New Voice features Broadway Belters

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

Short column this week, but here's a tip for a performance you won't want to miss: One of the city's newest groups, NEW VOICE THEATRE COMPANY, has a star-studded one-night program set for April 19 at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley. BROADWAY BELTERS: THE LADIES SINGING THEIR SONGS will be a two-act concert featuring several New York talents: JESSICA HENDY (a Cincinnati native currently in Aida), TA'REA CAMPBELL (who wowed a local audience when New Voice presented The Gospel According to Fishman last summer and presently in Little Shop of Horrors), KRISTY CATES (a CCM grad who's in Wicked), plus local leading ladies, PAMELA DAY and KATHY LUTZ. The group has been assembled by New Voice's adviser, RICHARD OBERACKER, another Cincinnatian who will play piano for the evening. He's taking a night off from Las Vegas where he's conducting a new production for Cirque du Soleil. Concert proceeds will benefit the new theater group, aiming for a fall season at the Aronoff's Fifth Third Bank Theater, in addition to AIDS Volunteers of Cincinnati (AVOC). Tickets ($20) can be purchased at the door on April 19.

Mini Reviews
ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI recently offered a reading of a tantalizing mind-bender, 30 Ghosts, a scary tale that's being written by New York playwright Robert Lewis Vaughan. The Monday evening Theatre of the Mind series showcases scripts ETC is considering for fully staged world premieres, so I went to see this with real interest. Vaughan is a deft writer (his gloomy Praying for Rain, about teen suicide, premiered at ETC in 2002), and he has mingled a story of old ghosts, murders, a baseball player, a tragic fire and lost loves. The plot felt a bit jumbled at this early stage, and the overlay of creepiness ought to come through with a fuller staging, but with some more work this show could send shivers down the backs of theatergoers. (RICK PENDER) Grade: B

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