Stage Door: Classical Stage Magic — Shakespeare or Mozart?

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company kicks off its free Shakespeare in the Park, and Cincinnati Opera's production of 'The Magic Flute' opens at the Aronoff.

click to enlarge "The Magic Flute" - Photo: Dan Norman, Minnesota Opera
Photo: Dan Norman, Minnesota Opera
"The Magic Flute"
This week marks the first performances of Free Shakespeare in the Park from Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, its 11th year offering these reduced productions at locations across the Tristate. The kickoff will be performances this weekend of a new staging of The Merry Wives of Windsor, a rollicking comedy with the humorous Falstaff as the protagonist. You can catch it at Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion at 7 p.m. tonight, or at Over-the-Rhine’s Washington Park on Sunday evening at the same time. No charge for admission; bring chairs or blankets for your comfort and arrive a few minutes early for a musical prologue by the actors. These are family-friendly productions, and kids should have a ball watching the slapstick comedy of Falstaff’s failed efforts to solve his financial woes by chasing two happily married women. They get his number quickly and turn the tables on him. Lots of laughs in less than two hours. Info: www.cincyshakes.com.

Cincinnati Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute opens Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Aronoff Center. The charming love story about a perilous quest — replete with mythical creatures, a venomous queen and heroic trials — has been reimagined in a staging that uses early cinema style, fanciful projections and nimble stagecraft. The blend of silent film, live action and animation has been described as “surreally enchanting” and “bewitching.” This staging has been imported from Berlin, and it’s earned fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Tickets: 513-241-2742.

Two continuing productions of note: Blithe Spirit, a funny comedy about the ghost of a man’s first wife making trouble with his second marriage, continues at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, while Commonwealth Theatre Company’s fast food musical comedy, Burgertown, is onstage as a dinner theater production at Northern Kentucky University. Both are onstage though July 23.


Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.

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