Kinky Boots presented by the Aronoff Center for the Arts

Kinky Boots on Broadway is playing right now at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in downtown Cincinnati!

Kinky Boots 3A friend and I enjoyed a performance of Kinky Boots Wednesday evening. I was excited to go, because I’d heard so many positive reviews, but honestly I didn’t know much about the show.

Boy was I in for a treat!

The energy of the performers is amazing. The show is jam packed full of fantastic musical numbers from The Most Beautiful Thing in the World, when Charlie’s dad explains to him the importance of shoes, to Everybody Say Yeah, when the whole crowd celebrates the first sexy, successful pair of Kinky Boots to leave the assembly line.

J. Harrison Ghee, as Lola, is absolutely fabulous.  I don’t even know where to begin…with his beautiful singing voice, his phenomenal sassy attitude or his gorgeous long legs?? He perfectly captures Lola as a successful drag queen looking for not only the perfect pair of sexy heels, but for acceptance.

Adam Kaplan, who plays Charlie Price, is excellent as the young man trying to grow into his own person, but pulled back to his father’s business. He is then forced to run it, as firing everyone backfires!

The entire cast of characters is so unique and fun. They are an incredibly talented group who depend on the Price and Son shoe factory for their livelihood.

Here’s a little more about the show:

With songs by Grammy and Tony-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, Kinky Boots Angeland the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.

Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Sons. With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

With direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), Kinky Bootsis the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.

If you’d like to catch a performance of Kinky Boots, and I highly recommend it, there is still time. The show is in town until January 17th. Tickets start at $29 and may be purchased at the Aronoff Center Box Office at 650 Walnut Street in downtown Cincinnati. You may also buy them online at CincinnatiArts.org or by phone at 513.621.ARTS.

kinky boots wallShowtimes are as follows:

Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30pm

Friday – 8:00pm

Saturday – 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Sunday – 1:00pm and 6:30pm

This is really such a great show. I loved the music, performances and story. I hope you make time to see it!

 

Disclaimer: I was given complimentary tickets to a performance, in exchange for media support. All opinions are my own and I truly loved the show! 

 

PLEASE NOTE:

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas presented by The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati: Review

Charlie-Brown-Banner--225x300Last Friday night, my family and I got to see A Charlie Brown Christmas at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.  We were so excited.  Of course, we all love the television production of the show and wondered how the characters would be brought to life on stage.

The show opens with a giant television on stage and the characters popping out of the screen.  This was a great way to show kids which characters each actor represented.  Because, of course, in real life they look a little different! My kids were super impressed with Charlie Brown and his crew jumping out of the TV and wondered how in the world they did that.  It was pretty cool.

Charlie Brown, true to his character, was searching for the meaning of Christmas.  Linus, just like his TV counterpart, was there to explain it.  The story was very close to the television version, with extra fun pizzazz at the end with Santa and his reindeer.  I especially loved seeing Charlie Brown’s poor little tree dressed up in the end.

The characters and costumes were so bright and vibrant.  It was so much fun to watch. The Frisch Marionette Company did an excellent job, as I loved watching Woodstock fly around Snoopy, driving him a little batty! One of my favorites was how Pig Pen was portrayed…dirt and all!  You’ll have to see it to find out what I mean!

Here’s a little more about the show:

Bring your family and celebrate Christmas with The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s live rendition of everyone’s favorite holiday special. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS!  Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays get you down – Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang are here to remind us all about what’s most important during this Yuletide season.  By Charles M. Schulz.  Based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson.  Stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer.  By special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson. Puppets by The Frisch Marionette Company. Directed by Roderick Justice.  Choreographed by Jay Goodlett.

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the animated television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the TV program made its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is showing at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, through December 13th. Tickets prices are $7-$25 and show times are as follows:

  • Friday December 4th 7:30 PM
  • Saturday December, 5th at 2 PM
  • Sunday, December 6th at 2 PM
  • Saturday, December 12th at 2 PM and 5 PM
  • Sunday December 13th at 2 PM

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati Taft Theatre is located at 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown Cincinnati. Please call 1-800-745-3000 or go to www.ticketmaster.com to reserve tickets.

We hope you get to kick off your holiday season with this awesome show!

