Don’t Miss Little Shop of Horrors presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Little Shop of Horrors presented by Playhouse in the Park

Weird and Good! That’s how my husband and I would describe Little Shop of Horrors presented by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. That description may be a little too over simplified. When the plot involves a talking plant that thirst for human blood…that’s definitely a little weird, but the good came in SO many forms during the play.

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A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park

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I’ve really enjoyed watching A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati over the past few years. It’s become a holiday tradition with a familiar story that still offers a little something different each year. My favorite elements are observing the cast make familiar characters their own and watching the set transform. It’s really incredible to watch actors rise up from below the floor. If you have watched the play over the years, you will recognize returning cast members along with new ones who add their own personality to their character.  Bruce Croomer once again delivers as a convincing Scrooge. He really becomes Scrooge after playing the role for so many years. The classic story remains the same which is a reminder to keep the main thing, the main thing.

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The Playhouse’s version of A Christmas Carol, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, combines faithful storytelling with spellbinding stage magic to bring to life Charles Dickens’ familiar story of a sinner given one last chance at redemption by four persuasive ghosts. Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a miraculous Christmas Eve transformation as he views with new eyes his past, present and the possibilities of the future. Adapted by Howard Dallin, A Christmas Carol‘s heartwarming message, hundreds of costumes and thrilling special effects help to make the show one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each year.

A Christmas Carol

The cast of the 25th anniversary production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL features a mix of new and familiar actors. Bruce Cromer, the longest-tenured of the four actors who have filled Ebenezer Scrooge’s miserly shoes, returns to the role for the 11th time this season. (Cromer previously portrayed long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit for eight years.) Also returning are Avery Clark as Young and Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future, Craig Wesley Divino as Fred, Joy Farmer-Clary as Belle/Catherine Margaret, Annie Fitzpatrick as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience, Ryan Wesley Gilreath as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip, Kelly Mengelkoch as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Douglas Rees as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present, Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Rich Man at Fezziwig’s and Stephen Skiles as Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig’s.

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New to A CHRISTMAS CAROL this season is Cincinnati native Kathleen Wise, who is making her Playhouse debut as Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Peake.
Members of the Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company — Law Dunford, Kyle Powell, Serena Ryen, Robert Carlton Stimmel, Erin Ward, Renika Williams and Lilian Wouters — will play carolers, party guests and others.

Nine Tristate children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL; this season, six new actors join the three veteran junior cast members. Returning are Nathan E. Goodlett as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Livvy Stubenrauch as Fan/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Ethan Verderber as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s. New to the production this year are Ella Gallagan as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Ari Elizabeth Johnson as Want/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Aidan McCracken as Ignorance/Matthew/Rich Son at Fezziwig’s, Ashley Taylor as Martha Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Austin Vaughan as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig’s/Bootblack and Henry Charles Weghorst as Tiny Tim.

A Christmas Carol NOV. 25DEC. 30, 2015

A Christmas Carol is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL start at $40. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Tickets for children, teenagers and students are $30 and $45. Tickets for the public preview, which will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, begin at $35. The official opening night is at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27.
The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. For ticket information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

 

 

Playhouse in the Park is located at 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

All photos by MIKKI SCHAFFNER provided courtesy of Playhouse in the Park.

Disclosure: I received tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH

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Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash was a musical that I was looking forward to for a few reasons.

 

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1. My husband was a huge Johnny Cash fan and this play was perfect for his first time attending a play at Playhouse in the Park.

2. The play was the celebrating the music of Johnny Cash which meant that I would be familiar with the popular songs.

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Created by Richard Maltby Jr. and conceived by William Meade, RING OF FIRE was adapted from the Broadway production by Richard Maltby Jr. and Jason Edwards. Edwards, who starred in RINGOF FIRE on Broadway, will both direct and appear in the Playhouse production, which tells Cash’s story through his songs.

 

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More than a musical biography, RING OF FIRE looks at Cash’s life thematically. From his early years picking cotton in hardscrabble fields to superstardom, the show chronicles both the lows and the highs of the man who traversed musical genres from country and rock to folk and gospel.

 

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I was relieved that the play didn’t create one person to represent Johnny Cash.

 

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He was such a distinct musical icon that it would have been hard for anyone to even try to be compared to him.

 

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The play did a great job of sharing some of Johnny’s history and also telling his story through his songs with various voices of the cast. I really enjoyed hearing the songs through other voices and perspectives. It really added an interesting dimension to the show.

