Monthly Archives: November 2014

Know Theatre Annouces TBA Production

Corinne Mohlenhoff in 2011 THE HANDMAID'S TALE. Photo by Rich Sofranko.

Corinne Mohlenhoff in 2011 production of THE HANDMAID’S TALE. Photo by Rich Sofranko.

At tonight’s opening performance of BUREAU OF MISSING PERSONS, Artistic Driector Andrew Hungerford announced the next show of their season.

It is THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood, adapted for the stage by Joe Stollenwerk. The world premiere of this production was presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in April 2011 as a season extra for nine performances only. That run of the one-woman show was directed by Brian Isaac Phillips and starred Corrine Mohlenhoff. Both are returning for the fully-staged production at Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

I was lucky enough to attend a performance and it was an extremely well-done. Well-written, directed and acted. I look forward to seeing it again. Below I have pulled some information about Stollenwerk and that production from the original press release.

The author, Joe Stollenwerk is originally from Cincinnati where he spent nearly ten years as the Artistic Director of Ovation Theatre Company. A vibrant member of the local theater community, Mr. Stollenwerk has also directed and/or acted with Cincinnati Music Theatre, Covedale Theatre, Cincinnati Playwright Initiative and Madisonville Arts Center. It was during this time in Cincinnati, that Mr. Stollenwerk and Ms. Mohlenhoff first met and began working with each other actually inspiring Mr. Stollenwerk to create this piece with Corinne in mind during the process.

“I first read The Handmaid’s Tale in a course on feminism and utopia/dystopia in literature in 2002. This was in the wake of 9/11 and it seemed that our country might all too easily be teetering on the brink of something reminiscent of Gilead from this novel. I immediately began thinking about turning it into a play, despite the fact that this seemed an insurmountable task. Then I remembered that one of my favorite genres of plays is the one-woman show, and that was that.” Mr. Stollenwerk began with a draft in 2006 which was well over six hours long. “I cut, and cut, and cut, always trying to be mindful that I wanted to preserve the plot and characters but also the social/political commentary as well as the marvelous language Atwood employs.”

The artistic process continued and Mr. Stollenwerk invited close friends over for informal readings of the script in his living room throughout 2007. “Finally, I felt ready to give Corinne a draft of the script, and in May of 2009 we did a staged reading here at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. I’m so pleased that I was finally able to secure the rights to have a production staged and to present the world premiere right here in Cincinnati, OH.”

I will post more details on the upcoming production when they become available.

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Filed under In Other News, Joe Stollenwerk

FLI Announces Cast for THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS

FLI_logoFootlighters Inc. is excited to announce the cast for THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS:

  • Mona – Deana Tully
  • Sheriff Dodd – Jon Vater
  • Melvin P. Thorpe – Robert Weidle
  • Edsel – Dana Kisor
  • Doatsy Mae – Lynn Ollman
  • Governor – Bill Geraghty
  • Jewel – Joy Roland
  • Angel – Jules Shumate
  • Shy – Megan Hudson
  • Senator / Rufus – H. Scott Nesbitt
  • C.J. – Jeremy Cheek

The Girls:

  • Morgan Brashear
  • Meagan Cornett
  • Marvel Gentry Davis
  • Emily Jencson
  • Jessica Nguyen
  • Jenni Sheets
  • Nicole Simon
  • Mary Ann Smith
  • Megan Toney

The Boys:

  • Nick Castle
  • Brandon Dunphy
  • Robert Fields
  • Nick Horton
  • Greg Moore
  • Tony Nguyen
  • Justin Stallkamp
  • Jeff Surber
  • Chris Toney

Directed by David Radtke, performance dates are May 14-30.

For more information visit http://www.footlighters.org/shows/whorehouse.html.

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FAILURE: A LOVE STORY 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.

Victoria Hawley as Gertrude, Gretchen Priddy, as Nelly & Melissa Cathcart as  Jenny June. Photo by Philip Krinsky Productions.

