Monthly Archives: September 2018


KTC_Marys Monster2

Maggie Lou Rader as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Photo by Dan R. Winters Photography.

MARY’S MONSTER presented by the Know Theatre of Cincinnati through Sept. 23. Click here for a synopsis and more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.

Know Theatre of Cincinnati continues their 21st season themed “Fear Itself” with an original work written and performed by Maggie Lou Rader. MARY’S MONSTER discusses the life of novelist Mary Shelley, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. 

For her first solo script, Rader has chosen a daunting subject. While Shelley did not receive recognition for the bulk of her works while she was alive, today scholars have shown increasing interest in her complete body of literary output. Shelley’s personal life was as complicated as it was haunted by tragedy.

While I found the subject matter interesting, the script itself seemed to focus more heavily on her relationships than on her literary achievements. The complicated nature of these relationships caused some of the exposition to become heavy and confusing. Given the heaviness of the script, the lighter moments were few and far between, so even the addition of some gallows humor would be welcome. On a personal level, I didn’t find Shelley to be very likable

KTC_Marys Monster1

Maggie Lou Rader as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Photo by Dan R. Winters Photography.

Director Jennifer Joplin makes good use of the set designed by Andrew J. Hungerford. They were times when it felt she had to work around the stage’s centerpiece as opposed to working with it. Even though the pacing was good, the show could use some editing, particularly as it builds to its conclusion. There were times when I felt Rader’s vocal delivery became a bit sing-songy and I would like to have heard a bit more emotion in her voice over the losses Shelley faced. A few of these tragic moments could have been given a bit more time and weight to them.

Overall, MARY’S MONSTER is an interesting, well-performed, but uneven portrait of a woman whose literary worth is still being explored and debated more than a century and a half later.

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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BLACK VIOLIN | Tue., April 16 | Music Hall

CAA_Black Violin promoApril 16, 2019
Music Hall – Springer Auditorium

“Black Violin upends cultural and musical stereotypes…an unexpected blend of classically trained musicianship and hip-hop beats and inventiveness.” – The Miami Herald       

“Their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.” – NPR 

Tickets on sale Friday, September 28 at 10:00 AM

CINCINNATI, OH – Hip-hop meets classical violin when the nationally-acclaimed band, Black Violin, makes its much-anticipated return to Cincinnati at Music Hall’s Springer Auditorium on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7:30 PM in an all-new tour, details of which will be announced at a later date.

Tickets go on sale Friday, September 28 at 10:00 AM at, (513) 621-ARTS [2787], and the Aronoff Center Ticket Office. A student ticket price of $15 is available in select seating locations. Group discount tickets for 10 or more are available by calling (513) 977-4157.

Black Violin is composed of classically-trained violist, Wil B., and violinist, Kev Marcus, who combine their classical training and hip-hop influences to create a distinctive multi-genre sound that is often described as “classical boom.” Black Violin has shared stages with top names including Kanye West, Aerosmith and Tom Petty, and has creatively collaborated with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Wyclef Jean andAlicia Keys.

Black Violin has spent the summer working on their upcoming album due out in 2019 and experienced a well-received winter run which included back-to-back sold out performances at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Black Violin is currently writing and recording their next studio album with a track and music video expected to be released soon. The band’s most recent record, Stereotypes, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Chart and #4 on the Billboard R&B Chart. NPR praised the album and band, saying “their music will keep classical music alive for the next generation.”

Earlier in the year, Black Violin was announced as the Turnaround Artist for Mary B. Bethune Elementary School in their hometown of Broward County, FL. Turnaround Arts, a national education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, infuses arts into struggling schools to support overall reform efforts. Founded by President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2012, the program partners schools with music instrument grants, arts supplies, professional development, and musicals, and pairs each school with an artist to provide mentorship, inspiration, and support for the school’s journey in the program. Turnaround Artists include Elton John, Edward Norton, and Yo-Yo Ma, among other highly-acclaimed members of the arts community.

The duo composed music for the television series Pitch which debuted on FOX in 2016, and has appeared on HBO’s Ballers, The Tonight Show, The Wendy Williams Show, The Kate TV, and The Ellen Show.

In addition, Black Violin has performed for more than 100,000 students in the past twelve months throughout North America and Europe. The band is endorsed by Yamaha Music and Bose, and has partnered with the National Association for Music Manufacturers (NAMM) to continue their advocacy for accessible music education.



