Impersonating Shakespeare

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

Guess the identity of this well-known Cincinnatian made up as William Shakespeare aand CSF might give you a prize.

Look closely at the photo I'm including with this week's column. Does it look familiar? No, it's not really William Shakespeare. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival is challenging you to guess the identity of this well-known Cincinnatian who is impersonating Shakespeare, transformed by makeup artist Trinidad MacAuliffe. If you submit a correct guess (you get only one chance, so look carefully) via CSF's Web site (Troilus & Cressida in February, and dinner for two at The Phoenix. (Even if you're wrong, you'll get a coupon for 10 percent off tickets to Henry V or T&C.) Deadline for online guessing is noon on Jan. 30. The winner will be announced at 2 p.m. the same day, prior to the final performance of Henry V. And here's an inside tip: It's not me. ...

The 2005 edition of the HUMANA FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN PLAYS has been announced by Actors Theatre of Louisville.

From the end of February through early April, the internationally respected festival will happen for the 29th time. This year's six-week program includes a half-dozen full-length plays in repertory rotation (so you can see several in a short visit), four 10-minute plays (in one bill) and a satiric anthology. Kia Corthron — whose Breath, Boom was presented by Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati in February 2004, is represented by a new script: Moot the Messenger. It's described as a "complex and fierce indictment" of contemporary American news media: An ambitious journalism student lands a job as an embedded reporter in Iraq. Her encounters with soldiers and others lead her to see that the truth is no longer what the media seeks. (This will be Corthron's second Humana appearance in three years: In 2003 it was Slide Glide the Slippery Slope.) Other works are Hazard County, a comedy by Allison Moore; A Nervous Smile, a drama by John Belluso; Pure Confidence, a historic story of slavery and horse-racing by Carlyle Brown; and a two-character piece unfolding in real time, Memory House, by Kathleen Tolan. The anthology, Uncle Sam's Satiric Spectacular: On Democracy and other fictions, featuring patriotism acts and blue songs from a red state, will use concepts of vaudeville to showcase members of Actors' Apprentice Company, an internship program. By the way, just prior to the festival's late-February kick-off, Actors will stage The Gin Game, a show from the initial festival in 1977. D. L. Coburn's classic tale of two feisty card players in a nursing home won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize for drama; it will be onstage Feb. 3-26. Festival performance schedules and other information:; tickets: 800-428-5849. ...

A reminder: This week's opening of David Rabe's searing Vietnam era drama, STREAMERS, by Know Theatre Tribe at Gabriel's Corner (1425 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine) is the first under its new "pay-what-you-can" approach for the initial Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances. Thanks to an anonymous donor, those performances offer everyone — regardless of their financial circumstances — to see productions by one of the city's edgier companies. (After Saturday, general admission will be $15 for performances through Jan. 26.) Info: 513-300-5669 ...

On Tuesday the Aronoff Center will be hopping when Broadway in Cincinnati opens not one but two touring shows. In the Procter & Gamble Hall you can catch OLIVER!, a classic musical from 1963 with memorable tunes, including "As Long As He Needs Me." (But be warned: This is not an Equity production — the cast will be full of young performers you've never heard of). Meanwhile, you'll find LATE NITE CATECHISM at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater, right next door to the P&G Hall. It's a comedy hit here for three weeks. A year ago it made a one-week stop that quickly sold out: In Catholic Cincinnati, this one could run for months. Tickets for both: 513-241-7469.

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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