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 Earth, The Land of Milk and Honey, The Harper Merman Project, Lifeboat, God 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.