Disclaimer:  I was provided tickets to this show in exchange for a giveaway and review.  All opinions are my own.  We loved the show!

 

Disney’s The Little Mermaid presented by TCT: Review

Ariel swimmingFriday night my family visited The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati to see a performance of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

We loved it.  The kids were mesmerized the entire time.  From the moment Ariel’s sisters took the stage practicing their singing to the very end with Prince Eric and Ariel finally declared their love, they hung on every word. I thought that after seeing The Little Mermaid on screen so many times, they’d be tired of it.  But, the wonderful performance, brilliant colors and engaging songs drew them in and kept them there.

The underwater life in Disney’s The Little Mermaid set was fantastic. To create such a fun world for Ariel, puppets were created by The Frisch Marionette Company.  They captured the bright colors beneath the water’s surface and the fluid movements of ocean waves.  We loved watching the many creatures swim by as Sebastian sang Under the Sea…giant jelly fish, schools of fish, singing flamingos, a blow fish, a seahorse, clams and more.  It was so much fun to see them bring Ariel’s world to life.

Every part of Disney’s The Little Mermaid set made you feel like you were under the water.  I was very impressed when Prince Eric fell overboard and ‘floated’ to the surface.  Of course, he did this with the help of harnesses, but his movements were so fluid that he really seemed to float.  I noticed the kids eye glaze over as they watched Ariel come to save him and swim away pulling him to land. They were impressed too.

My favorite scene was when Ursula was first revealed.  The curtains opened to her dark, creepy under water lair.  Her tentacles waved like evil Ariel Ursulabranches swaying in the water.  It was fantastic. It took my kids a while to realize just how her tentacles moved…that’s how good it was! Ursula’s tentacles were also provided by The Frisch Marionette Company.

Our family really enjoyed this show.  And, there is still time for you to see it!  Show times are as follows:

  • Saturday, October 24 at 2 PM and 5 PM
  • Sunday, October 25 at 2 PM

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati Taft Theatre is located at 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown Cincinnati. Please call 1-800-745-3000 or go to www.ticketmaster.com to reserve tickets.

Disclaimer:  All opinions are my own.  We LOVED this show.  The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati provided my family with complementary tickets for this review and giveaway.

 

Visit the Goebel Goats

Goebel GoatsLast week we were driving on I-75 North and my son yelled…

HEY!!!  I see goats!!!

Likely story.

He did this a couple times.

I thought he was crazy.

Mostly because he is obsessed with goats.

He had my cousin mail him a giant goat horn from South Carolina.  He did his year end project on goats.

The boy loves goats!

So, you can see why I thoGoebel Tower 1ught maybe he was seeing things.

Then, I read on facebook, that there ARE goats off I-75, in Goebel Park!  So, he wasn’t crazy after all.

The Goebel Goats are in mobile cages (fencing that can be moved) in Goebel Park to help eat away vegetation.  You can read more about them here. Goebel Park is located in Covinton on Philadelphia Street.

Once I realized there really were goats in Goebel Park, I decided we had to visit them!  So, we did.  And, we discovered a few other things as well.

There is a clock tower that plays the story of the Pied Piper every hour.  It’s a little creepy, but kind of cool.  There are figures on the clock tower than slowly spin on a wheel and go through the entire story, from the mice, to the Piper, to the children and finally the weeping women!  Interesting…

If you are in Covington, you should check it out.  It’s free and pretty cool.  Stop on the hour at the clock and listen to the music and the fairy tale.  Head down the hill behind the clock and check out the goats.

Enjoy!

Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade

Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade

Every year I want Rosie Redto take the kids to the Opening Day parade, but every year they have school that day.

This year, by some crazy luck, they were off of school!

So, we went to the parade.  It was an awesome experience.

We caught the Southbank Shuttle in MainStrasse, which is an experience in itself.  We love the Southbank Shuttle.  It costs $1 to ride and you can go from Newport or Covington to Cincinnati, stopping at places like Fountain Square, the Taft Theatre, the Freedom Center and more.  It’s a great deal and much less stressful than driving around the crowded city during peak hours. Watch where you park to catch the shuttle, as some lots have time limits, and you can end up with a parking ticOpening Day Merket.

