During the past year did you see a theater performance in Greater Cincinnati that you admired? If so, there's a good chance that actor or play or musical has been nominated for a 2005 CINCINNATI ENTERTAINMENT AWARD. You can play a part in identifying the most outstanding work on local stages by casting your vote. But don't delay: The deadline is almost here. This week's issue of CityBeat contains the final printed ballot (see page 44) for this year's awards; it must be postmarked on or before Aug. 1. For a simpler method, go to
CSF's Josh Neth in a sensitive moment as Ophelia in The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged), reviewed below
During the past year did you see a theater performance in Greater Cincinnati that you admired? If so, there's a good chance that actor or play or musical has been nominated for a 2005 CINCINNATI ENTERTAINMENT AWARD. You can play a part in identifying the most outstanding work on local stages by casting your vote. But don't delay: The deadline is almost here. This week's issue of CityBeat contains the final printed ballot (see page 44) for this year's awards; it must be postmarked on or before Aug. 1. For a simpler method, go to citybeat.com/cea to vote online; the deadline for that method is also Aug. 1. Public voting decides 12 of the CEA categories, while seven others are selected by Cincinnati-area theater critics (who also developed the full list of nominees). This year's 19 categories represent an expansion from the 13 previously awarded when the CEAs were a combined recognition program featuring music and theater. (The ninth annual Music CEAs will be handed out in November.) At this year's awards, presented at CCM's Corbett Auditorium, special recognition will be made of actor JONEAL JOPLIN for his eight seasons as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Cincinnati Playhouse.
Addition-ally, local playwright JOSEPH MCDONOUGH, named by the League of Cincinnati Theatres as the recipient of its 2005 Award for Continuing Excellence, will be inducted into the CEA Hall of Fame. Two of McDonough's plays will have their world premieres in April 2006: Stone My Heart will be staged by the Cincinnati Playhouse, while Ensemble Theatre will offer Wayfarer's Rest. For the first time in the CEAs' nine-year history, the 2005 awards will focus exclusively on theater at a gala ceremony on Aug. 26 at CCM. The public is urged to attend; tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. You'll be able to see reprises of some of the past season's best onstage work and be the first to learn who goes home with a 2005 CEA. A pre-show reception with a $50 price tag that includes food and show tickets will raise additional funds for LINKS (Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids). Info and online ordering: www.citybeat.com/cea. ...
Summertime and musicals go together, and the energy generated by kids at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts (4990 Glenway Ave.) for Jerry Herman's classic, HELLO DOLLY!, could probably fuel air conditioners for the balance of our heat wave. CINCINNATI YOUNG PEOPLE'S THEATRE, a group that's inspired a lot of teens to love theater for the better part of two decades. Through Aug. 7. Tickets: 513-241-6550.
The Royal Shakespeare Company plans to present all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in one season, a gargantuan task. Another RSC — the Reduced Shakespeare Company — took the opposite approach in creating THE COMPLEAT WRKS OF WLLM SHKSPR (ABRIDGED), cramming all the plays (or at least passing mention of them) into less than two hours, performed by three actors. This piece of frothy foolishness is a dollop of cool midsummer madness for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival. This merry, manic mayhem features three members of CSF's 2004-2005 "Young Company" — Rob Jansen (an easily exasperated pseudo-intellectual), Joshua Neth (a slapstick hick who gets stuck with the women's roles) and Jeff Sanders (a preening, pretentious "actor"). They're clearly having a blast — sometimes so much that their hilarity outstrips the audience's ability to keep up. But it's fun to watch, especially the updated topical references: You'll catch a whiff of George Bush and a reference to Paris Hilton (she's one who makes Neth barf, a running gag). On the back wall is a wary image of the Bard, perhaps a bit nervous about what's happening onstage. Keep an eye on him: He has a life of his own. CSF's first weekend had two sold-out performances, so they've extended the run until Aug. 14. (Rick Pender) GRADE: A-