That's Soooo Cincinnati

Great Theater in a Great Park

Jun 9, 2004 at 2:06 pm

Tucked away in one of the more beautiful corners of the area lies a collection of Queen City treasures. First, there's that view — arguably there's none better than at Eden Park. From the unique perspective of downtown (i.e. not from the river they always show during ball games) to the panoramic view looking east along the Ohio River, Eden Park — if it held nothing else — would be a great Cincinnati destination.

And yet it holds so much more. The historic Cincinnati Art Museum has been an Eden Park resident since 1881. With its new Cincinnati Wing and now free general admission, the museum keeps improving on a good thing.

There's also the beautiful Krohn Conservatory. A horticultural paradise, the conservatory showcases more than 1,000 species of plants from all around the world and an annual butterfly display.

Especially now, though, the crown jewel of Eden Park is the Playhouse in the Park. Recognized earlier this week as the best regional theater in the country during the nationally televised Tony Awards program, the Playhouse has been giving people a reason to come to the park for 45 years now. From its combination of unique and picturesque setting and top-notch production value to its diverse, challenging and entertaining programming, the Playhouse is hands-down the standout arts organization in town right now.

It's hotter than a 1,000-watt spotlight bulb. Yet Playhouse officials are happy to share the honor with the entire region's art community.

"A very, very big thank you to the great city of Cincinnati, Ohio," the Playhouse's Ed Stern told the Tony audience in his acceptance remarks, "where the arts — all the arts, performing and visual — are flourishing. You are the best. Thank you."

One could argue that this special award could have been given in any one of the past 10 years. The Playhouse has been that consistent and that outstanding.

A local institution gets its overdue recognition for being one of the best in the country ... that's soooo Cincinnati.

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