World Premiere of THE LAST WIDE OPEN Debuts Feb. 9

PIP_The Last Wide Open promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

A romance that explores love, fate and the ways in which the universe brings people together

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will present THE LAST WIDE OPEN, a love story that encourages audiences to take a personal, humorous look at modern-day courtship, romance and relationships, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It begins Feb. 9 in the Shelterhouse Theatre and runs through March 10, with support from The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Season Sponsor of New Work. Opening night is Feb. 14.

The world premiere, under the direction of Artistic Director Blake Robison, was written by Playwright Audrey Cefaly and described by Cefaly as “a love song in three movements.” This romantic tale sweeps the audience up into three different realities in which the same characters attempt to forge a connection despite language barriers, personal stories and histories, and cultural differences.

The production, which features original songs with lyrics by Cefaly and music by Composer/Sound Designer Matthew M Neilson, follows Lina, a waitress, and Roberto, an Italian immigrant. The two find themselves on completely different paths of their own creation giving the show an element of fantasy.

THE LAST WIDE OPEN takes place in the twilight hours of an ordinary night on a normal day during a thunderstorm. The date is May 5, present day. The location is Frankie’s, a small Italian restaurant that is closed for the evening. Two characters, Lina and Roberto, enter onstage. She is an emotional person and a dreamer. He is a poetic and generous Italian immigrant. They are about to share their fate-filled love story — imagined in three different realities.

“THE LAST WIDE OPEN began as a short, 30-minute play called Clean,” Robison explained. “I loved that play, but it was too short to program into our season as a full evening of theatre. So, when the playwright, Audrey Cefaly, told me that she wanted to expand it into a full-length work, I jumped at the chance to collaborate with her. We commissioned her to write the newly expanded version, and I fell in love all over again.”

Kimberly Gilbert (Lina); Marcus Kyd (Roberto)

Audrey Cefaly (Playwright), Blake Robison (Director); Jo Winiarski (Set Designer); Gordon DeVinney (Costume Designer); Michelle Habeck (Lighting Designer); Matthew M. Nielson (Composer/Sound Designer); Andrea L. Shell (Stage Manager)

To purchase tickets or 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 Call 513-345- 2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

Preview Performances: Feb. 9 (8 p.m.) | Feb. 10 (7 p.m.) | Feb. 12 – 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Be among the first to see the show before opening night and save! Preview performance tickets are discounted and begin at just $35. Not valid with other discounts.

Performance Dates: Feb. 9 – Mar. 10, 2019
Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, at 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Individual tickets start at just $35.
Tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances are priced at just $10 for college students with a valid school ID. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances. Discounted ticket prices for and teens are $30.

Production Co-Sponsor Bartlett Wealth Management. Season Sponsor is Heidelberg Distributing Company and Season Design Sponsors are Allan Berliant and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund. The Season Sponsor of New Work is the Rosenthal Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community 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.

Sat., Feb. 23 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Playhouse | Cost: $50

Get an introduction to the world of writing for the stage while the world premiere production of THE LAST WIDE OPEN is on the Playhouse stage. You’ll learn how to build the foundation of a story by creating memorable characters, writing memorable dialogue and crafting a compelling plot. To register for this workshop, call the Box Office at 513-421-3888, or visit

Feb. 17 and 24 (2 p.m.) | Feb. 27, Mar. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
Stay after select performances for a behind-the-scenes discussion with the cast and crew of THE LAST WIDE OPEN

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


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