I speak from experience.

Once on the shuttle, we got off right on Fountain Square and stayed there for the parade.  In hindsight, I should have brought a blanket and more cash, but we sat right on the curb and found an ATM behind us.  Food was much more reasonable than I thought, with hot dogs priced at $2.

The parade started at noon and we arrived on the square at 11:00.  Although we had quite a wait, once the parade started the crowd was about 10 people deep, so it was nice to be in the front row. The parade started to come by us at about 12:25.

It was awesome to be in thBande front row because my kids were able to high five a unicycle rider, someone dressed as a goat, and a few politicians.  They loved it.  We also saw a marriage proposal in the middle of the street and had a close up of Rosie Red.

Meredith saw the first of many marching bands and got excited.  I thought she just loved the music, but then she asked me if Ferris was going to be there soon.

Wrong parade.Daryl Gordon

Side note: Marcus asked “What’s Pure Romance?” because they also had a float…let me know how you would answer that one.

The parade is super long, but so much fun.  And, it’s a very friendly parade crowd.  Everyone was excited to cheer on their Reds and start the season.

After the parade, we went inside the Westin Hotel and ate Dunkin’ Donuts.  Then we walked a couple blocks and caught the shuttle to the car.

The kids were all smiles and had such an awesome experience.  They loved seeing their city come together in a sea of red shirts and team spirit.  It was pretty cool.

2015 Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend

I love the Arts.  One of mlogo-artswavey favorite things to do is share this love with my kids and family.  I love taking them to a show and have them not just enjoy the plot, but ask questions about the actors, makeup and the props.  I love that they are curious about what goes on behind the magic.  It is so much fun to take them to a library program and watch them create a masterpiece or write a story.

This is a HUGE weekend of Arts in Cincinnati!  The 2015 Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend presented by ArtsWave happens THIS weekend and offers more than 100 arts related activities…and is FREE through sponsorhip of Macy’s.

Pretty fantastic, right?!

Here’s more about this weekend.

CINCINNATI (December 15, 2014) — The 2015 Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend presented by ArtsWave, will be held over one weekend from March 7-8, 2015, and will offer more than 100 events, activities and performances throughout Greater Cincinnati. All events are free and open to the public through the sponsorship of Macy’s.

“Macy’s Arts Sampler gives everyone a chance to discover the wide variety of arts across our region,” said Alicia Kintner, President and CEO of ArtsWave. “It’s a great way to spend a weekend with family and friends and try something new.”

Macy’s Arts Sampler shines a spotlight on arts organizations large and small that are supported by the annual ArtsWave Community Campaign, when people all across our region come together to support the creative things that make Greater Cincinnati an amazing place to live. This year’s Campaign goal will be announced in February 2015.

Highlights of the weekend include:

Saturday, March 7: An Arts Celebration in Community Arts Centers

Two dozen community arts centers, libraries and museums will celebrate Macy’s Arts Sampler with free programming on Saturday, March 7. A few highlights include:

Camp Art Academy, Art Academy of Cincinnati, 1212 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Parents and kids alike can experience a variety of media forms while sampling the Art Academy of Cincinnati’s activities.

Tracy Walker Band, Campbell County Public Library, 901 East Sixth Street, Newport, 1:15 p.m. Music lovers of all ages are invited to enjoy original songs written by award-winning singer/songwriter Tracy Walker.

Madcap Puppets, UC Clermont College, 4200 Clermont College, Batavia, 11 a.m. Madcap Puppets perform “Twain’s Twisted Tales,” in which Mark Twain’s most beloved characters escape from their books.

Visionaries + Voices, 3841 Spring Grove Avenue, Cincinnati, noon-4 p.m. Families are invited to participate in hands-on art making activities developed by a Visionary + Voices teaching artist.

Sunday, March 8: Music Hall Open House

All of the performing arts spaces in Music Hall will be filled with free performances and hands-on activities on Sunday, March 8 culminating with a free concert, “Storybook Favorites,” featuring the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, and May Festival at 3 p.m. in Springer Auditorium. A few highlights from the day include:

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Corbett Tower, Music Hall, 11 a.m. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company performs excerpts from Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet and other Shakespeare classics.