SEASON PRESENTING SPONSORS:  21C Museum Hotel, Cincinnati Herald, CityBeat, Courtyard Marriott & Residence Inn-Rookwood, Heidelberg Distributing, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Macy’s, Pepsi, Prosource, Skyline Chili, TriHealth, Ultimate Air Shuttle, USI

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The Carnegie Announces Cast and Production Team for THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME 

TC_Hunchback LogoThe Carnegie is pleased to announce the cast and production team for THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, playing weekends January 12 – 27, 2019.


  • Kyle Taylor – Quasimodo
  • Ria Villaver – Collins Esmeralda
  • Michael Sherman – Judge Claude Frollo
  • Jackson Hurt – Captain Phoebus
  • Skyler McNeely – Clopin
  • El More – Madam/Ensemble
  • Will Ellis – Jehan/Tribunal/Officer/Ensemble
  • Josh Heard – Frederic/Ensemble
  • Ella Rivera – Florika/Ensemble
  • Christian Arias – King Louis/Teen Ensemble
  • Reginald Hemphill – Father Dupin/Ensemble
  • Collin Newton – Saint Aphrodisius/Ensemble
  • Kate Stark – Female ensemble/Dance Captain
  • Cassidy Steele – Female ensemble
  • Michael English – Teen Ensemble
  • Molly Munn – Teen Ensemble
  • Fiona Blanchett – Teen Ensemble
  • Jordan Darnell – Teen Ensemble
  • Claire Streit – Teen Ensemble
  • Zoe Zoller – Teen Ensemble
  • Ava Kroener – Gargoyle/Youth Ensemble
  • Ryan Armstrong – Gargoyle/Youth Ensemble
  • Robert Wilke – Gargoyle/Youth Ensemble
  • Benny Mitchell – Gargoyle/Youth Ensemble
  • Ruby Brooks – Gargoyle/Youth Ensemble
  • Athena Updike – Gargoyle/Youth Ensemble


  • Kurt Domoney – Director/Choreographer
  • Xan Jeffery – Music Director
  • Lormarev Jones – Assistant Director
  • Morgan Becker – Stage Manager


Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Peter Parnell
Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney film
Originally developed by Disney Theatrical Productions

When: Playing Weekends January 12 – 27, 2019

Description: Quasimodo, the misshapen bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral longs to join the city of Paris during the Feast of Fools. Held captive by his devious caretaker, the Archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, he escapes for the day and joins the boisterous crowd, only to be treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda. Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit, though – the handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.

The beloved musical, based on the Victor Hugo novel of the same name, features an Academy Award-nominated score from the Disney film, including “Out There” and “God Help the Outcasts” along with and new songs from famed composers Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tangled) and Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked).

Ten Performances:

  • Saturday, January 12, 7:30pm ● Sunday, January 13, 3pm
  • Friday, January 18, 7:30pm ● Saturday, January 19, 2pm & 7:30pm ● Sunday, January 20, 3pm
  • Friday, January 25, 7:30pm ● Saturday, January 26, 2pm & 7:30pm ● Sunday, January 27, 3pm

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Where: The Carnegie | 1028 Scott Boulevard | Covington, KY 41011

Tickets: Tickets may be purchased through The Carnegie Box Office at (859) 957-1940, open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5pm, or online at

Content Advisory: Please note this is a family-friendly production. Some technical effects may be scary for very young children.

About The Carnegie: The Carnegie is Northern Kentucky’s largest multidisciplinary arts venue providing theatre events, educational programs and art exhibitions to the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati community. The Carnegie facility is home to The Carnegie Galleries, the Otto M. Budig Theatre, and the Eva G. Farris Education Center.  More information about The Carnegie is available at or by calling (859) 491-2030.

The Carnegie receives ongoing operating support from Cincinnati Wine Festival, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Kenton County Fiscal Courts, the Kentucky Arts Council and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. / US Bank Foundation. The Carnegie is also supported by the generosity of more than 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. The 2018-19 Carnegie Theatre Series is presented by the Otto M. Budig Family Foundation. Additional support comes from the Kentucky Department of Tourism.

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Satirical Comedy THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR Opens CCM Mainstage Series


CCM Acting presents Nikolai Gogol’s THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR on Oct. 3 (preview)-7, 2018 in Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now.

CINCINNATI, OH — A good satire bites when it is written, says director Richard Hess, but a great satire withstands the test of time and continues to bite for future generations. He is referring to political comedy THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, which opens the 2018-19 Mainstage Series at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music on Oct. 3, 2018.

