Playhouse in the Park Announces In-Person Performances and Streaming Shows for Spring 2021

Plans include socially distant performances in the Marx Theatre, as well as several outdoor events, a pair of streaming productions and two "pod plays."

click to enlarge The Skivvies - Photo: Jacqueline Patton Photography
Photo: Jacqueline Patton Photography
The Skivvies

Even though traditional onstage theater still seems a way off, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has announced a series of limited-time events featuring nationally recognized theater artists. Plans include socially distant performances in the Marx Theatre, as well as several outdoor events, a pair of streaming productions and two "pod plays."

Artistic Director Blake Robison is glad, for the first time, to be “re-entering the realm of live, in-person performances in more than a year,” works especially suited to “anyone who’s craving a theatrical experience," he says.

The Playhouse's Marx Theatre will be operating at 30% capacity and masks are required. Outdoor events will also adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Here's what's on the calendar.

In-Person

  • Higher and Higher: A Rock ‘n Soul Part with Chester Gregory (April 3-May 2, Marx Theatre with socially distant seating) — Gregory has a Broadway track record (Motown: The Musical, Hairspray, Dream Girls and The Jackie Wilson Story in which he played the iconic singer). His Cincinnati performances will include music by Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown and more. Tickets: $39 and $54.
  • The Skivvies: Live and Literally In-Person! (May 26-27, Marx Theatre with socially distant seating) — Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley are back in town with their zany act featuring “stripped-down” arrangements of eclectic covers and eccentric originals. Wearing nothing but fancy underwear, the pair has entertained local audiences in appearances at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, the Ludlow Garage and Hamilton’s Fitton Center. (They appeared together in the Playhouse’s 2019 production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Cearley was Seymour in the 2017 production of Little Shop of Horrors.) Tickets: $39 and $54.

Outside

  • Upstanders Onstage: Performances for Social Change (May 8, 16 and 23 at various outdoor venues) — Partnering with the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center and the Cincinnati Music Accelerator, the Playhouse will present socially distanced events from 6-8 p.m. May 8, 16 and 23 in the parking lots of the Cincinnati Museum Center, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Mayerson Jewish Community Center. Each evening will feature a different lineup of scenes, monologues, spoken word and music. Tickets are free, but reservations will be required to ensure proper social distancing.
click to enlarge A performance of Dragons Love Tacos - Photo: Provided by the Playhouse in the Park
Photo: Provided by the Playhouse in the Park
A performance of Dragons Love Tacos


Streaming

  • Dragons Love Tacos (streaming weekends from April 16-May 16) — Aimed at young audiences, ages 3 and up, it’s about a boy and his dog who watch a TV show about dragons and have to figure out what to feed them. This is available to stream for free.
  • The Catastrophist (streaming April 26-May 23) — Lauren Gunderson is one of America’s most-produced playwrights; her works have been staged by several Cincinnati theaters, including The Revolutionists at the Playhouse in 2016. She gravitates toward tales about real people: This one focuses on virologist Nathan Wolfe, named one of Time magazine’s 100 most-influential people in the world. It’s a timely piece in a post-COVID world. The virtual production is a co-production of Marin Theatre Company (led today by Jasson Minadakis, one of the founders of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company) and Round House Theatre Company (the theater Blake Robison led before coming to the Playhouse). Cost to stream: $25.

Pod Plays

  • The Edge of Town (premiering in June) — One of two new "pod plays," or audio plays, this musical tale by local Hip Hop musician Deuces centers on "Black empowerment in a suburban neighborhood and takes place in the city of Wyoming," says the Playhouse. Visit cincyplay.com to watch for free.
  • TBD (premiering in June) — The second pod play is by Carolyn Guido Clifford and feature a young woman who must unexpectedly relocate to Cincinnati and live with her aunt.  Visit cincyplay.com to watch for free.

For more info and tickets, visit cincyplay.com. Tickets for the The Skivvies: Live and Literally In-Person! and Upstanders Onstage: Performances for Social Change go on sale April 14.

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