Tag Archives: Below Zero Lounge


Presented by Unity Productions and Queen City Queen Theatre Collective
May 10-11

Directed by Lindsey Augusta Mercer

Cast: Alison Vodnoy Wolf, Cathy Springfield, Linnea Bond & Kaleigh-Brooke Dillingham

Barebones staged reading. A family comedy/drama set In small-town Independence, Iowa. Kess, Jo, and Sherry, differ on how to handle the surfacing of their mother, Evelyn’s mental health concerns. Each has their own struggles with mother; Kess’ sexuality, Jo’s surprise pregnancy, and Sherry’s finishing high school to leave home for good. Evelyn basks in her grown daughters’ return, denies any need of assistance, and each character deals with finding their own state of independence.

  • Sun, May 10 at 7pm (at Know Theatre)
  • Mon, May 11 at 7:30pm (at Below Zero)

Facebook event | Press release |

Leave a comment

Filed under On Stage

Mondays Are Not-So-Dark in February and March

Traditionally, most theaters are “dark” on Mondays, meaning there are no performances.

This February and March, three companies are giving local theater goers an opportunity to start their week with a little bit of drama (or comedy).

KTC_Series2Bi-weekly performances kick off this coming Monday, February 2nd for SERIALS 2: THE THUNDERDOME at Know Theatre of Cincinnati’s Underground. This past summer, in the first “season” of SERIALS, six new plays by local writers were staged in 15-minute (almost) bi-weekly episodes.

Titles included: FLESH DESCENDING by Chris Wesselman, FETUS AND THE GOD by Ben Dudley, THE LISTENER by Michael Hall, SATURDAY THE 14TH by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek, THE FUNERAL by Jon Kovach and MARS VS. THE ATOM by Trey Tatum.

The atmosphere is fun and casual with time to hit the bar between episodes. The casts are comprised of many familiar faces that have graced the stages of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Carnegie, Know Theatre of Cincinnati, New Edgecliff Theatre and Untethered Theatre Company, just to name a few.

For season two, there is a change to the original format. This time, at each of the five installments, five plays enter, but only three will return for another episode, based on audience voting.

Oh, and in case you missed season one, two of those six original plays are continuing beyond their summer debut.

KTC_Saturday the 14thSATURDAY THE 14TH returns to Know Theatre of Cincinnati on Feb. 7-14 for a limited run, featuring Miranda McGee, Nik Pajic & Chris Wesselman. In this romantic comedy, Mitch (Pajic) and Gail (McGee) are each having the worst Valentine’s Day. Ever. To top it off, they’re both trying to commit suicide by jumping off the very same spot on the very same bridge, and there’s not enough room for the both of them. With no jumping room and nothing left to lose, they team up to cross a few things off their bucket lists before taking the final plunge. Along the way they find adventure, understanding, and maybe even love.

One of my personal favorites this summer, Nik and Miranda have great chemistry together and the script is smart and very funny. I’ll be catching the opening performance on Feb. 7th.

UP_The FuneralAnother favorite, THE FUNERAL, written by Jon Kovach of Unity Productions, has been made into an independent feature film. Luke hides out in his bedroom because he doesn’t care about his great grandmother’s funeral happening in his parent’s living room downstairs. His beautiful cousin, conflicted immediate family, and eclectic friends all visit Luke, each with their own scheme to lure him out of his bedroom. Will Luke venture downstairs, or will his parents follow through with their threat to bring Gammy up?

Look for the trailer to be released on Tuesday, Feb. 3rd. The movie will premiere on Friday, June 12th at Know Theatre of Cincinnati. The film cast includes: Jared Earland, George Alexander, Ian Adams, Annie Kalahurka, Tara Williams, Becca Howell and Patrick Phillips.

For details on all the happenings at Know Theare of Cincinnati, including their excellent currently-running mainstage production of THE HANDMAID’S TALE (my review here), visit http://knowtheatre.com/

QCQTC+Night Larry Kramer logoThe following Monday, Feb. 9th, the Queen City Queer Theatre Collective presents it’s fourth, FREE second-Monday, monthly staged-reading, THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME. Justin McCombs, company member of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, revisits the one-man show he performed a decade ago in St. Paul.

The play follows one man’s coming of age in AIDS-ravaged New York.  Written in 1993, the play has since been updated in response to recent events in queer news, like the legalization of marriages in several states.

Queen City Queer Theatre Collective is a group of Cincinnati actors, directors, crew, and other artists who are passionate about performing theatre that speaks to the queer experience. Each performance allows audiences a casual and low-budget evening of entertainment, while at the same time presenting politically-forward art meant to explore, challenge, and stimulate discussion.

MISC_Justin McCombs

Justin McCombs.

I have attended all three of their readings to date, THE BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES, THE NORMAL HEART and AND BABY MAKES SEVEN. Not only are the chosen plays well-written and accessible to all audiences, director and QCQTC co-founder Lindsey Augusta Mercer elicits strong and emotionally-true performances from her casts. I definitely recommend taking in a production. BTW, did I mention these is a cash bar available as well?

The title of the March 9th performance has yet to be announced. For more information on QCQTC, you can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/qcqtccincinnati.

CP_August Osage CountyFinally, running Feb. 19-March 14, the Clifton Players and Untethered Theatre Company team up to present the critically-acclaimed, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY.

