Sunday, January 12, 2003

CCM's 'Moveable Feast' returning

The College-Conservatory of Music revives its hit "Moveable Feast" benefit on Jan. 31 with mini-performances (20 minutes) and mini-noshing all over the University of Cincinnati complex.

New this year is a Big Band Prelude at 7:30 p.m. in Corbett Auditorium for jazz lovers. From there you can create your own performance and dinner by-the-bite menus from 8 to 10 p.m.

Jazz, opera, drama, musical theater, chamber music, dance, orchestral music and the preparatory department all will be on view. No word on programming.

The evening will wrap back in Corbett Auditorium at 10 p.m. with the Philharmonia Orchestra.

The pricing structure remains age friendly: twentysomethings pay $20, thirtysomethings pay $30, fortysomethings pay $40. Everybody else pays $50. For more information and reservations call CCM External Relations at 556-2100.

The event raises funds for financial assistance, scholarships and career development for students.

Playhouse rave: In the category of You're Never a Prophet in Your Own Home Town, stage designer David Gallo, hot-hot-hot these days thanks to Broadway's Dance of the Vampyres and upcoming Gem of the Ocean and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom has an interview in this month's American Theatre magazine. He calls Playhouse in the Park "the greatest regional theater in the country."

`James and Annie': Ensemble Theatre's D. Lynn Meyers spends this week in New York working on a reading of Warren Leight's James and Annie at Actors Studio. While there are no promises that the cast will stay the same for the new drama, which will premiere at ETC in March, Todd Almond (ETC's Hedwig of Angry Inch fame) is among the readers in the WWII-era interracial drama.

Two premieres: Human Race in Dayton is beginning to unroll its 2003-04 season, announcing two area premieres in its three-show Loft2 season.

The Dazzle by Richard Greenberg (Three Days of Rain) is based on the lives of the reclusive pack-rat Collyer brothers (Sept. 11-28).

Convenience, a musical by Gregg Coffin about a family with two big secrets, grows out of the theater's Musical Theatre Workshop Series Jan. 15-Feb. 1, 2004).

The great fun of Peter Shaffer's delectable classic Black Comedy is in its playful reversal: When the lights are on on stage, the characters are in the dark; when the lights are out, the characters can "see" but the audience is in the dark.

For reservations and information call the box office at (937) 228-3630 or (888) 228-3630. Or just check out the new season when you see Death of a Salesman, opening Jan. 30.

Cutting back: Rising Phoenix in Middletown will cancel its planned cabaret-style production of Songs for a New World. (Couldn't cast it, says exec director Christine Brunner.)

The theater will also be doing some budget crunching next season, cutting back from six productions to four for 2003-04. Titles will be announced later.

In the meantime, Rising Phoenix opens Moon Over Buffalo on Jan. 30. Gina Cerimele-Mechley and Adam McLean star and Elizabeth Harris directs.

For reservations and information call (513) 705-4131. The Jan. 29 preview will be a canned goods/non-perishables admission.

Cincinnati roots: Proud aunt Sue Kelly Lumb wants Proof audiences at Playhouse in the Park to know that, while Christopher Kelly's program bio may proclaim him as a California native, he has deep Cincinnati roots.

"His father is Mount Lookout native John Keene Kelly, who is himself a sixth generation Cincinnatian" although he moved west after graduating from Purcell High School and Xavier University.

Proof begins previews today at Playhouse and continues through Feb. 14 in the Marx Theatre. For reservations and information call the box office at 421-3888.

Poetry reading: Performance poet, actor and singer Ray McNiece is the Kurlas poet-in-residence in Hamilton this winter, and he'll perform 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Fitton Center (105 S. Monument Ave.)

He's been a featured poet at the Asheville Poetry Festival, Florida Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Young Authors Conference and First Coast Writers Conference. He may sound familiar to NPR listeners - he is the voice of Woody Guthrie on the July 4 celebration.

Tuesday's event is hosted by the Riverbank Poetry Project. For more information call the Fitton at 863-8873 or visit

`Pretty Fire': There's still time to join Women's Theatre Initiative at Pretty Fire at Know Tribe on Thursday for an evening benefiting Women Helping Women.

The evening begins with dessert and coffee at 7 p.m. followed by an 8 p.m. performance of Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical celebration of family performed by Burgess Byrd. A meet-the-artist reception follows the show. It's a full evening for $10. Call 604-8545 for reservations and information.

(You can use the ticket stub for $2 off at Cincinnati Shakespeare's The Gimmick, another one-woman show about the black experience. Talk about stretching your entertainment dollar.)

`Dead' auditions: More interactive comedy in Newport: Monmouth Theatre holds auditions for local playwright and NKU theater professor Ken Jones' Dead to the Last Drop from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 24 and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25.

Those with l-o-n-g memories will recall the show, about murder and mayhem at the CafÈ Caffeine, played a few years ago in the theater space in lower Carew Tower.

The show opens March 1 and will play Saturdays, when there's not a booking, which will make its schedule something of a mystery.

Monmouth producer Isaac Turner drops the clue that if the show plays well, he'd like to see a sequel, picking up the story a year later when the suspects are enjoying the cafÈ's notoriety. More murder will ensue.

For audition appointments and further information, call Mr. Turner at (859) 655-9140.


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