Over-the-Rhine

Gabriel's Corner

May
08
Status: 
0

Location

1425 Sycamore Street
45202 Cincinnati , OH
Phone Number: 
513.241.1796
Number of Stages: 
1
Fringe Status: 
3
Neighborhood: 
Type of Establishment: 
Business Type: 
1
Notes-History: 

Former home to the Know Theatre.

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Milton’s Prospect Hill Tavern

Mar
02
Status: 
0

Location

301 Milton Street
45202 Cincinnati , OH
Phone Number: 
513.784.9938
Neighborhood: 
Type of Establishment: 
Other Establishment Types: 
Hours: 

4 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Daily

Parking: 
Street
Business Type: 
0
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Music Hall

Feb
27
Status: 
0

Location

1243 Elm Street
45202 Cincinnati , OH
Phone Number: 
513.744.3344
Number of Stages: 
2
MidPoint Status: 
2
Fringe Status: 
2
Neighborhood: 
Features: 
Other Establishment Types: 
Type of Establishment: 
Hours: 

Varies by Event

Parking: 
Street, Surface Lots, Garage
Business Type: 
1
Date Opended: 
1878
Notes-History: 

Home to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, May Festival, and the Cincinnati Opera

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Grammer's

Feb
27

Location

1440 Walnut Street
45202 Cincinnati , OH
Status: 
1
Phone Number: 
513.421.8300
Music Genre: 
Indie
Number of Stages: 
1
MidPoint Status: 
1
Fringe Status: 
2
Type of Establishment: 
Other Establishment Types: 
Neighborhood: 
Hours: 

Tuesday - Thursday 4pm-2:00am Friday & Saturday 4pm-2:30am

Parking: 
On Site Surface Lot, Street
Cuisine: 
German
Outdoor Seating: 
1
Business Type: 
2
Date Opended: 
1872
Notes-History: 

Owned by the Relish Group, Martin Wade. The venue was reopened in 2008 after being closed for over 10 years. It had a fire in September of 2008 and was closed for several months. It reopened and catered to "hipsters" and final closed in early 2011. It reopened as a restaurant in the late spring of 2011, but closed in the summer. it reopened in late September.

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Jerry Springer: The Opera

Jul
06

Jerry Springer: The Opera is not fit for polite company. Fortunately for us, New Stage Collective knows their audience. When Alan Patrick Kenny began dress rehearsals, I imagine they started something like this:

“Are we ready to go? Tap dancing Klansmen? Check. Guy in mullet? Check. Self-pitying God? Check. Bizarre and questionable wig sequence? Check. Alright, let’s get started!”

With everything in place, the meat of the show emerges. Breathtaking vocals performed by a menagerie of some of Cincinnati’s finest talent fill the intimate New Stage Collective theatre, peppered with expletives and slurs. It’s quite an experience to hear the “F” bomb sung with such operatic reverence, and the cast nailed almost every moment.

Nick Rose is spot on as controversial talk show host (and former hometown mayor!) Jerry Springer. Rose has clearly studied his subject, as his embodiment of the character is complete. From the eerily accurate voice to the body language, his portrayal never seems like an imitation – he simply becomes Jerry Springer.

In Act II, Michael Shawn Starks is charming and arrogant as Satan. You’d want to wipe the smirk off his face if he didn’t wear it so well. Starks pulls some very impressive vocal runs with a certain expletive, building to a showdown with a half-naked Jesus.

Throughout the show, Beth Kirkpatrick’s powerful, flawless vocals soar, and you understand why she has found success in New York. Kera Halbersleben manages to make a bizarre sexual fetish endearing as Baby Jane, really owning her moments in the spotlight.

The only thing that really gives me pause is the closing number, when the entire company comes out in sandy brown wigs. My guess is that these are supposed to be Springer-like, but it comes off as more tacky than slick and fun. It simply doesn’t jive with the rest of the show.

Much praise to Michael P. Hamilton for outstanding musical direction. The music is the heart and soul of this show, and Hamilton has offered up a beautifully crafted presentation.

The strength in NSC’s production is that it doesn’t try to pretend it’s something that it’s not. Moments which border on poignant quickly pull back just in the nick of time, keeping the mood oddly upbeat. Just as one must suspend disbelief when watching Jerry Springer on television, so must one when watching him on stage.

Jerry Springer: The Opera is running now through August third. Final thought? Have your Jerry Springer Moment.

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Here’s the “Catch”…

May
29

It’s very exciting to sit in an audience, knowing that the show you are about to see is being performed for the first time ever as it was intended. “Catch” is the labor of love of one Seth Moore, a University of Michigan student who not only wrote the piece, but co-directed it alongside Transit Five Productions Associate Artistic Director Julia Albain. It’s an effort that mostly pays off, with only minor missteps along the way.

“Catch” is a work brimming with cultural reference and relevance, highlighting the perceived angst of Generation Y with appropriate rage and insecurity. Moore is a writer chock full of ideas and perspective on various issues, as well as a desire to share them. However, it seems at times that all of those ideas have been shoved into this one piece, making it feel clunky at points. The show times out at just under an hour and a half, short by traditional theatrical standards, but it feels longer than that. Around the hour mark, you begin to feel that it’s time to wrap things up. Perhaps additional material was added in order to stretch a short production (or to give the delightful Ali Kresch more stage time), but the show would be well served if the fat were trimmed a bit.

Despite the lack of brevity in the writing, the six person cast does an admirable job of keeping the energy level high and the pace steady. Kate Garfield is a standout as a sociopathic teenager with seemingly nothing to lose except for her sanity. Everyone in the cast has a moment of personal brilliance, but they work well together as an ensemble, too. Some of the characters are a tad confusing – Tom Wolfson and Scott Sitman are dressed similarly enough (though not identically) that you think they might be the same character – sometimes – but then you aren’t sure. Devin Lytle’s character is a tad undefined, as well, although whatever she is, she moves elegantly from perpetually despaired to strong and present. The men are fearless and consistently “in the moment.”

This is a young cast, made up of University of Michigan college students, and occasionally that youth shines through as a slight over eagerness. This WAS, however, opening night of a world premiere, so it’s very hard to fault them for it. They all seem comfortable in the space, the intimate New Stage Collective theatre. It’s hard to set up shop in an unfamiliar space without the set becoming cumbersome at some point, but this is the nature of Fringe, and the actors dodge the increasing number or props and set pieces on stage as well as can be expected.

A word of warning to anyone with sensitive ears – the sound during some video portions of the production is hard to bear. I do believe, however, that this is intentional. This is a show about stepping out of one’s comfort zone and looking at stark reality. The deafening sound so quickly followed by total silence plays to this effect.

“Catch” really sums itself up in one line from the script: “Even when you try to prove a point, you’re still Generation Y.”

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