Tag Archives: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Local Arts Organizations Unite for The Holidays with the Character Crew


(CINCINNATI) – Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati are joining together to spread holiday cheer across the Tristate with a number of special character appearances beginning Nov. 15.

Characters from Cincinnati Ballet’s annual production of Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s classic A Christmas Carol, presented by U.S. Bank; Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s holiday production of Sleeping Beauty, sponsored by Macy’s; and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s world premiere production of The Snow Queen, also sponsored by Macy’s, will come together at holiday events around the city from mid-November through Nov. 30.

The Character Crew will make appearances at the following holiday attractions:

  • Saturday, Nov. 15 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.): Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market, Duke Energy Convention Center
  • Friday, Nov. 21 (5 to 9 p.m.): Festival of Lights Members’ Preview, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • Saturday, Nov. 22 (1 to 2 p.m.): Community Appreciation Day, Joseph-Beth Booksellers Cincinnati
  • Saturday, Nov. 22 (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.): Balluminaria, Eden Park’s Mirror Lake
  • Friday, Nov. 28 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.): Tree Lighting and Santa Arrival, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal
  • Saturday, Nov. 29 (2 to 4 p.m.): Crafty Supermarket, Music Hall
  • Saturday, Nov. 29 (5:30 to 7 p.m.): Macy’s Downtown Dazzle, Fountain Square
  • Sunday, Nov. 30 (12 to 2 p.m.): Winterfair, Northern Kentucky Convention Center

About Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

CB_logoSince 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of important classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Cincinnati Ballet’s mission is to inspire hope and joy in our community and beyond through the power and passion of dance. Returning Dec. 19 through Dec. 27, the beloved holiday tradition of Frisch’s Presents The Nutcracker, performed since 1974, continues to delight children and adults alike. For more information, visit www.cballet.org.

PIP_logoThe Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has been offering local audiences the finest in professional theatre for 55 years. Winner of two Tony Awards, the Playhouse is nationally known for its commitment to new works and as an artistic home for America’s best actors, directors and designers. Faithful storytelling and spellbinding special effects combine in the Playhouse’s annual production of A Christmas Carol, one of the city’s most popular family plays, which returns Nov. 26 through Dec. 28 for its 24th year. For more information, visit www.cincyplay.com.

ETC_new_logo_bannerNow in its 29th season, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC), located in historic Over-the-Rhine, is a professional theatre dedicated to producing world and regional premieres of works that often explore compelling social issues. This season marks the 17th year ETC has been presenting family-friendly musicals for the holidays. This season, ETC presents a magical, musical version of Sleeping Beauty, Dec. 3 to Jan. 4. For more information, visit www.ensemblecincinnati.org.

TCT_logoThe Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati (TCTC) brings art to life for children and the young-at-heart through three key programs: MainStage at the Taft, ArtReach and Learning the Craft. Currently celebrating its 90th season, TCTC is the oldest children’s theatre in the country and serves nearly 150,000 children, families and schools each season. From Dec. 5 to 13, The Children’s Theatre presents the world premiere musical The Snow Queen. For more information, visit www.thechildrenstheatre.com.

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Playhouse in the Park Presents Beloved Holiday Classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Nov. 26-Dec. 28


PIP_A Christmas Carol(CINCINNATI) — Three holiday spirits — Christmas Past, Present and Future — conspire to redeem a miserly humbug at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as U.S. Bank presents Charles Dickens’ iconic holiday story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The beloved tale, enjoyed each season by multiple generations of Cincinnatians, will be performed for its 24th year in the Playhouse’s Robert S. Marx Theatre from Nov. 26 through Dec. 28.

Dickens, considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time, wrote the instantly successful A CHRISTMAS CAROL in 1843. His most popular work among a prolific output of classics, A CHRISTMAS CAROL is credited for revitalizing the celebration of Christmas as we know it today. So renowned is the story in popular culture that the central character’s name has become a synonym for a mean, tight-fisted person. A CHRISTMAS CAROL has also inspired countless television, film and stage adaptations — in male, female and even cartoon forms.

The Playhouse’s version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted by Howard Dallin, brings Dickens’ narrative to vivid life with spectacular effects that illuminate Ebenezer Scrooge’s time-traveling journey with the spirits one magical Christmas Eve. From his kind-hearted sister Fan and first love Belle to his generous employer Fezziwig and humble clerk Bob Cratchit, Scrooge is repeatedly shown the saving grace of love and concern for humanity. The heartwarming message of A CHRISTMAS CAROL helps to make it one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each season and a perfect way to introduce children to the joys of theatre.