Victoria Hawley as Gertrude, Gretchen Priddy, as Nelly & Melissa Cathcart as Jenny June. Photo by Philip Krinsky Productions.

FAILURE: A LOVE STORY presented by Northern Kentucky University through Dec. 7. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening Sunday performance.

NKU offers up a quirky, little tale of love lost, lost and lost as their final production of 2014.

The Graces. Photo by Philip Krinsky Productions.

The Graces. Photo by Philip Krinsky Productions.

I really enjoyed the overall tone of the show. In some ways it reminded me of the “Fractured Fairy Tales” from the “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoon. The show is well-cast with a strong ensemble, under the direction of Corrie Danieley. Narration was provided by a greek chorus, The Graces, performed by Sophia Dewald, Megan Urz and Molly Watson.  They do well, but I did have some problems understanding the words when they spoke in unison. Also I would have liked to have seen them play a bit more to the whole audience, not just out at eye level.

Music was performed by a talented onstage quartet, The Gramophone, consisting of Rhys Boatwright, Julie Gallaugher, Adam Razavi and music director Jacob Priddy. There was an ongoing issue that any dialogue spoken while they played tended to be overpowered by the music.

Andy Simpson as John N. Fail & Hunter Henrickson as Mortimer Mortimer. Photo by Philip Krinsky

Andy Simpson as John N. Fail & Hunter Henrickson as Mortimer Mortimer. Photo by Philip Krinsky Productions.

The three Fail sisters (Gretchen Priddy as Nelly, Melissa Cathcart as Jenny June and Victoria Hawley as Gertrude)  had believable, well-defined characters and a great chemistry between them. Hunter Henrickson does solid work as Mortimer Mortimer, the suitor to the Fail family and has a nice singing voice for his solo. Andy Simpson, as animal-loving, adopted-brother John is deadpan funny and a nice contrast to his sisters. In his first entrance, Simpson carries in another actor to represent John as a child, the same ensemble member who plays the snake later in the show, already dressed in his “snake” costume. This made their first scene together, as adult Jake and the snake, confusing. You may want to have the actor not wear his snake jacket and hat for that first scene.

Photo by by Philip Krinsky Productions.

Photo by Philip Krinsky Productions.

Visually the show looks fantastic. I really enjoyed the scenic design by Ronald. A Shaw. The use of the clock motif throughout was great and the multiple levels of play space worked really well. Terry Powell’s lighting design was also well-done. The back-lit panels on the sides of the stage, and the upstage clock face were bold elements. The river lighting effect was a nice to see, and clever attention to detail. Excellent costume design by Darlene Rawlins and properties design by Bryce Liebert. The store clocks that incorporated actors were personal favorites. The actress who inhabited the cuckoo clock [not listed in the program] did a very funny interpretation without drawing focus. Congratulations to Kuy Parker who served as technical director.

Overall this production is fun, quirky, cleverly staged and delightfully irreverent. Well done.

My rating: 4.25 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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THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING Runs Dec. 5-28

COAF_Year of Magical ThinkingTHE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING
Presented by Cincy One Act Festival
Dec. 5-28
College Hill

Directed by Lyle  Benjamin

Cast: Cate White

Based on her best-selling memoir of the same name, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING tells the story of the year in Ms. Didion’s life following the sudden death of her husband of 40 years, writer John Gregory Dunne, and the subsequent hospitalization of her only daughter Quintana Roo.

  • Fri-Sat, Dec. 5-6 at 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 7 at 7pm
    *2 for 1 tickets opening weekend.

  • Sat, Dec. 13 at 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 14 at 7pm
  • Fri-Sat, Dec. 19-20 at 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 21 at 7pm
  • Fri-Sat, Dec. 26-27 at 8pm
  • Sun, Dec. 28 at 7pm

Official page |

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Matthew 25: Ministries’ Presents TICKETS THE RADIO PLAY on Dec. 5-6

Matthew 25: Ministries’ Presents TICKETS THE RADIO PLAY by Reverend Wendell Mettey

MISC_TicketsNovember 19, 2014  CINCINNATI, OH – Matthew 25: Ministries, an international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization located at 11060 Kenwood Road in Blue Ash presents the second annual production of TICKETS THE RADIO PLAY by Reverend Wendell Mettey on December 5th and 6th.

