Sunday, February 22, 2004

Arts notes



Jackie Demaline

Time to start bragging

You may recall me railing and wailing last year when Cincinnati didn't make American Style Magazine's list of top 25 arts destinations. Well, balloting has started for this year and Cincinnati hasn't even made the list of 63 cities nominated. It's time for a write-in vote. Next time you're logged on, go to www.americanstyle.com, click on the green box (with the airplane) in the upper right hand corner of the page. When the ballot comes up, write-in "Cincinnati" under "other."

Or send a scolding note to the editors. Deadline: March 15.

'Voices of Broadway Live'

D. Michael Heath, Elder High and College-Conservatory of Music grad and a Broadway Jean Valjean (Les Miz) comes home with his touring quartet to perform with Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. next Sunday at Seton High School Performance Hall, 3901 Glenway Ave, West Price Hill.

For Voices of Broadway Live, Heath will be joined by CCM grad Leslie Kritzer, who is on a two-week hiatus from her drop-dead physical comedy turn as Little Becky Two Shoes in Urinetown (and who was a student of Heath's at CCM back in 1996); Mary Illes, a Dayton native who has played Marian the Librarian in the Broadway revival of The Music Man and also starred as Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel; and Steven Skeels (who met Heath when they were performing in the Las Vegas production of Starlight Express.)

The program will include selections from Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar and Sunset Boulevard. Tickets: $20 (251-3324).

What to do Monday

Toughest choice of the Week: Where to be at 7 p.m. Monday? Charlie Bethel will bring his acclaimed solo performance of Beowulf to Playhouse in the Park's alteractive series. The bloody and brash morality poem come to life promises to be a Cincinnati theater season highlight (421-3888). A fringe festival hit since 2002, it has one performance only.

But, if you hooted and hollered at Luther Goins' Love Child when it had a workshop production at Ensemble Theatre in 2001, a reading of his new satire, Black, White & Gray looks mighty appealing, too.

Goins, a former director at School for Creative and Performing Arts, is based in Chicago these days and will bring along eight actors (augmented by five more from Cincinnati.) to look at what happens when a black teenager is chased and stopped by white police, and both the kid and a rookie cop end up dead. (Call 421-3555)

Why straw is not hay

The straw vs. hay debate rages. Playwright Michael Healey, whose The Drawer Boy is currently on stage at Playhouse in the Park (421-3888), wrote a joke in the show (and commented on the subject in an Enquirer interview) about not being able to tell the difference.

Well, a lot of you know the difference. Here's Dan Britt's explanation: "Straw is the shaft after harvesting wheat. Hay is the whole plant - usually a mix of grass and clover. Straw is used for bedding, hay is used for feed.

"Straw makes cleaner, lighter bales. I know. I have put up a few in my youth."

Britt also wants us to know that the African American Theatre Company of Butler County will be present A Raisin in the Sun at Oxford Community Arts Center on March 4-6. Check www.oxfordartscenter.org for more information and directions.

E-mail jdemaline@enquirer.com.




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