The cast of the 2014 production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL features both new and returning actors. Bruce Cromer portrays Ebenezer Scrooge for the 10th time, adding to his tenure as the longest-running reformed humbug in Playhouse history. (Cromer previously portrayed long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit for eight seasons.) Also returning are Craig Wesley Divino as Fred, Joy Farmer-Clary as Belle/Catherine Margaret, Ryan Wesley Gilreath as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip, Dale Hodges as the Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Peake, Kelly Mengelkoch as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Stephen Skiles as Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig’s. Jared Joplin, who portrayed Young and Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Past in the 2004 production (opposite his father, Joneal Joplin, as Ebenezer Scrooge), returns to the role this season. New to A CHRISTMAS CAROL this season are popular Cincinnati actor Annie Fitzpatrick (most recently seen on the Marx Theatre stage as Lady Lucas/Mrs. Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice) as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience and Douglas Rees (who appeared as Dr. John H. Watson in Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club) as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present.

Members of the Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company — Ollie Corchado, Jay Hobson, Alex Purcell, Christopher Michael Richardson, Laurie Roberts, Claire Simba, Kelsey Torstveit and D’Amante M. Wilson — will play carolers, party guests and others.

Nine Tristate children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Returning are Tad Ehlers as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Joseph Forest Lennon Hamzy as Ignorance/Matthew/Rich Son at Fezziwig’s, Ty Joseph Shelton as Tiny Tim and Ethan Verderber as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig’s/Bootblack. New to the production this year are Nathan E. Goodlett as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Delaney Ragusa as Martha Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Jordan Shaw as Want/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Kinley Brooke Shoemaker as Fan/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Livvy Stubenrauch as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s.

“It is a recurring joy to bring Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL to life every holiday season. To see the rapt expressions of thousands of children with their families as they are introduced to the wonders of live theatre at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is a yearly gift,” says Michael Evan Haney, who is directing the production for the 22nd time. (Haney has been associated with A CHRISTMAS CAROL since its first year; he played the first Bob Cratchit for two seasons.)

The creative team for A CHRISTMAS CAROL includes James Leonard Joy (set designer), David Murin (costume designer), Kirk Bookman (lighting designer), David B. Smith (sound designer/composer), Steve O’Shea (lighting contractor), Cindy Witherspoon (costume coordinator), Rebecca N. Childs (music director) and Dee Anne Bryll (choreographer). The stage manager is Andrea L. Shell, and second stage managers are Becky Merold and Jenifer Morrow.

The production is sponsored by U.S. Bank. The design sponsor is Time Warner Cable Business Class. Artist sponsor/Ebenezer Scrooge is AAA and Provident Travel. Additional support is provided by The Stona Fitch Family.

All show times for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are at 2 p.m. for matinees and 7 p.m. for evening performances to accommodate families with children. Please note the earlier curtain time. There will be no performances on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and selected weekdays in early December. There is an added performance on Monday, Dec. 22.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL start at $35. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Tickets for children, teenagers and students are $30 and $45. The official opening night is at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28.

The production will be audio described for those with visual impairments at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and signed for persons with hearing impairments at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. For ticket information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit http://www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

For the 19th year, the Playhouse will partner with the University of Cincinnati’s Hoxworth Blood Center for a blood drive on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Blood donors who attend the special event will receive vouchers good for half-price tickets to select performances of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH. To schedule an appointment, visit www.hoxworth.org/groups/playhouse. Donation times are limited, so donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance. Questions may be directed to Hoxworth at 513-451-0910.

Spread the joy this holiday season by participating in the Playhouse’s Cratchit Family Food Drive for the Freestore Foodbank. Bring donations — non-perishable food or personal care items (no glass, please) — to the Playhouse during performances in November and December and place them in barrels located near the Box Office.

Characters from A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s holiday production of SLEEPING BEAUTY, Cincinnati Ballet’s FRISCH’S PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of THE SNOW QUEEN will be spreading the holiday spirit at festive events throughout the Tristate this season. For a full listing of events, visit www.cincyplay.com.

The 2014-15 Marx Theatre Series is sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, and the Robert S. Marx season design sponsor is Macy’s. The season sponsor of new work is The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of the community contributors to the ArtsWave campaign.

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL Runs Nov. 26-Dec. 28

Bruce Cromer as Ebenezer Scrogge & Von Eric Huhn as Tiny Tim. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Bruce Cromer as Ebenezer Scrogge & Von Eric Huhn as Tiny Tim. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Nov. 26-Dec. 28
Eden Park

Directed by Michael Evan Haney

Cast: Bruce Cromer as Ebenezer Scrooge

The Playhouse’s version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life its familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future. As he witnesses all those who have improved his life — his first love Belle, his kindhearted employer Fezziwig, his nephew Fred and his heartily abused clerk Bob Cratchit — he realizes that it’s never too late to change his miserly ways. A CHRISTMAS CAROL’s heartwarming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year. A CHRISTMAS CAROL is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.