TICKETS THE RADIO PLAY is based on the short story “Tickets” originally written by Reverend Wendell Mettey in 1976 for his Walnut Hills congregation and produced by his congregation at Montgomery Community Church in 1985 as a radio program.  Reverend Mettey conceived the idea of turning the radio program into a staged old-style radio play and the original radio script was adapted for the stage in 2012.

TICKETS THE RADIO PLAY received its world premiere production in December of 2013.  Reverend Mettey plans to make TICKETS THE RADIO PLAY a yearly event at Matthew 25: Ministries.  Performances are 12/5 (7:30) and 12/6 (3:00 and 7:30).   Tickets for Tickets are available at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/tickets-the-radio-play-tickets-14014318203 or by calling (513) 793-6256 or e-mailing katie@m25m.org.  Cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children.

Reverend Mettey was the Senior Pastor at Walnut Hills Baptist Church from 1972 – 1979 and at Montgomery Community Church for twelve years from 1979 – 1991.  During that time, he preached weekly, wrote stories, reflections, prayers, guided enrichment programs and performed many additional roles that were inspirational to his congregations and provided them with growth and guidance in creative ways.

One of those ways was through the crafting of short stories like “Tickets” and the adaptation of “Tickets” into an audio play that he and members of his MCC congregation recorded at WCET studios in downtown Cincinnati in 1985.  The radio recording was a huge success and a tremendously enjoyable experience for all involved.  Now, TICKETS THE RADIO PLAY has become a part of the yearly Christmas celebrations at Matthew 25: Ministries.  The original short story “Tickets” is included in a compilation of Reverend Mettey’s Christmas stories (“Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas”), released in November of 2013.

“Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas” is a collection of stories written by Reverend Wendell Mettey for his congregations.  While written over a span of years, the stories have a timelessness that appeals to readers of all ages.  These simple stories share the emotional journey of characters whose struggles with doubts, fears and resentments cause them to lose hope, but who ultimately find a great gift through the discovery of the true meaning of Christmas.  Readers will recognize their own anxieties and concerns in the reactions of the characters and celebrate with them their triumph as they discover the joy of giving… the true spirit of Christmas.  All Reverend Mettey’s books, including “Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas” are available for purchase at Matthew 25: Ministries and at Amazon.com and other electronic outlets.

Matthew 25: Ministries accepts cash, credit card and internet donations for ongoing disaster aid and humanitarian relief programs. More than 99% of Matthew 25: Ministries’ cash and in-kind donations go toward programs.  All designated funds are used for the purpose intended.  For the most up-to-date information about Matthew 25: Ministries’ humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts please contact Joodi Archer at (513) 793-6256 or visit their website at http://www.m25m.org. Follow Matthew 25: Ministries on Facebook facebook.com/m25m.org, Pinterest http://pinterest.com/m25m/, Instagram http://instagram.com/m25m_org and Twitter twitter.com/M25M_org.

To date in 2014, Matthew 25: Ministries has distributed 690 containers weighing more than 13,000,000 pounds and helping over 17,000,000 people.

ABOUT MATTHEW 25: MINISTRIES: Matthew 25: Ministries rescues and reuses approximately 14,000,000 pounds of corporate discontinues, misprints, overruns, off-spec, slightly damaged, returned and past season products each year and redistributes them to people in desperate need throughout the US and worldwide. Each year, Matthew 25: Ministries impacts the lives of more than 16,000,000 individuals throughout the United States and around the world. More than 99% of Matthew 25: Ministries’ cash and in-kind donations go toward programs. Matthew 25 is highly-ranked on Forbes’ list of the Most Efficient Large Charities in the US. Matthew 25 is also top ranked of more than 2,000 four star charities on Charity Navigator.  Matthew 25: Ministries is accredited by the Better Business Bureau through the “Wise Giving Alliance Standards”.

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