Monthly Archives: October 2011

Playhouse Hosting A CHRISTMAS CAROL Singing Contest For High School Theater and Choral Groups

Attention all high school drama teachers, choral teachers, and students:

Ring in, or should we say “sing in” the holidays with U.S. Bank and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park!

Your high school theater or choral group is invited to participate in our facebook “A Christmas Carol” singing contest.

Nothing says holiday tradition like the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and this year U.S. Bank is proud to be the presenting sponsor. To celebrate our sponsorship of this holiday classic, we are hosting A Christmas Carol singing contest for all local high school theater and choral groups.

To participate, all you need to do is videotape your theater or choral group singing their favorite holiday song and upload it to our site between November 1-13, 2011. Person submitting/uploading your entry must have a Facebook account to submit content. All entries will be available as soon as they are reviewed and approved. Voting for your favorite video will be available November 14-20, so be sure to tell your friends and family to visit our facebook page and vote for your video.

Winners of the contest will be notified November 21 and be our guest to see the final dress rehearsal of A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Playhouse in the Park on Tuesday, November 29. As an added bonus, U.S. Bank will make a donation to your school arts program for up to $1,000! For more details, go to and click on the Christmas Carol link for complete information and the official rules:

We hope to see your school represented!

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Filed under Casting Call


Presented by Thomas More College Villa Players
Nov. 18-27
Crestview Hills

The play concerns the misadventures and musings of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet who are childhood friends of the prince, focusing on their actions with the events of Hamlet as background. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is structured as the inverse of Hamlet; the title characters are the leads, not supporting players, and Hamlet himself has only a small part. The duo appears on stage here when they are off-stage in Shakespeare’s play, with the exception of a few short scenes in which the dramatic events of both plays coincide. -Wikipedia

Directed by Samantha Isler

  • Fri-Sat, Nov. 18-19 at 8pm
  • Sun, Nov. 20 at 2pm
  • Fri-Sat, Nov. 25-26 at 8pm
  • Sun, Nov. 27 at 2pm

Official page |

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Filed under On Stage

OKLAHOMA! runs Nov. 17-20

Presented by UC College-Conservatory of Music
Nov. 17-20
University Heights

Reviews: Enquirer |

The first “mature” American musical, OKLAHOMA! is the most beloved show by the legendary Broadway team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Described by the New York Post as “Always new and gleaming… a hymn to the magic of the land, the humor and humanity of people and the simple potency of love,” this award-winning musical integrates story, song and dance into a beguiling tale of the pioneering men and women who forged the state of Oklahoma at the turn of the 20th century.

  • Thu-Fri, Nov. 17-18 at 8pm
  • Sat, Nov. 19 at 2pm & 8pm
  • Sun, Nov. 20 at 2pm

FaceBook event

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Presented by Rising Phoenix Theatre Company
Nov. 9

Lunch with Noel Coward. Hardly a page goes by that doesn’t contain a quotable sample of his sharp, dry wit. The crew at PWYL will be at it again with scenes and snippets from the pen of Noel Coward, whose prolific output includes Private Lives, Design for Living, Hayfever, Blithe Spirit and over four hundred songs.

Directed by Herb DuVal

Cast:  Amy Warner, Dale Hodges, Kevin Crowley, Joshua Steele & Brooke Rucidlo

  • Wed, Nov. 9 at noon

Official pageFaceBook event |

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Swings Julian Decker & Cassie Levine, Blaine Krauss, Victoria Cook, Max Chernin, Alysha Deslorieux and Collin Kessler as William Finn.

Links to all reviews can be found on the BTC REVIEWS page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my FaceBook fan page. You can receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

MAKE ME A SONG was presented by UC College Oct. 20-22. You can read the show description here.

When it comes to composers, many theater fans have those they like and those they are not particularly fond of. Say the name William Finn to me and you’ll have to remind which shows are his. For whatever reason, his music never sticks in my memory. The revue MAKE ME A SONG only reinforces my ambivalence for Finn.

The show seems to be put together for fans of the composer. Eighty-five intermission-less minutes with a total of thirty-three songs with no book to speak of. Eleven of them are organized into The Falsettoland Suite which contains songs from The Marvin Trilogy. If you are unfamiliar with those shows, you are on your own for context. The final songs are subtitled, Finn’s ‘Cycle of Life,’ and “comprises four songs encompassing all of human experience.” To me, these seem like a desperate attempt to force the audience into some kind of emotional response to Finn’s music before they walk out the door.

At the 2pm matinee there did appear to be some issues with sound. The piano, expertly played by Steve Goers, overpowered the volume of the singers during several of the songs. Also, the balance of the mics seemed off in several of the group numbers.

Director Aubrey Berg has stacked the show with some big voices. Favorite moments include the Max Chernin/Alysha Desloriex duet “Id Rather Be Sailing/Set Those Sails.” Victoria Cook’s “Only One” and Blaine Krauss’ “Hitchhiking Across America.” But it is Collin Kessler who steals the spotlight in several solos as William Finn.

Bottom line, as musical revues go, this one is in desperate need of structure, and an update to include songs from Finn’s most recent works. The songs, no matter how well sung, does not work as theater.

Click here for information on for MAKE ME A SONG.

I would love to hear 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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Filed under Reviews