Monday Matinee 5.14.18 – This Week in Cincinnati Theatre

As the season continues to wind down (and as we anticipate the annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival), today we’ll focus on Cincinnati Shakespeare’s final production of the spring and preview the shows in next year’s local university seasons.

Justin McCombs and Brooke Steele appear in Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s NOISES OFF opening this week.

This Friday, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will open NOISES OFF, directed by Ed Stern.  “The drama onstage is nothing compared to the drama backstage in Michael Frayn’s hysterical, fast-paced British sex farce about putting on a hysterical, fast-paced British sex farce. Lines, props, and pants are dropped in equal proportion as the bedraggled cast struggles valiantly to keep their production from going entirely off the rails. Don’t miss this fall-out-of-your-chair-funny production, where the sardines and the slamming doors abound.”  With Brian Isaac Phillips appearing on stage for this (along with Dale Hodges, Joneal Joplin, Jeremy Dubin, Kelly Mengelkoch, Justin McCombs, and Brooke Steele) I expect hijinks of the best possible kind.  I’ll see it on Friday night.  Click here for tickets and more information.

As most of my readers know, I’m a huge fan of the productions and students at our local universities.  UC-CCM, Xavier, NKU, Miami, and Wright State University all produce interesting plays and musicals and the passion the students and faculty pour into these productions is inspiring.

Next year, the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music’s MainStage season is going to be stunning.  While I don’t typically cover opera, I am looking forward to the Vince DeGeorge directed THE TURN OF THE SCREW in the fall.  And Aubrey Berg’s THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME is already giving me chills.  Susan Felder also returns to the MainStage (her HAMLET was the best Shakespeare I’ve seen in awhile) with OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD.  Here’s a list what’s coming to the MainStage (the Studio Series will be officially announced later):


The Government Inspector (Acting) dir. Richard Hess
Guys and Dolls (Mustical Theatre) dir. Diane Lala
The Turn of the Screw (Opera) dir. Vince DeGeorge
Birthday Variations (Dance) dir. Qi Jang
Our Country’s Good (Acting) dir. Susan Felder
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Musical Theatre) dir. Aubrey Berg
La Clemenza di Tito (Opera) dir. Robin Guarino
Cinderella (dance) dir. Deirdre Carberry and Michael Tevlin and Karen Russo Burke, choreographer

Subscription packages for new subscribers go on sale May 2, 2018, with packages ranging in price from $81-$192. Single tickets go on sale beginning Sept. 10, 2018  To order subscriptions, contact the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183 or

Pamela Myers will direct COMPANY at Xavier. She was nominated for a Tony for her role in the original Broadway production.

Xavier University, under the leadership of Stephen Skiles, continues to be the most ambitious program in the tri-state and next season is no different.  From exciting new works, opportunities for both current students and graduates of the program to continue to hone their craft, Skiles has a knack for producing great theatre while gifting his students with unique educational opportunities.  I’m thrilled that Pam Myers, Tony nominee for the original production of COMPANY will direct the show on Xavier’s stage.  Those lucky, lucky students. Click here for information.


Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (dir. by Stephen Skiles)
Urinetown (dir. by Stephen Skiles)
Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead (dir. by Hannah Sgambellone)
Antigone (adapted by Griff Bludworth, dir. by Ed Stern)
Romeo and Juliet (dir. by Craig Wesley Divino)
Next to Normal (dir. by Stephen Skiles)
The Vagina Monologues (dir. by Ellie Conniff)
Company (directed by Pamela Myers)

Northern Kentucky University, which boasts the largest number of theatre majors will present a varied season.  The reputation of NKU’s program is strong.  I’m going to try to catch more of their work this year, including the musical BIG FISH.  Click here for information on subscribing.


Big Fish
Pride and Prejudice

Finally, Wright State University has announced their theatre season via USPS mailer. (Many of their rabid subscriber base probably doesn’t rely so heavily on the Internet).  WSU will always have a special place in my heart as it is where I was introduced to theatre early in my development as a theatre advocate.  I’ve always said that at Wright State, I never left a show without feeling something. I’ve not been in a few years; with a season like this it might be time to revisit!  Click here for information on WSU.


Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Crazy For You
Mother Courage and Her Children
A Little Night Music
The Liar (Herbst Theatre)
If/Then (Herbs Theatre)

That’s it for this week.  Make sure you do something to support the arts this week!