Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s 2019-2020 Season Includes Agatha Christie, Buddy Holly, Margaret Atwood and the Calypso-Flavored ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

PIP_logoSeason features musical sensations, gripping mysteries and bold, new comedies

CINCINNATI – Artistic Director Blake Robison announced Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s 2019-20 season today, which features musical sensations, new comedies, gripping mysteries and thought-provoking contemporary plays, including productions to delight audiences of all ages.

“From the enchanting Broadway musical Once on This Island and an Agatha Christie mystery to an intimate portrait of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the unmatched variety of our new season will inspire and entertain audiences,” says Robison. “Our 2019-20 season again showcases the range, scale and exceptional artistry as only the Playhouse can produce for Cincinnati.”

Robison continues, “I’m especially excited about our world premiere from the award-winning, multi-cultural performance ensemble Universes. Fusing theatre, poetry, dance, jazz, hip-hop and down-home blues, americUS will be unlike anything we’ve produced.”

The 2019-20 Season includes:

  • MUSICAL SENSATIONS: the enchanting, Tony Award-winning musical, Once on This Island; piano wizardry and laugh-out-loud humor in 2 Pianos, 4 Hands; the electrifying, rock and roll musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.
  • BOLD, NEW COMEDIES: The Lifespan of a Fact, a fast-paced, blistering new comedy straight from Broadway; and Destiny of Desire, an enormously entertaining homage to Latin American soap operas.
  • GRIPPING MYSTERIES: the thrilling, train ride whodunit of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express; and a spine-tingling mystery of the mind in Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace.
  • THOUGHT-PROVOKING CONTEMPORARY PLAYS: Actually, a riveting new drama about the complexities of gender, race and consent on a college campus; and americUS, a compelling world premiere from the award-winning, multi-cultural ensemble Universes.
  • HEARTFELT HUMOR: an inspiring one-woman show about America’s favorite sex therapist, Becoming Dr. Ruth.
  • HOLIDAY FAVORITE: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will return for the 29th year.

Presented by Schueler Group
Season Sponsor of New Work: The Rosenthal Family Foundation

Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Based Upon the Novel, “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy
Directed by Robert Barry Fleming
Sept. 7 – Oct. 6, 2019
Sponsored by Johnson Investment Counsel and Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co.

Hearts soar in the Tony Award-winning, Calypso-flavored musical, Once On This Island. Ti Moune, a peasant girl, falls in love with a wealthy boy — but the gods have other plans. This recent Broadway hit captivates audiences with an unforgettable story of a woman who travels far and wide to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Moe & Jack Rouse and Randolph Wadsworth present
By Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
Directed by Wendy Goldberg
Oct. 19 – Nov. 16, 2019

A critically acclaimed 2018 Broadway play, this fast-paced story explodes with blistering comedy and timely relevance. Emily Penrose, a demanding editor-in-chief, hires a determined millennial fact-checker named Jim Fingal to work on a groundbreaking essay written by the famous author John D’Agata. But the overly eager Jim takes his fact-checking way too far, creating the ultimate showdown of fact versus fiction.

By Charles Dickens
Adapted by Howard Dallin
Directed by Michael Evan Haney
Nov. 27 – Dec. 29, 2019
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is not part of the season subscription, but subscribers get early access and special discounts on tickets.

Faithful storytelling and spellbinding stage magic bring to life Ebenezer Scrooge’s time-traveling journey with the spirits one magical Christmas Eve. Returning for its 29th season, the heartwarming message helps to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each season.

PIP_Buddy Holly

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

By Alan Janes
Directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge
Jan. 18 – Feb. 16, 2020
Sponsored by U.S. Bank

Experience the sensational musical about the bespectacled, 1950s rock and roll icon. This non-stop rock show recounts Buddy Holly’s meteoric rise to fame and the impact he left on the industry. Performances include over 20 of his greatest hits like “That’ll Be the Day,” “It’s So Easy to Fall in Love” and “Peggy Sue”, along with Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.”