MYCincinnati Youth Orchestra, Springer Auditorium, Music Hall, noon. Young musicians from this Price Hill orchestra will perform classical favorites.

Cincinnati Ballet, Ballroom, Music Hall, 12:30 p.m. Dancers from the Cincinnati Ballet will teach dance moves seen during the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concert.

My Nose Turns Red Youth Circus, Springer Auditorium, Music Hall, 1:30 p.m. Performance by student jugglers, acrobats, and clowns, plus an opportunity for families to try some circus fun with hoops, juggling and balance balls.

A full schedule of weekend activities will be released at www.theartswave.org in January 2015, and will be available for download through the free Macy’s Arts Sampler app.

 

Disclaimer:  I am compensated for helping promote ArtsWave, but rest assured, all opinions are 100% genuine.  I love the Arts and think this is a fantastic chance to share that love with your family and friends!

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company: Waiting for Godot

Godot11-200x300Last Friday night my husband and I had a date night!  Cut short by a sick child, but a date night none the less!  We had tickets to the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company opening night performance of Waiting for Godot.  It was our first experience at this theater and we were thrilled to go.

If you are not familiar with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, opening night is big deal. There are free appetizers and drinks before the performance.  The lobby is packed with excited theater goers awaiting the first show.  I was a little intimidated at first because my last show was a musical with my five year old, but all of the patrons were super friendly and actually greeted us with smiles and ‘Welcome to opening night!”

The theater is small and intimate.  I don’t believe there is a bad seat in the house.  The stage was very plain, as the play dictates, and just set with a little fog on an abandoned road  and a lonely bare tree.  If you aren’t familiar with Waiting for Godot, here’s a little more from Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company kicks off 2015 with this vaudevillian production of the classic “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett. This production is directed by Cincinnati Shakespeare’s Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips and features Cincinnati Shakespeare’s Resident Ensemble members Bruce Cromer, Jim Hopkins, Nicholas Rose and Brent Vimtrup, joined by young actor Jack Johnson.  The design is generously sponsored by Graydon Head.

“Waiting for Godot” is an absurdist play by Samuel Beckett, in which two loveably hapless vagrants, Gogo and Didi, grapple with the mysteries of the universe, trading barbs and banter as they await the arrival of the eternally truant Godot.  Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects of the play, has led to many different interpretations and pop culture references since the play’s 1953 premiere and it was voted “the most significant English language play of the 20th century”. 

The actors in the play took on the roles of Gogo and Didi with passion and power.  If you are a fan of Samuel Beckett, thGodot slideris is a play not to be missed.  Waiting for Godot plays thru February 7th on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm with an additional Saturday matinee on Feb. 7.  Preview performances are on Wednesday Jan. 14 and Thursday Jan. 15 at 7:30pm and tickets are $21.  The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati.  Ticket prices range from $22-$32 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$36 on Fridays and Saturdays.  Check out more about Cincinnati Shakespeare Company at www.cincyshakes.com.

More About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages.  Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season.  The repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations and contemporary classics.

Next up at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is Little Women playing February 20th thru March 21st.

Disclaimer:  I was provided tickets to this production in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Cinderella at the Aronoff Center

Cinderella ShoeThis week I had the opportunity to take my little princess to see Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati.  She was beyond ecstatic.

She has been to many theater productions, but this one was her favorite.  I love that she always has questions about the show.  Questions about the theatrical aspect, not just the plot…are those microphones they are wearing?  Are those puppets?  How did that throne move by itself?  Are there wheels under it?

But, the one question I could not answer…

How did the Fairy Godmother change her rags into that white dress???  Right before our eyes.

I do not know.

This production of Cinderella is a little different. It is entertaining for both adults and kids.  There is humor, dragon slaying, singing and dancing, as well as a sub plot of forbidden romance.  Ella, called Cinderella by her stepmother, lives in the forest with her horrid stepmother and stepsisters.  She does all of the cooking, cleaning and other dirty work of the typical Cinderella. Prince Topher, soon to be King, is trying to figure out how to be king and how to properly rule the land.  Of course, there is a Ball, a lost slipper and a huge search for the owner of the shoe.  But, there are lots of funny twists on the traditional story  that you will surely love. You may even grow to love, or tolerate, the stepsisters.

