Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bart’s Bards Returns to Stage with JOSEPH

Bart’s Bards Returns to Stage with
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT

Cast members rehearse for Bart’s Bards production of JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT‏. Photo by Hugh Staples images.

Cast members rehearse for Bart’s Bards production of JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT‏. Photo by Hugh Staples images.

(Finneytown, Ohio) After a three year hiatus, Bart’s Bards are back, bigger than ever. This year, Bart’s Bards will be presenting “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” for five shows during one weekend, June 19-22. With lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the tale of a young man with the gift to interpret dreams who rises from slavery to be Pharaoh’s most trusted advisor is brought to life on the Ray Sowell Commemorative Stage. This family-friendly production features song styles including calypso, western, disco and rock and roll that will appeal to all ages and musical preferences.

“It is exciting to be back in the Fr. Krumpe Center!” said Director Fred Hunt, “we have a terrific production staff supporting some of the most talented performers in the area.” Mr. Hunt directed the last show produced by Bart’s Bards, 2011’s Wizard of Oz. “That show delighted audiences and enabled the group to donate more to local charities than ever before. This show is going to take the group to new heights. I can think of no better show to return with than Joseph,” Hunt added. A cast of 78 adults and children will take to the stage for the production.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” won the Tony award for Best Musical in 1982. In 1999, a video version with Donny Osmond in the title role was released, directed by David Mallet. The show takes place many centuries ago, not long after the bible began. It is the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors from the Bible’s book of Genesis. According to Mr. Hunt, “With Music Direction by Brian Bisig and Choreography by Laurie Murphy, Bart’s Bards’ version of the show will deliver some of the best vocal and dancing performances you will see this year!”

Performances of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will be held June 19th-22nd at St. Bartholomew’s Fr. Wm. Krumpe Center where Fleming Road meets Winton Road at the edge of Finneytown. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon at 2 pm. All seats are reserved. Prices are $10 for adults, and $8 for seniors and students. For additional information or to order tickets, call 513.522.3680 and leave callback information or email info@bartsbards.org.

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Fringe Update: Three Sell-Outs, One Cancellation

CFF_logoThe third night of the 2014 Cincinnati Fringe produced three sold out performances.

I’d recommend you purchase your tickets in advance. The three local productions and their four remaining performances are:

  • HEIST presented by The Performance Gallery
    • Sat, May 31 at 7pm
    • Mon, June 2 at 7pm
    • Thu, June 5 at 7pm
    • Sat, June 7 at 6:45pm
  • BLOGGING BEHIND BARS presented by Unity Productions
    • Sat, May 31 at 2:30pm
    • Tue, June 3 at 8:45pm
    • Thu, June 5 at 8:45pm
    • Sat, June 7 at 8:30pm
  • HOT DAMN! IT’S THE LOVELAND FROG! presented by Hugo West Theatricals
    • Sun, June 1 at 5pm
    • Tue, June 3 at 9pm
    • Thu, June 5 at 8:45pm
    • Sat, June 7 at 8pm

Due to a family emergency, all performances of PREFER NOT TO SAY have been cancelled. You can contact the Know box office if you need to exchange tickets.

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CSC Finishes Season with Noel Coward’s PRIVATE LIVES

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents Finishes out their Season with Noel Coward’s Sparkling Comedy, PRIVATE LIVES!

It’s a beautiful honeymoon.  Too bad they are divorced.

Brent Vimtrup as Victor, Kelly Mengelkoch as Amanda, Jeremy Dubin as Elyot and Sara Clark as Sibyl, in  Cincinnati Shakespeare’s Production of Noel Coward’s “Private Lives” June 6-29, 2014, directed by D. Lynn  Meyers. Performances are located at CSC’s Theatre , 719 Race Street in downtown Cincinnati. Tickets are $22-35 and  are available online at cincyshakes.com or by calling the box office 513.381.2273. Photo by Cal Harris.

Brent Vimtrup as Victor, Kelly Mengelkoch as Amanda, Jeremy Dubin as Elyot and Sara Clark as Sibyl. Photo by Cal Harris.

CINCINNATI, May 15, 2014 — Cincinnati Shakespeare is pleased to present the final production in their 20th Anniversary season, Noel Coward’s PRIVATE LIVES.  This sparkling comedy is the perfect ending to a fantastic season at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company!  The design is generously sponsored by Thompson Hine.

Amanda  (Kelly Mengelkoch) and Elyot’s (Jeremy Dubin) first marriage was so vicious it nearly killed them, so imagine their surprise when five years later, each remarried and on their respective honeymoons, they find themselves in adjacent suites. The sparks start flying, and soon reignite a passion too powerful to fight. Noel Coward’s trademark wit sparkles in this urbane comedy about the fine line between love and loathing.

The first production of PRIVATE LIVES opened at the new Phoenix Theatre in London in 1930, starring Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Adrianne Allen and a young Laurence Olivier. A Broadway production followed in 1931, and the play has been revived at least a half dozen times each in the West End and on Broadway. The leading roles have attracted a wide range of actors; among those who have succeeded Mr. Coward as Elyot are Robert Stephens, Richard Burton, Alan Rickman and Matthew Macfadyen, and successors to Ms. Lawrence as Amanda have included Tallulah Bankhead, Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith and Kim Cattrall.  The play was made into a 1931 film and has been adapted several times for television and radio.

