Tony Awards give reason to party

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

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James Czar


Tara Michelle Guilfoil's Time Outside My Body was the best attended show during the 2004 Fringe Festival.



Sunday evening is the night that most of us who love live theater make time to watch TV to see the annual broadcast of the TONY AWARDS from New York City. I love to see scenes from nominated musicals, plus the occasional cutting from a dramatic play. And the actors and other award recipients always seem more sincere than the folks on other awards shows — perhaps it's because the New York theater scene is really a community where people truly know and admire one another. At any rate, we in Cincinnati have an extra reason to celebrate this year, with the extraordinary recognition of the CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK with the Regional Theatre Tony Award. This recognition has honored fewer than 30 theaters across America, so it's a real achievement. Of course, the Playhouse leaders will probably be onscreen for about five seconds, but we can still take pride in the honor. And if you're up for it, don't forget there's a party here in town where you can join in the fun: ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI offers its third annual Tony Awards Live Broadcast Party at Paul Brown Stadium with dinner and the broadcast on big screen TVs, starting at 6 p.m. If you don't mind missing dinner (the price tag for the fund-raiser is $150 per person), you can still join the fun at 7:30 p.m. (for $25) and celebrate with local actors and directors — including many Playhouse staff who couldn't make it to New York City for the ceremony. Tickets: 513-421-3555.

...

I've tried to keep the arts section of CityBeat cicada-free (God knows other news media are telling you more than you ever wanted to know about our 17-year visitors). But here's one I couldn't let slide: CICADA: THE MUSICAL happens on Friday and Saturday evenings at the College Hill Town Hall (1806 Larch St., off Hamilton). Billed as an evening of "Sex, Bugs and Rock and Roll," it's an artistic response to the insects. "This is not a traditional musical," says producer Betty Anderson. "It's got a bunch of music and spoken word, but it also presents video, movement and conceptual pieces, maybe stuff to eat." (Cicada treats, we imagine ...) In fact, it could be a seriously intriguing work: Former Cincinnati conceptual artist KIM HUMPHRIES (he was chief preparatory at the CAC and now works in St. Louis) returns to town as a contributor; his work, Gillombardo's Hams, was a landmark Cincinnati performance art piece in the summer of 2000. Sounds like it could have been a winning entry in the recent Fringe Festival. (See more on Humphries in Arts Beat on page 7.) Tickets are $10 at the door. Web site: www.cicadathemusical.com ...

Speaking of the 2003 CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL organizers feel it was a rousing success: Total attendance almost hit 2,000 (to be precise: 1,972); audience pick Time Outside My Body was seen by the most people (251). The three "Pick of the Fringe" shows on May 23 earned $1,136 and helped the Fringe meet its $14,800 financial goal. (The gross was approximately $23,000, with roughly $8,000 paid out to performers.) Thanks to an anonymous gift of $7,000, plans are underway for a May 2005 festival. Info:

James Czar


Tara Michelle Guilfoil's Time Outside My Body was the best attended show during the 2004 Fringe Festival.



Sunday evening is the night that most of us who love live theater make time to watch TV to see the annual broadcast of the TONY AWARDS from New York City. I love to see scenes from nominated musicals, plus the occasional cutting from a dramatic play. And the actors and other award recipients always seem more sincere than the folks on other awards shows — perhaps it's because the New York theater scene is really a community where people truly know and admire one another. At any rate, we in Cincinnati have an extra reason to celebrate this year, with the extraordinary recognition of the CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK with the Regional Theatre Tony Award. This recognition has honored fewer than 30 theaters across America, so it's a real achievement. Of course, the Playhouse leaders will probably be onscreen for about five seconds, but we can still take pride in the honor. And if you're up for it, don't forget there's a party here in town where you can join in the fun: ENSEMBLE THEATRE OF CINCINNATI offers its third annual Tony Awards Live Broadcast Party at Paul Brown Stadium with dinner and the broadcast on big screen TVs, starting at 6 p.m. If you don't mind missing dinner (the price tag for the fund-raiser is $150 per person), you can still join the fun at 7:30 p.m. (for $25) and celebrate with local actors and directors — including many Playhouse staff who couldn't make it to New York City for the ceremony. Tickets: 513-421-3555.

...

I've tried to keep the arts section of CityBeat cicada-free (God knows other news media are telling you more than you ever wanted to know about our 17-year visitors). But here's one I couldn't let slide: CICADA: THE MUSICAL happens on Friday and Saturday evenings at the College Hill Town Hall (1806 Larch St., off Hamilton). Billed as an evening of "Sex, Bugs and Rock and Roll," it's an artistic response to the insects. "This is not a traditional musical," says producer Betty Anderson. "It's got a bunch of music and spoken word, but it also presents video, movement and conceptual pieces, maybe stuff to eat." (Cicada treats, we imagine ...) In fact, it could be a seriously intriguing work: Former Cincinnati conceptual artist KIM HUMPHRIES (he was chief preparatory at the CAC and now works in St. Louis) returns to town as a contributor; his work, Gillombardo's Hams, was a landmark Cincinnati performance art piece in the summer of 2000. Sounds like it could have been a winning entry in the recent Fringe Festival. (See more on Humphries in Arts Beat on page 7.) Tickets are $10 at the door. Web site: www.cicadathemusical.com ...

Speaking of the 2003 CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL organizers feel it was a rousing success: Total attendance almost hit 2,000 (to be precise: 1,972); audience pick Time Outside My Body was seen by the most people (251). The three "Pick of the Fringe" shows on May 23 earned $1,136 and helped the Fringe meet its $14,800 financial goal. (The gross was approximately $23,000, with roughly $8,000 paid out to performers.) Thanks to an anonymous gift of $7,000, plans are underway for a May 2005 festival. Info: www.cincyfringe.com.

Mini Reviews
At the CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE, Sing Hallelujah! will certainly cause the theater's CG&E bill to be above average well into June, given the electricity onstage. This Gospel music show, first created at the Playhouse in 1986, begins about eight notches above the energy most shows attain after two hours. Its director, former Playhouse artistic director Worth Gardner, is a master showman who knows how to build emotion, and he evokes performances from five talented singers that could teach lessons to most directors about grabbing an audience by the lapels and obtaining their emotional investment. Of course Sing Hallelujah! is a carefully choreographed work of theater, but it's also a heartfelt religious experience with no false moments. (RICK PENDER) Grade: A

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