It's not often that a classic theater like CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE COMPANY gets to present a premiere, but this week it's pretty close to that: For the first time in the company's history, they're staging Shakespeare's infrequently produced romance THE WINTER'S TALE, a sad fairytale about love, loss and magic. BRIAN ISAAC PHILLIPS, artistic director of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC), says, "Audiences enjoy Shakespeare's romances for the same reason they enjoy a great romantic comedy or love story -- it leaves you with a sense of joy, hope and the belief that 'happily ever after' can happen. I think it will be an absolute pleasure for audiences to see a play they've never seen before. It's a fairytale you're hearing for the first time, and it really captures the imagination." If you've followed the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards (CEAs) over the years, you'll recognize the cast of The Winter's Tale; four of them are past nominees and winners.
One of the many benefits of our vibrant arts scene in Cincinnati is the fact that arts organizations can augment one another. I learned recently about a great example of collaboration between the Taft Museum of Art and KNOW THEATRE OF CINCINNATI. The Taft's just-opened exhibition, Luminist Horizons, is being promoted by two podcasts that have been performed by Know actors CHRISTOPHER GUTHRIE and ROBERT L. WILLIAMS. The downloadable programs are memorials written by Miner Kellogg and Sanford R. Gifford for their friend and artist James A. Suydam, whose glowing landscape paintings from the 19th century make up the core of the exhibition. "Luminism" refers to a group of scenic American painters who flourished during the 1800s -- their works reflected profoundly quiet scenes and magical lighting effects. Suydam painted in the Hudson River Valley and along the Rhode Island coast. He was both a painter and a collector. According to publicist Tricia Suit, "These remembrances of Suydam, written after his death at 46, are brought to life by Guthrie and Williams." The podcasts feature original music by local performer Mark Messerly and was produced by Eric Appleby. To download the readings, go to taftmuseum.org. ...
Two theater students from Miami University, RACHEL CONAWAY-BENNISON and BRYAN SCHMIDT, recently earned top honors in a Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival regional competition. Conaway-Bennison, a sophomore, picked up a first place for her costume designs for Miami's production of M. Butterfly. Schmidt, a senior, might be bucking for my job soon. He took first place for a set of reviews he wrote about productions at the festival, which took place at Marquette University and Cardinal Stritch University on Jan. 9-13. He heads off next to workshops in Washington, D.C., and could win a fellowship to a national critics seminar at the O'Neill Center in Connecticut this summer. ...
If you're old enough (as I am) to recall the earliest days of Saturday Night Live, you'll recall GARRETT MORRIS as the funny guy who did "news for the hard of hearing" (he cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted from a tiny inset in the corner of the screen during "Weekend Update") and other iconic sketches. He's in town Wednesday for the first installment of a series of one-night events at SHADOWBOX CABARET, the launch of their "celebrity series" that brings well-known artists of comedy and music to perform at the sketch-comedy Rock club. $30. Info: 859-581-7625.
contact rick Pender: rpender(at)citybeat.com