This production features long time ensemble members, and real life married couple, Kelly Mengelkoch and Jeremy Dubin.  Fourteenth year company member, Jeremy Dubin is an audience favorite, bringing down the house nightly in comedic roles such as John Worthing in “The Importance of Being Earnest”, Sherlock Holmes in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”, and Launce in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”.  Another company favorite is tenth season company member, Kelly Mengelkoch, most recently seen on stage as Hippolyta in “The Two Noble Kinsmen” as well as appearing on stage at Playhouse in the Park and Ensemble Theater Cincinnati.

Sara Clark and Brent Vimtrup are also featured in this production and were both most recently seen on the CSC stage in “The Two Noble Kinsmen”.  Sara is also a long time cast member of CSC’s hilarious annual sold out production of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” among her many critically applauded roles during her 8 seasons at CSC.  Audience have been enthralled with new comer Brent Vimtrup since he arrived in Cincinnati 4 years ago, especially his recent critically acclaimed performance as the title role of Hamlet.  He also has impressive comedic chops delighting audiences in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and as the entertaining Algernon in “The Importance of Being Earnest” last season.

Cincinnati Shakespeare is pleased to welcome D. Lynn Meyers back to the director’s chair.  Her last project at Cincinnati Shakespeare was 2011’s critical and box office hit production of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” adapted by Jon Jory. She is the Producing Artistic Director of the Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati where she has directed over 80 world and regional premieres. Her Off Broadway work includes “Traveler in the Dark” and “Max and Maxie” at the York Theatre. She is a member of the Casting Society of America and her favorite casting credit is as Location Director for “The Shawshank Redemption”.  She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Thomas More College and was a finalist for the Zelda Fischandler Award which recognizes directors whose artistic work is strongly contributing to their community.

Performances of PRIVATE LIVES are scheduled from June 6-29, 2014 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Preview performances are on Wednesday June 4 and Thursday June 5 at 7:30pm and tickets are $20.  Special events for this production include a GLBT Night on June 5. The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center.  Single ticket prices range from $22-$31 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$35 on Fridays and Saturdays.  If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased 30 minutes before a show with a valid student ID.  Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.  Ticketing fees may apply.  Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as Enjoy the Arts and AAA members.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.

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About the 20th Anniversary Season:
The 20th Anniversary is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company receives operating support from The Ohio Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation and is supported, in part, by the generosity of thousands of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The season design sponsor is Mark & Sue Ann Painter.  Production dates and information on the 20th Anniversary are available online atwww.cincyshakes.com. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages.  Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season.  The repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theater Association.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reached nearly 30,000 young people and underserved community members last season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions at its home on Race Street. This season, CSC is proud to become one of only five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the classics!

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Performance Schedule:

  • Wednesday June 4th at 7:30 pm*
  • Thursday June 5th at 7:30 pm*+
  • Friday June 6th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday June 7th at 7:30 pm
  • Thursday June 12th at 7:30 pm
  • Friday June 13th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday June 14th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday June 15th at 2:00 pm
  • Thursday June 19th at 7:30 pm
  • Friday June 20th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday June 21st at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday June 22nd at 2:00 pm
  • Thursday June 26th at 7:30 pm
  • Friday June 27th at 7:30 pm
  • Saturday June 28th at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday June 29th at 2:00 pm

*Preview night, tickets $20
+GLBT Night

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TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY Review

CFF_Tragedy A TragedyTRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY presented by New Edgecliff Theatre as part of the 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

You can read the show description here.

TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY, written by Will Eno (Thom Pain (based on nothing)), takes a satirical look at our 24-hour news cycle. Eno’s densely-written script has some smart and funny moments, but it did feel to me that the production lacked forward momentum in places.

Director Jim Stump has a talented cast, but I found the performances lacked character and individuality. Yes, everyone had the “news reporter” cadence to their voices, but with a sameness that would allow, for example, the female reporters to switch roles without really impacting the show.  Where are the strong personalities that deliver the news, such as Bill O’Reilly or Nancy Grace? Even “the witness” seemed a bit too normal for this over-sensationalized event. The pacing of the opening night performance was also hampered by slow line pick-ups among the cast.

Overall an interesting work that could use a bit more oomph.

Four performances remain through Thursday, June 5.

More information |

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SON OF A HUTCH Review

CFF_Son of a HutchSON OF A HUTCH presented by Left Out Productions as part of the 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

You can read the show description here.

Fringe favorite Joe Hutcheson (writer/performer 2011 Critics’ Pick of the Fringe MISS MAGNOLIA BEAUMONT GOES TO PROVINCETOWN) returns this year with a personal story.

Hutcheson’s script is smart, funny and touching as he shares memories of family and growing up as a “Hutch.” A great performer and storyteller, he easily slips in and out of characters as he reenacts key moments from his past. Due to how the show is structured, it does jump back and forth in time very often. There were a couple of instances where the transitions in time were a little unclear to me. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the stories performed a bit bigger to offset the quieter moments.

Overall a great start to this year’s festival.

P. S. It’s nice to know that my dad wasn’t the only one that “watched” TV with his eyes shut.
P.S.S. Best dog name ever!

Only three performances remain through Sunday, June 1. The Gateways to Healing venue is on the smaller side, so I’d recommend getting weekend tickets early.

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