Written by Russian dramatist Nikolai Gogol in 1834 and adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher in 2008, THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR is a hilarious reminder of the terrifying timelessness of bureaucracy and buffoonery. When the locals of a small town learn that an undercover government inspector is coming for a surprise visit, a case of mistaken identity sends the whole village spiraling into a world of panic and greed.

The play was originally presented with the consent of Russian Emperor Nicholas I, but it is said that “he later regretted his tolerance,” says Hess, Chair of CCM Acting. “THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR is a classic because it was funny then and it is funny now.” Hess adds. “Our production is set in an 1836 that feels uncannily like 2018.”

Hatcher’s adaptation premiered off-Broadway in 2017 to great acclaim. The New York Times called it a “buoyant” production that “generates the kind of collective enthusiasm in its audience that you associate with home-team football games.”

After choosing serious dramas for CCM Acting’s Mainstage Series for the past few years, Hess wanted to produce a show that makes audiences laugh long and laugh hard. He says he laughed during every rehearsal with CCM Acting students, and he hopes audiences will fill the theater with laughter at every performance.

CCM Acting presents THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR on Oct. 3 (preview performance)-7, 2018 at Patricia Corbett Theater. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office; student discounts are available.

Creative Team

  • Richard E. Hess, director
  • Lindsey Purvis*, scenic designer
  • Evan Carlson*, lighting designer
  • Hankyu Lee*, sound designer
  • Courtney Paige Hickenlooper*, stage manager
  • Kelly Yurko, wig and make-up designer
  • Dean Mogle, costume designer
  • Kate Webster, dialect and vocal coach
    * CCM Student

Cast List

  • Carter LaCava as Ivan Alexandreyevich Hlestakov
  • Briley Oakley as Osip, his servant
  • Graham Rogers as Mayor
  • Gabriella DiVincenzo as Anna Andreyevna, his wife
  • Zoe Cotzias as Marya, his daughter
  • Amanda Nelson as Grusha, their maid
  • Matt Fox as Judge
  • Cameron Nalley as School Principal
  • Sarah Durham as Postmastress
  • Lucas Prizant as Doctor
  • Trey Peterson as Dobchinsky
  • Reid Robison as Bobchinsky
  • Michelle Jardine as Innkeeper’s Wife/Corporal’s Widow
  • Jacqueline Daaleman as Waitress/Locksmith’s Wife
  • Paige Jordan as Svetsunov, the police chief
  • Frankie Chuter as Abdullin/Constable 1/Imperial Messenger
  • Jason Pavlovich as Pentelaeyev/Constable 2

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 3 (preview performance)
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, October 4
  • 8 p.m. Friday, October 5
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, October 6
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, October 6
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, October 7

Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets prices start at $28. Discounts are available for UC and non-UC students. Preview performance tickets start at $15. Service changes may apply for online orders.

Student rush tickets will be available one hour before each performance to non-UC students, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid Bearcat ID, based on availability.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at

Customizable subscription packages are also available for CCM’s 2018-19 Mainstage Series.

Parking and Directions Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

Mainstage Production Sponsor: Macy’s

THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR is presented by special arrangement with Dramatic Play Service, Inc., New York.

A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the largest single source of performing arts presentations in the state of Ohio. All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit us online at

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Auditions Announced for THE TRIAL OF THE BIG BAD WOLF at Sunset Players

SSP_logoCINCINNATI, OH – September 19, 2018 — Sunset Players will hold open auditions for its children’s show The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf by Joseph Robinette and directed by Bob Kelley on Sunday, September 30 and Monday, October 1 at 6:30 pm at The Art Center at Dunham at 1945 Dunham Way, Cincinnati, OH 45238.

Was the Wolf a villain or victim? Were the Three Pigs innocent or at fault? The nursery and fairytale character jurors and Judge Wise O. Al will decide in this fun-filled, action-packed trial-of-the-century.

The children’s show at Sunset Players is a great way for children or adults with little to no acting experience to gain some experience performing live theater. All ages and experience levels are welcome. Actors must be able to read. Auditions will consist of reading selections from the script.

The cast consists of 16 roles. Crew members and set builders are also needed.

Performances are November 30, and December 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9. Friday night performances are at 7:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.

If you have any questions regarding the auditions, please contact: Nancy Anderson at

Sunset Players, Inc. is a community theater group located on the west side of Cincinnati. Founded in 1979, the group performs at the Arts Center at Dunham and has produced more than 120 plays. Its mission is to bring a smile, and its plays include comedies, farces, dramatic comedies and musical comedies—as long as there is some “comedy” in the performance somewhere. For more information about the 38th season, visit our website at or like us on Facebook.


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