From the creators of Oklahoma! and The King and I,  Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical TourCinderella0052rwith a contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the most loved moments —the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Audiences are invited to rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes.

Back to that dress…

As I mentioned, when the Fairy Godmother wove a spell that turned Ella’s dirty brown rags into a gorgeous white fluffy dream dress, I had no idea how she did it.  There was no smoke or hidden panels.  Ella spun around a few times and BAM, she was wearing that beautiful dress and tiara.  And her hair was in a sweet up do.  It was phenomenal.

TourCinderella0138rThen, just when I thought I was watching close enough, the Fairy Godmother did it again right before Ella goes to the royal banquet, in a lovely gold gown.  Again…no idea how that happened.  But, it was awesome.

If you’d like to see Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, you can find more information on the show and order tickets HERE.   The show plays thru January 18th at the Cincinnati Aronoff Center.

Disclaimer: I was provided tickets to the event.  All opinions are my own.

The Snow Queen at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati REVIEW

Good Life Snow Queen SliderFriday night I took my younger two kids, ages 5 and 7, to see The Snow Queen at The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.  They were expecting a performance like Frozen, even though I explained that this was something different.  I was a little worried they’d be disappointed.

They were not.

From the minute the dancing towns people came out on stage to the very end when the last character took a bow, their eyes were glued to the stage.

The Snow Queen is the story of Prince Kai and Princess Gerda, who are in love but Kai is too shy to ask the princess to be his bride.  Enter the Snow Queen. Kai asks her to grant his wish to have no emotion so he can ask the Princess to marry him.  She does not want to do this but is bound by the winter solstice to grant any wish that is requested.  What ensues is an adventure to rescue Kai from the Snow Queen’s curse.  Along the way we meet such funny characters as Kai’s valet, Winnifred the lady’s maid, and my favorite…a dancing reindeer.  Extra points if you can understand and pronounce his name!

The kids loved the show and always have lots of questions about the props, costumes, and actors.  This is a great performance to enjoy this holiday season with the entire family.  It is fast paced and fun.  There is no intermission and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is a great place for kids to have their first theater experience.

Remaining public performances of the show are:

  • Saturday  December 13, 2:00pm and 5:00pm

Performances are at the Taft Theatre, located at 5th and Sycamore Streets in Downtown Cincinnati. Tickets range in price from $7-$25 and may be purchased on line at www.thechildrenstheatre.com

 

Disclosure:  I was given free tickets in exchange for a review and giveaway.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Sleeping Beauty at The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati

Sleeping BeautyMy family kicked off the holiday season with our traditional trip to The Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati (ETC). This year we saw a fantastic performance of Sleeping Beauty.  As usual, the kids were mesmerized, and so was I.

If you aren’t familiar with ETC, their performances are a little different than that of a traditional fairy tale.

Sleeping Beauty was the character of Briar Rose, of course.  But, there is a little bit of rock n’ roll, some romance, and a lot of comedy!  The characters are larger than life and so much fun to watch.  My favorite was Deb Girdler as the evil fairy Wisteria, who curses Briar Rose to fall asleep for 100 years when she is pricked by a rose.  Deb plays a phenomenal villain and I love hearing her character cackle with delight at her own jokes and evil genius.  She is an ETC veteran and played in my other favorite role as the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland.

ETC’s Sleeping Beauty is a fast paced musical.  The king and queen are fun to watch as they struggle with parenthood and eventually their roles as thorns on the huge briar surrounding the castle…as they ‘poke’ fun at each other.  Yes, it had to be said.  The first prince, who unwittingly provides Briar Rose with the rose that sends her into a century-long sleep, is a rogue prince traveling the country with his guitar and a song.

Tickets for Sleeping Beauty range from $28 to $44 for adults and $18 for children. ETC also has half-price rush tickets available for all performances,  two hours prior to show time.

Sleeping Beauty runs December 3, 2014-January 4, 2015. 7:00 p.m. performances Fri.; 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. performances Sat. and select weeknights; 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. No performances on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. A complete calendar is available at www.ensemblecincinnati.org.  

Disclosure: Tickets for our preview attendance were provided by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Views expressed in this post are our own.