 

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The talent level of the cast was so impressive!

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The musicians were a joy to watch and one of them reminded me of a way younger version of my 95 year old grandfather “Pops.”

 

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RING OF FIRE encompasses more than 30 of Cash’s classic songs, including the title tune, “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Man in Black,” “A Boy Named Sue” and “I Walk the Line,” the ballad that Rolling Stone magazine this year declared number one on its list of 25 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. Even so, it’s but an iconic sampling of the more than 400 songs that Cash, a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, has to his credit. Cash was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Hall of Fame. He placed 48 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart and more than 130 hits on the Billboard country singles chart, more than anyone in history.

 

I would highly recommend this play to anyone who is a fan of Johnny Cash or who just enjoys musicals.

 

RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH JAN. 17-FEB. 15, 2015

 

 

Ticket prices start at $30.

 

Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices.

 

Teen and student tickets are $30 each.

*The show is appropriate for adults and teenage audiences.

New for the 2014-15 season is Sunday College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances priced at just $10 with a valid student ID.

Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances.

Performances 

7:30 p.m.Tuesdays and Wednesdays,

8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. 

8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. 

7 p.m. Sundays.

*There is no 7 p.m. performance on Sunday, Feb. 1, and no 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, Feb. 15.

Free post-show Meet the Artists programs that allow audiences to interact with cast members and others associated with the production will be offered at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 28; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8; and 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12.

 

 

Tickets to RING OF FIRE are on sale now.

For more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

 

*All photo credit goes to Sandy Underwood

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

 

A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park

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A Christmas Carol at Playhouse in the Park has been a Cincinnati holiday tradition for 24 years! If you’ve seen a performance, you know why audiences have been coming back to share their experience together with  generations of family members.

 

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The Playhouse’s version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted by Howard Dallin, brings Dickens’ narrative to vivid life with spectacular effects that illuminate Ebenezer Scrooge’s time-traveling journey with the spirits one magical Christmas Eve. From his kind-hearted sister Fan and first love Belle to his generous employer Fezziwig and humble clerk Bob Cratchit, Scrooge is repeatedly shown the saving grace of love and concern for humanity. The heartwarming message of A CHRISTMAS CAROL helps to make it one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each season and a perfect way to introduce children to the joys of theatre.

 

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Bruce Cromer portrays Ebenezer Scrooge for the 10th time, adding to his tenure as the longest-running reformed humbug in Playhouse history. (Cromer previously portrayed long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit for eight seasons.)

 

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This story always reminds me that each of us have something to offer and that each one of us can make a difference in someone else’s life. That’s why it’s a great story to be retold and share with those that you love. This year I brought my younger son to see the play for the 1st time. He really enjoyed it and I kind of loved that he was still young enough to sit a little closer when a scene got a little scarier.  We also got to hang out a grab a treat during intermission and spend quality time together. This is wonderful classic to share with someone this season.

 

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A Christmas Carol Performances Nov. 26 through Dec. 28.

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All show times for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are at 2 p.m. for matinees and 7 p.m. for evening performances to accommodate families with children. Please note the earlier curtain time. There will be no performances on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and  selected weekdays in early December. There is an added performance on Monday, Dec. 22.

 

****A CHRISTMAS CAROL is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.

 

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL start at $35.

*Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices.

Tickets for children, teenagers and students are $30 and $45.

 

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. For ticket information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at

800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now.

For ticket information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208)

 

You can find out more about Playhouse in the Park from their website. 

* Photo credit from the production goes to Sandy Underwood

Disclosure: I was given tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

World Premiere of “Safe House” at Playhouse in the Park

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I attended the opening night of the World Premiere of the play “Safe House” at Playhouse in the Park.

 

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I was interested in this play because of its roots to the area.

 

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Safe House, Keith Josef Adkins’ moving and surprising drama exploring a little-known chapter in our region’s history, is the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s 71st world premiere production. Adkins is a Cincinnati native who grew up in Woodlawn and attended both Princeton High School and Wright State University. Inspired by his Kentucky ancestors, free people of color, Safe House is set in Northern Kentucky in 1843 — nearly two decades before the start of the Civil War. It’s not a story about slavery, but rather an exploration of the fascinating journey of a free family of color and the searing tensions that arise when two brothers have conflicting dreams about securing their futures.