Leading Ladies presents
By Karen Zacarías
Directed by José Luis Valenzuela
Feb. 29 – March 28, 2020

Burning passion, cunning deception and outrageous melodrama combine in this enormously entertaining homage to Latin American soap operas. A storm brews in the small town of Bellarica, Mexico, when two baby girls are born on the same night in the same hospital. Yet the drama is bound to unfold when a former beauty queen switches the babies at birth in her lust for power.

Adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig
Directed by Risa Brainin
April 11 – May 9, 2020

Whodunit? Detective Hercule Poirot is determined to find out in Agatha Christie’s thrilling murder mystery. Ten passengers board the luxurious Orient Express. But after the train unexpectedly stops in the isolated, snow-swept mountains, only nine of them are still alive. This masterpiece from the world’s most popular mystery writer promises an exciting evening of theatre that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Presented by Heidelberg Distributing Co.
Season Sponsor of New Work: The Rosenthal Family Foundation

Margaret Atwood’s
Adapted for the stage by Jennifer Blackmer
Directed by Blake Robison
Sept. 14 – Oct. 27, 2019
Sponsored by Digi and Mike Schueler

Based on the novel by master storyteller Margaret Atwood, this spine-tingling mystery of the mind will chill you to the bone. Sixteen-year-old Grace Marks was imprisoned for life in 1843 for committing murder, but she has no memory of the events. Fifteen years later, psychologist Simon Jordan begins to gradually unlock her memories, and he soon finds himself plummeting down a frightening path of shocking revelations.

Nov. 9, 2019 – Jan. 5, 2020
By Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt
Directed by Thomas Frey
Sponsored by The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr/U.S. Bank Foundation

Piano wizardry and laugh-out-loud comedy come together to tell the story of Richard and Ted’s life-long pursuit of becoming concert pianist superstars. They work tirelessly to master legendary music from Beethoven and Bach to Billy Joel. Two performers tickle the ivories (and your funny bone) in this riotous show about Richard and Ted’s humbling quest for musical greatness.

By Universes
Feb. 1 – March 8, 2020

Universes is an award-winning, multi-cultural performance ensemble that breaks traditional theatrical bounds to create its own brand of storytelling. Fusing theatre, poetry, dance, jazz, hip-hop and down-home blues, Universes will create a compelling portrait of contemporary America in this world premiere. Hailed by audiences and critics alike, Universes has performed off-Broadway, internationally and at major theatres across the country. This all-new show will challenge, move and entertain you.

By Anna Ziegler
March 21 – April 26, 2020

Amber is charmingly neurotic and seemingly confident. Tom is a handsome and appealing go-getter. At Princeton, they drink and date to cope with mounting pressures until one shared night together sets off a damning chain of events that neither of them sees coming. This thought-provoking new play by rising playwright Anna Ziegler grapples with the deep complexities of gender, race and consent.

By Mark St. Germain
Directed by Holly Twyford
May 9 – June 21, 2020

Many of us know Dr. Ruth Westheimer as America’s favorite sex therapist in the 1980s and ‘90s — but few of us have heard the story of this remarkable woman’s journey. In this heartwarming portrait, she narrates the harrowing and fascinating details of her life. Becoming Dr. Ruth is a humorous, affectionate and illuminating one-woman show that’s full of grit and triumph.

Subscriptions to the 2019-20 Playhouse season are available now in a variety of packages.
Prices range from $157.50 to $411.50 for the five-show Marx Theatre season; $157.50 to $396 for the five Rosenthal Shelterhouse Theatre shows; and $280 to $716.50 for the full 10-show combination series.

The popular Build Your Own subscription allows patrons to create their own season of four to nine shows. Once again this season, all price options are available in the lower level of the Marx Theatre. The Playhouse offers two-, three-, six- and nine-month payment plans for subscribers. Some restrictions apply.

A student Build Your Own package allows full-time students to pick as few as four shows and as many as all 10 for just $15 per show. The Babysitter Rebate Series allows a couple purchasing two subscriptions in the Marx Theatre to attend any performance and receive up to $100 at the end of the season to help cover the cost of babysitters for children under the age of 12.

Subscriptions can be purchased by visiting the Playhouse website at or by calling the Box Office at 513-421-3888 or 800-582-3208 toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. For TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) access, call 513-345-2248. The Playhouse is fully accessible.

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.


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