I'm reviewing another show for next week's issue of CityBeat, but on a few nights ago I saw the final rehearsal of New Edgecliff Theatre's staging of Peter Shaffer's Equus. This is one you'll want to catch, and since this is the opening weekend, now's the time to do so — once this is reviewed by others and the buzz gets going, it will be hard to get tickets for the tiny Columbia Performance Center (3900 Eastern Ave., Columbia-Tusculum).—-
The play dates back to 1973, but it feels as immediate and real as one that's just been written. It's a gut-wrenching tale of a psychologist who's going through something of an existential crisis himself when he's asked to take on the strange case of a boy who has blinded a stable full of horses. As he tries to delve into the troubled teenager's psyche, his own angst percolates and churns. The play calls for two powerful actors, and this production has them, with veteran Michael Shooner as the counselor and Carey Davenport as his young patient. The cast is an excellent ensemble with several more topnotch performers.
Equus is the final production directed locally by Alan Patrick Kenny, the young founder and artistic director of the now defunct New Stage Collective. He's left town for several months and plans to apply to graduate programs in theater, so it's likely to be awhile before we see his talents shaping a show on a Cincinnati stage. This one is definitely worth making the effort to see. You can get tickets by dialing 888-588-0137 or going to the theater's Web site here.
(Read Rick Pender's previewof the play here.)