Monday Matinee 4.23.18 – This Week in Cincinnati Theatre

This week we’re previewing both this week’s openings and a few of next year’s amazing line up of shows in Cincinnati theatre for 2018-2019’s season.  We’ll run down the highlights and I’ll tell you which ones I’m anticipating the most.  Let’s get right into it!

First, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park opens  Ken Ludwig’s TREASURE ISLAND this Thursday.  This swashbuckling adventure is directed by Blake Robison, who seemed almost giddy when talking about the fight choreography last time I saw him.  Drew Fracher stages that fight choreo – and I have a feeling everyone, including the actors, are going to have a good time with this classic adventure story.  Tickets and more information can be found here. I’ll see it on Sunday afternoon.

The Playhouse has stacked their next season with three(!!) musicals and several productions that sound like can’t miss hits.  In the Marx, they’ll stage Stephen King’s MISERY, which I cannot wait to see.  This is one of King’s best horror stories and it’s one of my favorite films.  I’m looking forward to the stage version.  I’m also over-the-moon about seeing IN THE HEIGHTS and YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN.  Over in the more intimate Shelterhouse, we’ll see CINCINNATI KING, an original work by KJ Sanchez that we got a taste of during a Fringe Festival a couple of years ago.  It’s finally coming to the Playhouse stage and this Cincinnati-based story of the famed recording studio should delight local audiences. Perhaps the play I’m most looking forward to, though, is the THE THANKSGIVING PLAY. Directed by Blake Robison, this comedy is about a group of politically correct folks doing their best to produce a kinder, gentler Thanksgiving play. It sounds like a riot.

Here’s the entire list of titles at the Playhouse:

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
A Christmas Carol
In the Heights
Two Trains Running
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

The Roommate
Cincinnati King
The Second City – It’s Not You, It’s Me
The Last Wide Open
The Thanksgiving Play
Tiny Houses

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This week also sees the opening of ETC’s HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW, a musical about the life of Ethel Waters.  Starring Torie Wiggins (with musical director Scot Wooley), this one-woman show tells the history of this legendary performer. Wiggins is one of my favorite actresses – and I can’t wait to see what she does with this material.  Her last one-woman show, TWILIGHT, was a tour-de-force. I’ll see HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW on Sunday night.  Click here for a video preview.

D. Lynn Myers at Ensemble Theatre is notorious for releasing her season later than everyone else – but this year that isn’t true!  Perhaps it was easier this year; the lineup is chockfull of “must sees” and I’m thrilled about several of them.  There’s a new musical, a classic favorite, several new plays, and a one-man show featuring Bruce Cromer that’s likely to spook us all.  I think my most anticipated show of the season is “The Wolves,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist focused on a group of indoor soccer playing adolescent girls.  I can’t wait.

Ensemble Theatre 2018-2019 Season:
Fly By Night
St. Nicholas (season extra)
Alice in Wonderland
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Skeleton Crew
The Wolves

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The Clifton Players return to the stage with a brand new work called CHAMPAGNE GODS.  Produced in Northside instead of their usual Clifton Performance Theatre, this is a brand new play.

Here’s a synopsis from the ticket page: “Its New Years Eve at the British Museum and everyone is preparing for a very special night. Tonight’s gala is to unveil the newest archeological find for the museum, Apollos lost Kylix. As the legend goes, the Kylix is an oracle that would show the Greeks who their soul mate was. Is there any truth to this tale? Will the prestigious intellects at the museum get caught up in its spell? Relationships and sanity get tested in this 1930s style screwball comedy. Fast-paced and fun, Champagne Gods is sure to delight all ages.”  Directed by Kristen Clippard.


Finally, this week sees the opening of LEGALLY BLONDE at Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre. This community theatre group goes all out with their productions each time I’ve seen them (WHITE CHRISTMAS, BIG, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT) and I expect no less from director McLean Strickland and company.

Julia Bowen plays Ell Woods. The rest of the featured cast: Michael Wright as Warner Huntington III, Jenni Sheets as Vivienne Kensington, Seth Wagner as Emmett Forrest, Dustin Farris as Professor Callahan, and Molly Bowen as Paulette.  Tickets and more information can be found here.

And that’s it for this week!  Next week we’ll preview more of next season and have some information about the Cincinnati Fringe Festival!  Don’t miss the big lineup reveal party on Tuesday night!  Click here for more information.

What are you seeing this week?