Sunday, February 15, 2004

News & notes

Jonesian 'Superstar'

The theater students at Northern Kentucky University are a fevered fan club for Ken Jones, professor and playwright in residence, director of rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar (opening Thursday) and recipient of this year's Frank Sinton Milburn Award as NKU's outstanding professor.

His colleague, Mary Jo Beresford, calls him, "A stimulating mixture of vision and clarity."

Jane Green, head of NKU's dance division, says working with him for the past 18 years is like having a free pass to King's Island ... "Every theater student at NKU secretly wishes for any role in one of his productions. It's like one of those rides ... that turns you upside down, throws you through a tunnel with a smile on your face and makes you want to wait in line to ride it again."

His students couldn't agree more.

"Whenever the time comes to do another 'Ken Jones' show, we never really know what to expect," says performer Christopher Wylie. "He thinks so far out of the box it no longer exists!"

Stage manager Erica McKeown raves Jones' vision for Superstar "is an amazing fusion of lights, music, dance and special effects" as it tells the story of Christ's last days.

"We are pulling out the stops," says Jones. "We have a rock band which we've gathered from some of Cincinnati's best players."

Superstar opens Thursday and performs Tuesday-Sunday through Feb. 29 in Corbett Theater in NKU's Fine Arts Center. Tickets $10, $8 seniors, $6 students. For information and reservations, call the box office at (859) 572-5464.

Actress remembered

Joan Corey was a mainstay of Cincinnati community theater for decades, performing at Thalian Players, Footlighters, Beechmont Players, Cincinnati Music Theatre and Mariemont Players.

She gave memorable performances in a wide range of roles and knew everyone in Cincinnati community theater. She was diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago and died in Oregon on Dec. 23.

Friends will celebrate her life at Mariemont Players' Walton Creek Theater at 7 p.m. Everyone's invited. For more information, call Pat Grooms at 232-5116.

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