CEA winners demonstrate theater scene's depth and diversity

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

The Aug. 27 presentation of the 2007 CINCINNATI ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS made some interesting points about the past theater season. A year ago Cincinnati Playhouse earned a wheelbarrow of recognition for Company, which went on to Broadway and won multiple Tony Awards. But what fun would it be if the Playhouse, which does consistently excellent work, dominated every season? This year the Mount Adams theater only made one trip to the stage, picking up an award for an outstanding visiting actor, Noah Galvin as Billy, a lonely kid in the musical Ace. Recognition in a total of 20 categories honored work at seven Cincinnati-area theaters. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company earned four acting awards (three individuals and one for the ensemble of The Cherry Orchard) plus a costume design CEA. Footlighters, Inc., swept the musical theater acting categories by turning out big vote totals for four nominees from the cast of Parade, also selected as the season's outstanding community theater production. Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati showed its strength with four awards: two for actors; one for scenic design; and one for the season's outstanding local premiere, Michael Hollinger's Opus. Know Theatre of Cincinnati picked up three awards for three different shows — Hamlet, Christmas Yet to Come and See What I Wanna See, which was selected for the Critical Achievement Award as the season's outstanding musical. Critical achievement recognition also went to New Stage Collective's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? as outstanding play and to the Fringe Festival musical revue, The Kid in the Dark, named outstanding alternative show.

(See all the winners and the photos here.) ... If you missed Kid in the Dark (or loved it and want to see it again), Know Theatre will host four performances of the song cycle about the themes of life and death on Sept. 13-15. Mark Halpin's lyrics are insightful and poignant ­ his songs could become musical theater favorites. Tickets: 513-300-5669. ...

UC's Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) has announced its 2007-08 STUDIO SERIES, which includes productions of musical theater, drama and opera offered free of charge at CCM's Cohen Family Studio Theater. The slate includes two works by Stephen Sondheim, Assassins and Passion; a Shakespearean classic, Twelfth Night; a couple of operas, including one by Claudio Monteverdi from the 18th century and one by contemporary Mexican composer Daniel Catán; Stephen Schwartz's classic musical Godspell; Bertolt Brecht's The Good Woman of Setzuan; and a contemporary play by Craig Wright, Recent Tragic Events. Wright is best known for the quirky cable-TV series, Six Feet Under. You can't subscribe to these shows: You just have to be quick to call for free tickets when they're presented. More info: (blogs.citybeat.com/ae). ...

There's also a new season of shows at NEW STAGE COLLECTIVE, the second round of productions in its new permanent home at 1140 Main St., in Over-the-Rhine. Artistic Director Alan Patrick Kenny likes to think big (his staging of Albee's The Goat, as noted above, won the 2007 CEA for outstanding play), and he's not backing away from that reputation: His season includes Tony Kushner's new musical, Caroline, or Change (Oct. 25-Nov. 18); a Rock concert holiday musical, Striking 12 (Nov. 29-Dec. 31); Richard Greenberg's Tony Award winner, Take Me Out (Feb. 14-March 19, 2008), about a gay baseball player; Tracy Letts' searing thriller BUG (April 3-27, 2008); and Jerry Springer: The Opera (June 26-Aug. 3, 2008). All five are regional premieres. New Stage has canceled its production of Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home, originally set for October-November 2007. More info: (blogs.citybeat.com/ae). ...

The independent production of Nancy Jones' Above the 37th Parallel on Aug. 10-11 raised $15,000 for multiple sclerosis research. Congratulations to Jones (who wrote her own story with MS for the stage) and actress Sherman Fracher and director Drew Fracher who brought it to life.

contact rick Pender: rpender(at)citybeat.com

About The Author

Rick Pender

RICK PENDER has written about theater for CityBeat since its first issues in 1994. Before that he wrote for EveryBody’s News. From 1998 to 2006 he was CityBeat’s arts & entertainment editor. Retired from a long career in public relations, he’s still a local arts fan, providing readers (and public radio listeners)...
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