BWW Preview: 2017 - 2018 Season Preview at Cincinnati Playhouse In The Park Offers Strong Shows

Fast forward to the next theater season in Cincinnati, Ohio and you will find plenty to enjoy. For example, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park presents a rousing 2017 - 2018 roster, which includes a recent Broadway hit, a Tony-award winning musical, two world premieres, drama and comedy in the Marx Theater and Shelterhouse.

Opening the season in the Robert S. Marx Theater is SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard. Lee Hall adapted the show for the stage. The play runs from September 2 - 30, 2017 with a story about a young Will Shakespeare with writer's block. He finds his muse, Viola, who inspires his masterpiece, ROMEO AND JULIET.

THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN NIGHT-TIME, written by Simon Stephens won five Tony Awards on Broadway and became a smash hit. Playhouse offers the play from October 14 - November 11. Taken from the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon, the play centers around 15-year-old Christopher who needs to defend himself when accused of a mysterious crime.

From January 20 - February 18, 2018, the MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET features a jam session based on music by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. It is a Tony-award winning musical.

Life stories combine with gospel songs in MARIE AND ROSETTA by George Brandt. The play runs from March 3 - 31, 2018. Sister Rosetta Tharpe became a legend in the 1930s and 40s with her guitar playing and swinging gospel music. The story chronicles her first rehearsal with protégée Marie Knight.

Closing the Marx season is TREASURE ISLAND by Ken Ludwig in an adaption of the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. An adventure story revolves around the journey of a lifetime, cutthroat pirates, a treasure map and a courageous boy. The play is on the boards from April 21 - May 19, 2018.

A smaller stage is the Thompson Shelterhouse which often offers edgier plays. MR. JOY by Daniel Beaty opens on September 23 and runs through October 22. A Chinese immigrant, Mr. Joy owns a shoe repair shop in Harlem. When he is attacked, he learns the impact of his work from nine of his customers.

Going back to earlier stage and film days, AN EVENING WITH GROUCHO presents one-liners, anecdotes and songs in this fast-paced 90 minutes of hilarity. It is a one-person show running from November 4 -December 17. On stage is award-winning actor Frank Ferrante who will recreate his acclaimed portrayal of Groucho Marx.

A world premiere, BE HERE NOW, graces the stage from February 9 - March 11, 2018. Written by Deborah Zoe Laufer, the play focuses on two lost souls who come together under unusual circumstances. Bari and Mike's friendship takes different turns. Zaufer wants the audience to ask what we are willing to do for love and happiness and to create meaning in our lives.

From March 24 - April 22, SOONER/LATER by Allyson Currin takes the stage. This is a world premiere about a single mother, encouraged by her teenage daughter, to re-enter the dating scene. With a metaphysical twist, the play navigates the paths of romance, marriage and parenting while exploring the pains and pleasures of all three, according to Playhouse's brochure.

To close the season in the Shelterhouse is MURDER FOR TWO, with book and music by Joe Kinosian. Kellen Blair wrote the book and lyrics. It will run from May 5 - June 10. This is a murder mystery revolving around the death of American novelist Arthur Whitney. Because he is found dead the night of his surprise birthday party, all the guests are suspect. Detectives investigate the murder in a zany, musical comedy whodunit.

For more information, visit the website www.cincyplay.com or call (513) 421-3888.

Photo credit: Tony Arrasmith.


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