I am more than ecstatic about the upcoming theater season. Seriously. There are so many fantastic shows coming up in all my favorite theaters in town. Today I want to highlight just a few of them. First, will be “Hamlet” at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.
Here’s a snippet from the press release:
“Considered by many to be the greatest play in the English language, “Hamlet” is a story both epic and intimate, encompassing both political and familial machinations, and exploring the consequences of the one upon the other. CSC’s upcoming production will be set in the Edwardian era (a time period that will be familiar to any fans of the PBS series “Downton Abbey”) on the eve of World War I. It was a time when the world teetered on the edge of chaos, and the personal conflicts of those in power would have consequences that would be felt for decades to come. “It’s going to be an extremely exciting production with a tremendous cast,” says Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips, “Even if you’ve seen it before, this is going to be a production not to be missed.”
Also coming soon will be “Revelations” produced by Untethered Theater Company at the Clifton Performance Theater. Directed by Kevin Crowley, this cast features Leah Strasser, Paul Morris, Carol Brammer, and Ben Dudley. This is a very new play and the playwright, Samuel Brett Williams, will be in town for opening weekend. The play had its world premiere at “Elephant Theatre Company” in Los Angeles last May.
Here’s a description of the play:
“Brandon’s Southern Baptist father always taught him to be prepared for the Rapture. For Christmas, his mother even sent him a Rapture Kit: bottled water, canned food, a Bible, and a mouthpiece (for the gnashing of teeth). Rebecca is a pre med student who was raised as an atheist. All of a sudden people begin disappearing, the Hudson River turns to blood, and the entire state of Ohio comes down with a bad case of the boils. Brandon grabs Rebecca and tries to make it from New York City to Arkadelphia, Arkansas in hopes of finding the New Jerusalem. Playwright Samuel Brett Williams explores faith, love, and the American landscape in a pitch black comedy about the End Days.”
Untethered told me, “Despite all the serious imagery in our promotions, it’s a funny take on a serious subject, the end of the world.” I’m excited to see this play, as the Crowley directed “A Bright New Boise” was one of my favorite plays in 2012. Looking ahead to February, Crowley will appear in “The Irish Curse,” directed by Cathy Springfield in the same space. Here’s a description:
The Clifton Players present Martin Casella’s wickedly delightful and heart-wrenching play, The Irish Curse, February 28 through March 15. What “The Irish Curse” is – and how it manifests itself – is the raw centerpiece of this rollicking new play. From its blistering language to its brutally honest look at sex and body image, The Irish Curse is a revealing portrait of how men, and society, define masculinity. Size matters to this small group of Irish-American men who meet every Wednesday night, in a Catholic church basement, at a self-help group for men with small penises. This allegedly Irish trait is the focus of their weekly whining as they feel this “shortcoming” has ruined their lives. When a 20-something blue-collar guy joins the group, he challenges everything these men thought about “the Irish curse,” tackling their obsession with body image and unmasking the comical and truthful questions of identity, masculinity, sex, relationships, and social status that define their lives.
The cast is Crowley, Carton Bratton (“A Bright New Boise,” “Red Light Winter,” “The Whale,” “The House of Yes” and others), Michael Bath (who I loved in “A Behanding in Spokane” and was recognized by the League of Cincinnati Theaters for his work in Ensemble’s “Around the World in 80 Days”), and Buz Davis (who recently directed “The Whale” and will helm The Carnegie’s “Harvey” in April).
I’m also very excited about Metamrophisis at CCM (they’ve promised a giant pool on the stage), “Gypsy” at the Covedale, “Other People’s Money” at New Edgecliff, and “Size Matters” at the Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati. There are so many great plays and musicals this first part of 2014, you have no excuse not to get out to the theater and see some of them.
Perhaps the show I’m looking the most forward to is Falcon Theater’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in Newport, KY opening at the end of March. Directed by Terry Gosdin, this classic American story will bring to life the classic characters of Nurse Ratched, Billy Bibbet, Chief Bromden, and of course, Randall P. McMurphy. Look for more information on this show soon . . . including details on why its the one I’m looking forward to the most in future weeks.
So, what shows are you going to see in January? Don’t forget to utilize Rob Bucher’s great Cincinnati Theatre resource, Behind the Curtain Cincinnati, to find out what’s happening, where, and when. Next week I’ll hit a few more of the great shows coming up, including shows at CCM, Wright State, KNOW Theatre, and the Playhouse in the Park!
By the way, tonight you can catch “The Naughty List” at Arnold’s produced by the KNOW Theater. “Around the World in 80 Days” ends this week at the Ensemble but otherwise it’s a pretty quiet week.What are you going to do to support local theater this week, this month, and this year?