Stage Door: Dial Up Some Murder, the Right Clothes or Some Dancing Shoes

"Love, Loss and What I Wore" at the Carnegie is among some excellent productions on local stages this weekend.

click to enlarge "Love, Loss and What I Wore" cast: front Sarah Zaffiro (left) and Tess Talbot; back (L-R) Nabachwa Ssensalo, Marypat Carletti and Mel Hartch Douglas. - Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
"Love, Loss and What I Wore" cast: front Sarah Zaffiro (left) and Tess Talbot; back (L-R) Nabachwa Ssensalo, Marypat Carletti and Mel Hartch Douglas.

There are some excellent productions on local stages this weekend — especially the Cincinnati Playhouse’s thoughtful, engaging staging of August Wilson’s Jitney (through Nov. 12) and the final performances of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man, featuring a breathtaking turn by Giles Davies as the tortured, sensitive and deformed title character.

But you needn’t limit your choices to shows by well-established companies. For instance, you’ll find a class thriller, Dial M for Murder, at Falcon Theatre. A title made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film starring Grace Kelly and Ray Milland, it’s the story of guy who wants to bump off his socialite life. Using her affair with a novelist, he thinks he has the perfect opportunity. But it proves to be not quite so perfect. Falcon performs in a storefront theater in Newport (636 Monmouth St.), so you’re close to the action. Through Nov. 13. Tickets: 513-479-6783.

Or consider a humorous and touching show featuring five women who play 28 interwoven characters, Love, Loss and What I Wore, onstage at the Carnegie Center in Covington. They share their memories of love and its loss framed through the clothes they wore — prom dresses, miniskirts, the perfect purse. This Off-Broadway hit was adapted for the stage by Nora Ephron, who wrote the screenplays for Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail if you need a tip as to the kind of stories being told. Sure, it’s the stage equivalent of a chick-flick, but you know it will an entertaining evening out. Through Nov. 20. Tickets: 859-957-1940.

If it’s musicals you yearn for, Cincinnati Music Theatre, one of our city’s best community theaters, is producing Billy Elliot the Musical at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. The show is about a young boy in County Durham, a rough-and-tumble Northern England town, who dreams of ballet instead of boxing, a sport advocated by his father and brother. His passion for dance ultimately unites his family and the community during a debilitating coal miners’ strike in the mid 1980s. With music by Elton John, the show features a lot of dancing — especially by young performers. It’s a challenge for any theater to producer, but CMT usually rises to the occasion. Through Nov. 12. Tickets: 513-621-2787.

And if you simply want to spend two hours laughing out loud, you can’t go wrong with a production of The Foreigner. You’ll find the story of a shy guy who gets stuck in some amusing pickles onstage at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts on Cincinnati’s West Side. Charlie is so shy his friend tells people at a hunting lodge that he’s a foreigner who speaks no English. He overhears a lot of things not meant for his ears, and then has to decide with to do with his inside information. It’s a surefire comedy. Through Nov. 13. Tickets: 513-241-6550.

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

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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