  • Wed, Nov. 26 at 7pm
  • Fri, Nov. 28 at 7pm
  • Sat, Nov. 29 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Sun, Nov. 30 at 2pm
  • Thu-Fri, Dec. 4-5 at 7pm
  • Sat, Dec 6 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Sun, Dec. 7 at 2pm
  • Thu-Fri, Dec. 11-12 at 7pm
  • Sat, Dec. 13 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Sun, Dec. 14 at 2pm
  • Tue-Fri, Dec. 16-19 at 7pm
  • Sat, Dec. 20 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Sun, Dec. 21 at 2pm
  • Mon, Dec. 22 at 7pm
  • Tue, Dec. 23 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Fri, Dec. 26 at 7pm
  • Sat-Sun, Dec. 27-28 at 2pm & 7pm

Official page |

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Princess Party and PIP’s ROSES AND THORNS at The Arts Center at Dunham

Princess Party and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s Off The Hill Production
ROSES AND THORNSs at the Arts Center at Dunham

PIP_Roses and ThornsThe Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s Off the Hill family series production of ROSES & THORNS (A TALE OF BEAUTY & THE BEAST) by Bret Fetzer will be performed at the Arts Center at Dunham on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm. The show is free and open to the public and made possible by a grant from Price Hill Will Arts CAT.

Prior to the performance, children can join the “Be Our Guest” princess party with Bella and her friends from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The princess party costs $5 per child with proceeds benefiting the renovation of the Arts Center at Dunham. To RSVP to the “Be Our Guest” princess party, go online to Sunset Players website (www.sunsetplayers.org) or call 513-588-4988.

The twisted comedy ROSES & THORNS revisits the original story of beautiful Rose who sacrifices her own happiness to be the servant of a hideous Beast in order to protect her father and family. Based on the 18th, century version of the story, the play embraces slapstick, satire and high camp styles even as it explores the darker depths of the tale, which proves that true beauty is always more than skin deep. This performance will be sign language interpreted.

Off the Hill is made possible by the John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee. Seasonal support is the Playhouse in the Park’s outreach programs is provided by the Hearst Foundations and the Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation.

The Arts Center at Dunham is a fine arts center for the west side of Cincinnati. Housed in one of the three remaining buildings of what was the first municipally owned tuberculosis sanatorium in the United States, the Arts Center includes a 350-seat performance venue as well as extensive studio and programming space. The Arts Center is located in the Dunham Recreation Complex. See what is happening at the Arts Center at Dunham on Facebook.

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Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Please note: Beginning with this review, I’ve increased the size of the larger photos. Just click on any photo for a bigger version.

Clarissa (Deonna Bouye) and Frank (Shane Taylor) meet in secret to discuss their feelings for each other and future plans. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Clarissa (Deonna Bouye) and Frank (Shane Taylor) meet in secret to discuss their feelings for each other and future plans. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

SAFE HOUSE presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park through Nov. 15. Click here for more information on the production.

A dramatic tale of two brothers takes over the Marx Theatre as the second show of the season. The play boasts a solid ensemble that brings this dark play to life.

For me, the first act did struggle a bit in both story and pacing. It contains much exposition to set up the show, and at times it seems to meander a bit, providing information in smaller portions on multiple fronts. The pacing does gain a nice momentum near the end of the act. In contrast, the second act begins and progresses much strongr. When the audience learns to what extreme brother Addison (LeRoy McClain) will go to attain his dream, it’s a proverbial gut-punch that sends an audible shock through the audience.

Bracken (Wilbur Edwin Henry, second from right) confronts Addison (LeRoy McClain, left) about whether he has seen a runaway slave as Dorcas (Stephanie Berry) and Frank (Shane Taylor) listen. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Bracken (Wilbur Edwin Henry, second from right) confronts Addison (LeRoy McClain, left) about whether he has seen a runaway slave as Dorcas (Stephanie Berry) and Frank (Shane Taylor) listen. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Favorite moments include: Shannon Dorsey as escaped slave Roxie, sharing her story of why she became a runaway; Stephanie Berry as the brothers’ aunt, Dorcas, as she pleads with Deputy Bracken (Wilbur Edwin Henry) to help her nephew; the good-byes in the shed, and the final scene with brothers Addison and Frank (Shane Taylor) at the river.

One issue for me is that when Frank becomes upset and begins yell/taking rather fast, I lost much of what was being said. The scene with Bracken and Dorcas mentioned above, was staged heavily to audience right, that those of us audience left were unable to see the actors faces for a bit too long.

Addison (LeRoy McClain, center) returns home as his brother Frank (Shane Taylor) and his aunt Dorcas (Stephanie Berry) work in the family’s shoe business. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

Addison (LeRoy McClain, center) returns home as his brother Frank (Shane Taylor) and his aunt Dorcas (Stephanie Berry) work in the family’s shoe business. Photo by Sandy Underwood.

The set by Tony Cisek works well and is visually interesting. The slated walls allow the audience to see through to the outside of the house, including the tall trees standing upstage. The wood floor’s pattern, transitioning from house to river, was nicely done. The latter was enhanced by Michael Gilliam’s lighting to turn it into a flowing river late in the play. I was a bit confused by the shoes and boots hanging above the set, until their presence was explained late into the play.

SAFE HOUSE is an impactful and heart-breaking tale of the oppression of slavery from the viewpoint of two brothers, who are free people of color, with opposing ideologies.

My rating: 4.0 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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