 

The storyline of a family who was free, and the tension of the cast as they tried to navigate relationships, was really interesting to watch unfold.

 

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The story built slowly in the first half and the 2nd half left you fully engrossed because of what transpired.

 

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I don’t want to give away any key parts to the plot but I thought the play was very thought provoking.

 

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After the play, my friend and I attended the cast party at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

 

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It was such a reminder of how far we have come and how much work there remains to be done.

 

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

 

Safe House runs through November 15th

For tickets, call 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com.

 

Advisory: Safe House is appropriate for adults and older teenage audiences. There are references to the evils of slavery, mild adult language and other mature content.

 

* All photo credit goes to Sandy Underwood

 

 

 

Disclosure: I was given tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club

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Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club 

 

I’ve always enjoyed Sherlock Holmes movies and books. They keep me guessing the whole entire time as the evidence leads to different twists and turns. Sherlock Holmes always has something witty to say that adds humor to what can be a dire situation.

 

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I  was not familiar with the plot prior to the show which I liked.  I enjoyed trying to figure out whodunnit along with Holmes.

 

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Here is a little more about the play.

 

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The world’s most famous fictional sleuth adds a novel chapter to his repertoire with playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s electrifying new whodunit Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club, which opens the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s 55th season in the Robert S. Marx Theatre. The play is an inventive mash-up of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic characters and the Robert Louis Stevenson short story “The Suicide Club,” providing a clever, intricately woven new mystery for Holmes to deduce.

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 Sherlock Holmes has never shied away from danger, but his latest adventure may be his most treacherous ever. The members of London’s Suicide Club play a harrowing game of Russian roulette to determine their role as victim or executioner. When the brilliant sleuth finds himself entangled in their secretive web, his own life hangs in the balance … and it’s not clear whether he wants to be saved.

This play has humor mixed with suspense which made it really fun to watch.  Make sure that you don’t miss it!

Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club 

runs Sept. 6 through Oct. 4 in the Robert S. Marx Theatre

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**Ticket prices for SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUICIDE CLUB  start at $30.

 

***New for the 2014-15 season is Sunday College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances (not including A Christmas Carol) priced at just $10 with a valid student ID. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and
Fridays, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.

Free post-show Meet the Artistsprograms that allow audiences to interact with cast
members and others associated with the production will be offered at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17; 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28; and 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2.

 

Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Teen and student tickets are $30 each.

 

Tickets to SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUICIDE CLUB are on sale now. For more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

 

AdvisorySherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club is appropriate for adults and young people ages 12 and up. It’s a thrilling whodunit, so there’s talk of murder and mayhem, but no graphic violence or language.



Photo credit – SANDY UNDERWOOD

 

Disclosure: I was given tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Pride and Prejudice at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

I have a confession. I have never read the book or watched the whole entire movie “Pride and Prejudice.” I knew there was someone named Darcy and that I fully didn’t understand the story when I would catch clips of the movie on tv.

I knew there were some daughters central to the theme of the story and some love interests but that was the extent of my knowledge

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The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park helped me finally understand the story.

 

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It started with my  program which gave a helpful guide to educate how the relationships of the characters intertwined.

 

Ok, maybe the program made it a little more confusing but I came to the play with an open mind.

 

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Pride and Prejudice
, adapted for the stage by Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan, comes to life in the Playhouse’s lavish, full-scale production on the Robert S. Marx Theatre stage.Pride and Prejudice includes all of the fun, secondary characters that support the love story of headstrong, independent Elizabeth Bennet and arrogant but noble Mr. Darcy, creating a fully realized portrait of Jane Austen’s timeless tale. Pride and Prejudice is suitable for general audiences. Because of the full-length nature of the play, it is recommended for ages 10 and up.

 

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While the full-scale production is lavish, the story itself is simple: Girl meets boy. Girl loathes boy. Girl and boy fall in love. But for the headstrong and independent Elizabeth Bennet and the arrogant but noble Mr. Darcy, the journey to happily ever after is far from effortless. As they navigate the rocky road of manners and matrimony, audiences, too, will fall in love with the wit, warmth and wisdom of Austen’s timeless tale.

 

 

I wish I had known this description earlier. I think that would have made the movie click more when I saw clips of it on tv.

 

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My friend helped me understand a few pieces of the puzzle by supplying information about the culture during that time. Like why the wife kept on calling her husband Mr. Bennett when she talked to him.