The Weston sisters return to their Oklahoman homestead once their father Beverly goes missing. In the summer heat they’re forced to examine their own lives, their futures and their relationship with their sharp-tongued mother. Family secrets, generational conflict and repressed truths explode in this portrait of one of the most dysfunctional families the stage has ever seen. Hilarious, taut and truthful.

Dale Hodges as Daisy Wertham & Reggie Willis as Hoke. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Dale Hodges as Daisy Wertham & Reggie Willis as Hoke in The Carnegie’s DRIVING MISS DAISY. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The intimate performance space of the Clifton Performance Theatre will be packed with a powerhouse cast under the direction of Buz Davis. Featuring Bob Allen, Carol Brammer, Carter Bratton, Kevin Crowley, Christine Dye, Mindy Heithaus, MaryKate Moran, Nathan Neorr, Leah Strasser, Sarah White & Reggie Willis. Dale Hodges, recently seen in the title role of The Carnegie’s DRIVING MISS DAISY (alongside Reggie Willis as Hoke), plays family matriarch, Violet Weston.

Monday night performances are scheduled for March 2nd and 9th. Due to the size of the venue, this run will sell out. Tickets are on sale now at https://cliftonplayers.wordpress.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under Articles

Queen City Queer Theatre Collective Returns Dec. 8 for Sophomore Performance

QCQTC_The Normal HeartGays. Plays. Mondays.

Coming Monday night to The Cabaret space at Below Zero Lounge is Queen City Queer Theatre Collective’s second staged reading, THE NORMAL HEART at 7:30pm.

Their first reading on Nov. 10 was THE BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES. Set in pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village, THE BEEBO BRINKER CHRONICLES follows the lives and loves of Laura, Beth and Beebo as they navigate uncharted territories of desire. Beth and Laura, secret lovers in college, went separate ways after graduation: Beth married and had children; Laura moved to New York. Both pine for each other, but before they can reunite, they find themselves entangled in the web of Beebo Brinker, a butch denizen of the bars with a soft spot for young lesbians fresh off the bus. Adapted from the 1950’s and 1960’s lesbian pulp novels by Ann Bannon, the play celebrates the era when “the love that dares not speak its name” began breaking the old rules.

I was really impressed with QCQTC’s inaugural outing. The play was smartly-written, filled with believable characters and a good dose of humor. Directed by Lindsey Augusta Mercer, the strong ensemble of six brought the script to life with solid characterizations and true emotions. For a first production, it was great to see an audience of about 40 people in attendance. I’m eager to see what they accomplish tonight.

THE NORMAL HEART is a searing drama about public and private indifference to the AIDS plague and one man’s lonely fight to awaken the world to the crisis. Produced to acclaim in New York, London and Los Angeles, THE NORMAL HEART follows Ned Weeks, a gay activist enraged at the indifference of public officials and the gay community. While trying to save the world from itself, he confronts the personal toll of AIDS when his lover dies of the disease.

Again directed by Lindsey Augusta Mercer, the cast includes Darnell Pierre Benjamin, Matthew Wilson, Jacob Zimmerman, Andrew Maloney, Mia Vera, Linnea Bond, DeAndre Smith, Charlie Cromer, Dallas Padoven & James Jones.

The performance is free and donations are gratefully accepted. The bar downstairs is open, so feel free to bring a cocktail upstairs.

I hope to see you there.

Leave a comment

Filed under In Other News

Musical Monday: Songbook Sing Along on Oct. 6, Nov. 3 & Dec. 1

BZ_Musical MondaysMusical Monday: Songbook Sing Along
Presented by Below Zero
Oct. 6, Nov. 3 & Dec. 1

One of our all time favorites returns Sherry McCamley. So warm up your chords, dust off your song books, bring them on down. Sherry will keep you entertained in between with her fun collection of her own material. Doors open at 6pm. Parking in the lot is free to customers after 6pm on Mondays.

  • Mon, Oct. 6 from 7:30-9:30pm
  • Mon, Oct. 6 from 7:30-9:30pm
  • Mon, Oct. 6 from 7:30-9:30pm

Facebook event |


Leave a comment

Filed under Press Releases

BYE BYE LIVER: The Cincinnati Drinking Play

628_Bye Bye Liver1BYE BYE LIVER: The Cincinnati Drinking Play
Presented by 628 Productions
Below Zero Lounge [Over-the-Rhine]

Featuring: Steffen Alexander Whorton, Patrick Lohr, Charlie Roettig, Elizabeth A. Harris, Katherine Anne & Kate Mock Elliott

BYE BYE LIVER is a successful sketch comedy show that has been running in Chicago for seven years and it is coming to Cincinnati. BBL is a social satire that pokes fun at the follies of drinking through hilarious sketches and interactive games with the audience.

  • Sat, June 4 at 8pm
  • Sat, June 11 at 8pm SOLD OUT
  • Sat, July 9 at 8pm SOLD OUT
  • Sat, July 16 at 8pm
  • Sat, July 23 at 8pm
  • Sat, Aug. 6 at 8pm
  • Sat, Aug. 13 at 8pm SOLD OUT
  • Sat, Aug. 20 at 8pm
  • Sat, Aug. 27 at 8pm

Official page |

1 Comment

Filed under On Stage