’S PAW are worth a look tonight at their last performance at the Clifton Performance Theatre, and Xavier’s GODSPELL is jubilant.  I’m a little worn out .  . . but now is not the time to rest!  There’s a ton of great stuff this week opening as well!

7900e3d33358fbc72a3ab3a8First up, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will open SAFE HOUSE on Thursday night.  Here’s a description:  “The Pedigrews are free people of color, a unique position in their antebellum Kentucky community of 1843. While one brother strives to open a shoe business and create a successful life for his family, the other risks it all to help slaves escape. When a fugitive comes knocking, the brothers’ freedom, loyalty and dreams for the future are given the ultimate test. Inspired by the playwright’s ancestors, this moving and surprising world premiere tells one family’s fascinating story within the history of our region’s role in the Underground Railroad.”

This is a world premier and the playwright is local; he went to Princeton High School and Wright State University!  Tickets and more information can be found here.  I’ll be there Thursday.

10700172_299937033540169_3112725383766771060_oSpeaking of Wright State, they’ll open THE HOT MIKADO on Thursday night.

“Set in the mythical village of Titi-Pu, the plot remains roughly the same as in the classic Gilbert & Sullivan operetta:  centering around young lovers Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo, who want to be married. But alas, Yum-Yum is betrothed to her guardian Ko-Ko  – the Lord High Executioner. When the powerful Mikado decrees that Ko-Ko must execute someone within the next 30 days in order to keep his job (and his life), Nanki-Poo agrees to be killed if he can spend his last 30 days . . . ” and then the description on WSU’s web site cuts off.

Intriguing to say the least!  The music and dancing should be a lot of fun.  I hope I can work it into my schedule.

The show runs through November 9th.  More information can be found here.

Chris Collins-Pisano as "Emmett" and Lawson Young as "Elle" in LEGALLY BLONDE
Chris Collins-Pisano as “Emmett” and Lawson Young as “Elle” in LEGALLY BLONDE

I am super excited about UC-CCM’s production of LEGALLY BLONDE opening up on Thursday night.  They’ve double cast “Elle” and “Emmett” so I’ll see the show twice (Friday night and Saturday afternoon).  This is one of my favorite contemporary musicals and I can’t wait to see what dance maven Diane Lala does with the show.

You can’t see the show without walking away humming a few tunes and feeling good.  I highly recommend you get tickets now as this show will sell out.

The show runs through November 2nd.  Tickets can be found via the CCM Box Office by clicking here.

Speaking on contemporary college musicals proceed by local collegiate programs, NKU will present THE WEDDING SINGER also opening Thursday.  Miami University is opening THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED on Wednesday.  (I liked the play so much when New Edgecliff did it, I will see it on Sunday).

10351460_10152337433896485_4898381889679709565_nAlso this week, The Covedale Center for the Performing Arts will open the very ambitious INTO THE WOODS.

This production will feature some local favorites like Rodger Pille, Alison Muennich, Megan Ainsley Callahan, Robert Breslin, Leslie Hitch, and Will Reed among others.

This twisted fairy tale is one of Stephen Sondheim’s most popular titles.  Tickets and more information can be found here.

Some other options this week:  Tonight is trueHAIR at Know Theatre in the Underground bar.  SARGE and the MONKEYS PAW has one last performance tonight at the Clifton Performance Theatre.  Tomorrow is a staged reading of a play called TERRE HAUTE featuring Jon Kovach and Untethered Theatre’s John Vanderplough at Miami-Hamilton.  Here’s a link to the FaceBook event.  I’m planning to attend. Plus Kevin Thornton has a gig at Know Theatre as part of their Fringe Encores series. (And don’t forget MOBY DICK!)  And I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI is a fun night out, too.

So, with all these great options and more (check out Rob Bucher’s Behind the Curtain Cincinnati for a complete rundown) what are you going to do to support local theatre this week?  I’ll see you at the theatre!

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