Tag Archives: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

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.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
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

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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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SAFE HOUSE Review

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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“Girl Singer Comes Home in Playhouse’s Production of TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL Nov. 15-Dec. 28

“GIRL SINGER” COMES HOME IN CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK’S PRODUCTION OF
TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL,
 NOV. 15 – DEC. 28, 2014

PIP_Tenderly(CINCINNATI) – No matter where in the world her voice and fortunes took her, Rosemary Clooney always came home. And that’s the case yet again with TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL, which debuts Nov. 15 through Dec. 28 in the Playhouse’s intimate Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre.

For Artistic Director Blake Robison, who is directing TENDERLY, bringing Rosemary “home” to the Tristate is particularly significant. “Everyone I’ve met in Cincinnati feels a special kinship with the Clooney family,” he says. “Rosemary is a local treasure. She’s one of us.”

TENDERLY’S hometown roots extend to its co-authors as well. Written by Cincinnati playwrights Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman, TENDERLY was first featured at the New Works Festival 2010 at the Human Race Theatre in Dayton, Ohio. It had its stage premiere in a Broadway Series production at Dayton’s Victoria Theatre in 2012. The Playhouse version is new, explains Robison: “Mark and Janet have expanded the piece to two acts. There are more classic songs and more scenes from her life.”

Those songs, 17 in all, include her signature hits “White Christmas,” “Tenderly” and “Come On-A My House” (the latter of which she almost refused to record — and which, ironically, rocketed her to fame).

Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky, shortly before the Depression. She began her singing career at age 16 with her younger sister Betty on WLW radio in 1945, which then became a launching pad for the sister act to tour the country with the Tony Pastor Band. At 21, Rosemary went solo, and soon a star was born.

Her voice also brought her to movie fame — she appeared in a handful of films, including the iconic holiday classic White Christmas. In the midst of her burgeoning career, she married veteran theatre and film actor José Ferrer in 1953 and gave birth to their five children between 1955 and 1960. The decade that followed brought a divorce from her stormy marriage, an increasing dependency on drugs that helped to fuel an emotional breakdown and a decline in her career.

But that was far from the final chapter. In succeeding years, Rosemary reinvented herself with therapy, the renewal of an old love affair and a new focus on a jazz and American songbook repertoire that resonated to the end of her life.

“Rosemary’s story is remarkable and inspirational,” Robison says of Clooney, who “saw herself as a ‘girl singer.’ This production captures the ups and downs of her career in an honest, celebratory manner. It has an incredible song list of her greatest hits, and the scenes are packed with stories of her home life, family, her time in Cincinnati and her life in Hollywood. I’ve been inspired by the depth of her talent, the longevity of her career and her personal resilience.”

Susan Haefner, whose Broadway credits include State Fair, Thoroughly Modern Millie and 42nd Street, makes her Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park debut as Rosemary Clooney. Michael Marotta, who was seen in last season’s Playhouse production of Cabaret as Herr Schultz, portrays The Doctor. The creative team for TENDERLY includes music director Scot Woolley, set designer Bill Clarke, costume designer Bill Black, lighting designer Phil Monat, sound designer Jeremy J. Lee and choreographer Dee Anne Bryll. Jenifer Morrow is the production stage manager, and Becky Merold is the stage manager.

TENDERLY is sponsored by Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co. and Moe and Jack Rouse. The Geiler Company is the design sponsor, and the Morse and Betty Johnson Family is the Rosemary Clooney artist sponsor. This production honors the support of Lee Meyer.

Ticket prices for TENDERLY start at $30. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Teen and student tickets are $30 each. The show is recommended for adults and teenage audiences.

New for the 2014-15 season is Sunday College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances (not including A Christmas Carol) priced at just $10 with a valid student ID. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances.

Previews for TENDERLY are at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15; 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19. The official opening night is Thursday, Nov. 20, at 8 p.m.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.

Additionally, free Meet the Artists programs that allow audiences to interact with the cast and others associated with the production will be held after the following performances: 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 30; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10; and 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18.

The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.

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

The 2014-15 Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre Series is presented by the Heidelberg Distributing Company, and Humana is the Thompson Shelterhouse season design sponsor. 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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TENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL Runs Nov. 15-Dec. 28

PIP_TenderlyTENDERLY: THE ROSEMARY CLOONEY MUSICAL
Presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
Nov. 15-Dec. 28
Eden Park

Directed by Blake Robison
Music directed by Scot Woolley
Choreographed by Dee Anne Bryll

Cast: Susan Haefner as Rosemary Clooney & Michael Marotta as The Doctor

America’s favorite girl singer comes home in this exhilarating and inspiring musical biography. Rosemary Clooney’s journey starts with her Cincinnati childhood and rise to Hollywood stardom and continues beyond battles with depression to a triumphant comeback. Through it all she topped the charts for nearly five decades with signature songs. Tenderly offers a remarkably personal and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend. Appropriate for adults and teenage audiences.

  • In preview Sat, Nov. 15 at 8pm & Sun, Nov. 15 at 7pm
  • In preview Tue-Wed, Nov. 18-19 at 7:30pm
  • Thu-Fri, Nov. 20-21 at 8pm
  • Sat, Nov. 22 at 4pm & 8pm
  • Sun, Nov. 23 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Tue, Nov. 25 at 7:30pm
  • Wed, Nov. 26 at 1pm & 7:30pm
  • Fri, Nov. 28 at 8pm
  • Sat, Nov. 29 at 4pm & 8pm
  • Sun, Nov. 30 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Tue, Dec. 2 at 7:30pm
  • Thu-Fri, Dec. 4-5 at 8pm
  • Sat, Dec. 6 at 4pm & 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 7 at 2pm & 7pm
  • Tue, Dec. 9 at 7:30pm
  • Wed, Dec. 10 at 1pm & 7:30pm
  • Thu-Fri, Dec. 11-12 at 8pm
  • Sat, Dec. 13 at 4pm & 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 14 at 2pm
  • Tue-Wed, Dec. 16-17 at 7:30pm
  • Thu-Fri, Dec. 18-19 at 8pm
  • Sat, Dec. 20 at 4pm & 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 21 at 2pm
  • Mon, Dec. 22 at 7:30pm
  • Tue, Dec. 23 at 2pm & 7:30pm
  • Fri, Dec. 26 at 8pm
  • Sat, Dec. 27 at 4pm & 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 28 at 2pm & 7pm

Official page |

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