The arrival of September marks the start of the theater season in Cincinnati, as local companies prepare to begin their 2022-23 productions. The lineup promises everything from plays and comedies to hit Broadway musicals and the world’s first adaptation of a 1960s horror film. The Playhouse in the Park is exploring new ways – and locations – to produce its exhibits while construction continues on its main factory in Eden Park. And Cincinnati’s community theater groups and universities are climbing the ranks of musicals that deserve further attention.
After two years of pandemic-related cancellations, limited editions and a lot of casting, it’s time for a new live theater – and there’s plenty to choose from.
Note: Check with each theater for the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
Season 25 of Know The Theater is known as “What we owe to each other” and shows productions about “the meaning of life, how our lives are connected and the problem of real life,” said the theater. The first motor ball was found with Sun Exit (out August 28), a comedy about healers, drugs and witches. The theater quickly changed with another show, It’s not a journey it’s a journey (Sept. 23-Oct. 9), a road trip story about relationships among Black women. Experience ends his fall season with Monster Boy (Nov. 18-Dec.
11), an indie-rock song and self-described “comic-inspired queer fable” about a scale-covered teenager looking for love. knowtheatre.com.
BROADWAY IN CINCINNATI
Broadway in Cincinnati’s four-week fall season at the Aronoff Center for the Arts: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s award-winning mega-hit Hamilton (Sept. 6-Oct. 2) in circuit operation. After this fall, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (Oct. 25-Nov. 6) explodes the Aronoff with an epic story about a powerhouse performer who breaks barriers and overcomes adversity on her way to becoming the Queen of rock and roll. cincinnati.broadway.com.
CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company produces a classic tragedy, King Lear (Sept. 9-Oct. 1), using a concept inspired by the HBO series Implementation about families torn apart by bigotry and imagination. Before it opens, you can catch one of the last free Shakespeare in the Park performances of Twelfth nightwith one at Eden Park on August 30. For another disaster, check out the theater’s world premiere. Living Death (October 14-29), adapted by Cincinnati comedian Isaiah Reaves from the 1968 horror film, just in time for Halloween. He is the company’s first commission on a new production project that develops shows that will be fully produced on its main site. After that, it was common with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Woman (Nov. 11 Dec. 3), adapted by Kate Hamill. The speech of a great playwright Pride and criticism It was recently published by the site team. cincyshakes.com.
ENSEMBLE THEATER CINCINNATI
Ensemble Theater Cincinnati has just one production this fall – a serious and powerful play that reflects Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers’ focus on works that grapple with contemporary social issues. Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner The sweat (Sept. 17-Oct. 9) takes people to the forgotten heart of America, a community square where old friends gather and share problems in the economy. Many people have worked for decades in the same factory, but the layoffs now compete with each other with a separation, difficult to cover race and class. Nottage did extensive research with people in Reading, Pennsylvania, to increase his understanding of the effects of the economic downturn. A MacArthur “genius” awardee, a The sweat shows his ability to combine love, humor and suspense. ensemblecincinnati.org.
CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK
Three off-site performances by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park took place outside Eden Park as the theater completed construction on its new main stage, which is slated to open in March. The first will be a common mystery Murder on the Orient Express (Sept. 25-Oct. 23) in the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s master detective, decides to find a killer in the crowd of tourists on a freight train stuck in a blizzard. Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of this golden horror story comes to life on stage. The Playhouse’s new production, a one-woman show, Frida … is a personal portrait (Oct. 15-Nov. 6), will be held at The Carnegie in Covington. It is a one-act play about the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, told with a charming performance by writer and actress Vanessa Severo. The third “off-the-hill” Playhouse production The Lion (Nov. 12-Dec. 4) at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater Stage in Price Hill. In it, the singer-songwriter tells the story of his family using emotional monologues and original songs. It’s about the healing power of music, coming straight from the London stage to a unique group in Cincinnati. cincyplay.com.
CINCINNATI LANDMARK PRODUCTIONS
The Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre, operated by Cincinnati Landmark Productions, is currently staging the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical classic. Carousel (through Sept. 11). At CLP’s other venue, the Covedale Center for Performing Arts, two shows are in the works. My Way: A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra (Sept. 15-Oct. 9) features 55 songs from the Great American Songbook. Then followed by a beautiful song, Sisters Act (Oct. 20-Nov. 13), based on the 1992 film about a ghostly group of nuns who hide a haunted house in need of visual protection. cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.
The universities of Cincinnati often present special exhibits that are worth seeing – or re-seeing. Xavier University, for example, has three jobs: David Lindsay-Abaire Spanish Hole (Sept. 16-18), about a couple getting married after an accident; Something Rotten (October 14-22), a very funny musical about Shakespeare and some 16th-century comedies; and Thornton Wilder’s 1938, Our Town (Nov. 18-20). xavier.edu. In Highland Heights, the theater program at Northern Kentucky University will perform the musical Violet (Sept. 23-Oct. 2) is about a spoiled girl who seeks to be saved and made beautiful. Later it will be revealed Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Oct. 27-Nov. 6), a play based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel about a famous scientist who searches for his alter ego. nku.edu. At the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, the season begins with a tribute featuring the works of renowned Broadway musical theater composer Stephen Flaherty, a CCM alum, on Sept. Lysistrata and Euripides’ The Trojan Women (Sept. 29-Oct. 2); playing the guitar He loves me (October 6-9); Shakespeare’s musical drama Something Rotten (October 20-30); and August Strindberg’s classic essay on the importance of life, A Dream Game (Nov. 3-6). ccm.uc.edu.
Community theaters also offer tried-and-true shows. See The Footlighters’ Newport production of Stephen Schwartz’s musical Pippin (Sept. 22-Oct. 9). footlighters.org. Or try Cincinnati Music Theatre’s presentation of Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town (Nov. 4-12) at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. Set in 1930s New York City, it follows two Ohio sisters and their adventures. cincinnatimusictheatre.org.
Stay connected with CityBeat. Subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TwitterGoogle News, Apple News and Reddit.
Send CityBeat a news or story or post a calendar event.