 

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There are a few other details you should notice when you attend the play. There are  39 paintings on the back wall and 12 of those paintings were reproduced from originals in the collections of two local museums. The Cincinnati Art Museum and The Taft Museum of Art.

 

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I’m happy to report that I enjoyed the play. I think Jane Austin fans will really enjoy it too.

  

Tickets for PRIDE AND PREJUDICE range from $30 to $80, depending on seat location.

Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices.

Teen and student tickets are $25 each.

Previews are at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 8; 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 9; 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 11; and 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 12.

The official opening night is Thursday, March 13, at 8 p.m.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays,

8 p.m.Thursdays and Fridays, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Saturdays, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.

 

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In honor of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE’S British lineage, Playhouse audiences are invited to indulge in a classic afternoon tea by BonBonerie, which will be served before each 4 p.m. Saturday matinee. The cost is $20 per person, and space is limited; to make a reservation, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888.

Free post-show Meet the Artists programs that allow audiences to interact with cast members and others associated with the production will be offered at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 16; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30; and 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3.

 

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Tickets to PRIDE AND PREJUDICE are on sale now. For more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

Playhouse in the Park is located at 962 Mt Adams Cir, Cincinnati, OH 45202.

 

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Christmas Carol ~ Playhouse in the Park

Growing up in the Cincinnati area, I was vaguely familiar with Playhouse in the Park but this year was the first year that I actually experienced it. Since moving back to the area, I have enjoyed taking in all of the incredible theaters that our area has to offer. “A Christmas Carol” at Playhouse in the Park was something that I was aware of but had never experienced.

After watching the show, I now realize why this is an annual tradition for so many families. This is the 23rd production of “A Christmas Carol’ at Playhouse in the Park which has given multiple generations the opportunity to share their love of this performance.

It was INCREDIBLE!!!!

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{Ebenezer Scrooge (Bruce Cromer), invisible to the images from his past, celebrates with the guests at the Fezziwigs’ Christmas party}

 

Prior to the show, the lobby was set up to create some fun photo memories with Christmas Carol cutouts.

 

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The actors were fantastic and the versatile stage was also really intriguing to watch. I thought it would just be a nice village scene in the background but the village set actually moved around and the floor also dropped at times to bring forth new props and characters. That element added so much to the production.

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment at Playhouse in the Park ~ May 18 – June 16

I recently went to a play at Playhouse in the Park for the first time. I’ve always heard great things about plays there. It was really great to get the opportunity to experience my first play there with my boys. The play Shipwrecked! An Entertainment is geared toward audiences ages 8 and up.

 

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I took a gamble and brought two 7 year olds and a 10 year old. The gamble paid off because all of them enjoyed it.

Here is more about the play from Playhouse in the Park.

Hear the fantastic and amazing story of Louis de Rougemont, a would-be explorer who embarks from Victorian England on a daring expedition only to find himself marooned on a remote desert island. That’s when the real adventure begins for Louis and his faithful dog Bruno: Typhoon! Killer octopus! Flying wombats! Cannibals! As Louis’ breathless tale grows larger and larger, the boundary between truth and fiction blurs. Inspired by a true story, this charming, family-friendly frolic by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright celebrates the magic of theatre and imagination.

 

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The play featured three actors, Justin Adams, Jeffrey Blair Cornell and Mandi Masden, who each did an incredible job portraying multiple characters. They also used multiple props for sounds and scenery that allowed you to use your imagination.

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The play really captured the art of storytelling and invited the audience to join the adventure.

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Some of our favorite scenes to watch were with the native tribe and the dog.

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On the way home, the boys each shared what their favorite parts of the play were. The surprise ending was also really remarkable. As we pulled in the driveway, my older son said, “Your best pictures are from your imagination.”

I love that the arts give us an excuse to dream a little more intentionally.

Shipwrecked!An Entertainment invites you to start dreaming.

 

 

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment will be at Playhouse in the Park from May 18- June 16.

Tickets 

Prices range from $30 to $76; they vary depending on the seat location, performance day and are subject to change. tickets for children and students are $25. In addition to calling the box office at (513)345-2242, tickets lso be purchased by visiting the Playhouse website.

Playhouse in the Park is located at 962 Mt Adams Circle,  Cincinnati, OH 45202
*All photos were taken by Sandy Underwood provided by Playhouse in the Park

Disclosure: I was given complimentary tickets for review purposes. All opinions are my own.