Stage Door: Island Theater – Mythic Creatures and Pop Divas

In 'Heavier Than...' at Know Theatre, Asterius the Minotaur is turning 30, and he's got a serious case of the birthday blues. Meanwhile, 'Mamma Mia!' offers an evening of fun at the Aronoff.

click to enlarge "Heaver Than..." is at Know Theatre through April 1.
"Heaver Than..." is at Know Theatre through April 1.
It’s a weekend of eclectic theater on Cincinnati stages.

Steve Yockey’s off-kilter plays have become regular offerings at Know Theatre: Pluto (2014) and The Fisherman’s Wife (2016). They’re at it again with Heavier Than..., a painfully funny and moving story rooted in ancient mythology. Asterius the Minotaur, the monster in the Labyrinth on the island of Crete, is turning 30, and he's suffering from a serious case of birthday blues. Yockey turns his plight into a story about the families we yearn for versus the families we’re stuck with. The darkly humorous tragicomic mash-up has been staged by Queen City Flash director Bridget Leak, who says, “I love how this script blends contemporary language with timeless ideas from mythology.” Her diverse cast includes a dancer and several actors from Cincinnati Shakespeare. Sounds like another wild ride at Know. Through April 1. Tickets: 513-300-5669.

If you’re simply looking for an evening of fun, Broadway in Cincinnati has a quick tour stop of a production of Mamma Mia! at the Aronoff Center tonight through Sunday. It’s the feel-good compendium of tunes by the ’70s/’80s Pop group ABBA, strung together — loosely and humorously — with a funny story about a wedding on a Greek island and a bride’s desire to identify her biological dad. Tickets: 513-621-2787.

The CCM Department of Acting at the University of Cincinnati annually presents a festival of six student-created works. Transmigration gives students the freedom to produce an entirely new show from start to finish. Teams of six students write, design and produce the 25-minute pieces. Productions are performed simultaneously in spaces throughout CCM’s Corbett Center. This year’s titles are: The Happiest People on EarthThe Land of Milk and HoneyThe Harper Merman ProjectLifeboatGod and Sheila and Cliffhanger. This mini Fringe Festival began on Wednesday evening; they wrap up tonight at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are required: 513-556-4183.

The Covedale Center on Cincinnati’s West Side has just opened an amusing comedy, Leading Ladies, in which two down-on-their-luck Shakespearean actors scheme to snag an inheritance by posing as nieces of a recently deceased wealthy woman. Of course, crazy confusion and silly shenanigans ensue. The script is by Ken Ludwig, one of the funniest playwrights around in 2017. Through April 2. Tickets: 513-241-6550.

It’s also the final weekend for two dramas: Ensemble Theatre’s When We Were Young and Unafraid (513-421-3555) and Cincinnati Shakespeare’s staging of Richard III (513-381-2273).

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

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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