Tony-Winning Cincinnati Playhouse Announces New Season, Including IN THE HEIGHTS and More

Tony-Winning Cincinnati Playhouse Announces New Season, Including IN THE HEIGHTS and More

Artistic Director Blake Robison announced Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's 2018-2019 season today, which features blockbuster musicals, contemporary comedies, world premieres and some of theatre's leading playwrights and directors.

"Our 2018-19 Season showcases the range, scale and diversity of the Playhouse," states Robison. "The majority of this season comes from women and artists of color."

Robinson continues, "I'm especially proud to announce our world premiere of CINCINNATI KING, a musical about King Records, the country's first integrated recording company founded in Cincinnati. It is the culmination of a home-grown project that we've had in development with our Associate Artist KJ Sanchez since 2013 and is truly a celebration of our city."

The 2018-19 Season includes:

  • CINCINNATI KING, the home-based world premiere musical about the rich history of Cincinnati's King Records.

  • A world premiere romance by Audrey Cefaly that's played out in three separate realities in THE LAST WIDE OPEN.

  • Two fresh, contemporary comedies from up-and-coming female playwrights: THE ROOMMATE and THE THANKSGIVING PLAY.

  • August Wilson's powerful masterpiece TWO TRAINS RUNNING, directed by one of the nation's foremost directors of Wilson, Playhouse Associate Artist Timothy Douglas.

  • Favorite literary stories and characters with a spine-tingling adaptation of Stephen King'S MISERY and a charming sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY.

  • Two joyous main stage musicals with IN THE HEIGHTS, the Tony Award-winning Broadway smash from the creator of Hamilton, and the whimsical YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, featuring new arrangements with the actors playing their own instruments.


By William Goldman

Based on the novel by Stephen King

Directed by Blake Robison

Sept. 1 - 29, 2018

Opening Night: Sept. 6

True life becomes stranger than fiction when an acclaimed romance novelist wakes up in the home of his "Number One Fan." This spine-tingling stage adaptation of Stephen King's terrifying novel traps you in a tense cat-and-mouse game that will grip you until the very end. MISERY stars Barbara Chisholm as Annie Wilkes. She was last seen at the Playhouse portraying Erma Bombeck in the hit comedy, Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End in 2017.

Leading Ladies presents


By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

Directed by Eleanor Holdridge

Oct. 13 - Nov. 10, 2018

Opening Night: Oct. 18

Middle sister Mary finally takes center stage in this charming and clever sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice that promises to captivate long-time fans of Jane Austen and newcomers alike. The Playhouse previously staged the world premiere of Lauren Gunderson's The Revolutionists, directed by Eleanor Holdridge, in 2016. Gunderson is the most produced playwright in America for the 2017-18 season.


Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes

Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Directed by May Adrales

Jan. 19 - Feb. 17, 2019

Opening Night: Jan. 24

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda's first Broadway smash hit and winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical is set to a hip-hop and Latin-flavored score and features high-energy choreography. IN THE HEIGHTS captures the vibrant spirit of a tight-knit, New York community as they navigate their hopes and dreams, loves and losses, fortunes and fates. IN THE HEIGHTS is a co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

First Financial Bank presents


By Charles Dickens

Adapted by Howard Dallin

Directed by Michael Evan Haney

Nov. 21 - Dec. 29, 2018

Opening Night: Nov. 23

This joyous, time-honored production returns for its 28th season with a cast of nearly 30 actors, elaborate costumes and thrilling special effects. A CHRISTMAS CAROL is not part of the season subscription, but subscribers get early access and special discounts on tickets.

August Wilson's


Presented by Moe and Jack Rouse and Randolph Wadsworth

Directed by Timothy Douglas, Associate Artist

March 2 - 30, 2019

Opening Night: March 7

In August Wilson's masterpiece, history unfolds around everyday lives against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Part of Wilson's trailblazing American Century Cycle, TWO TRAINS RUNNING paints a compassionate and unforgettable portrait of ordinary people in the midst of transformation.

Playhouse Associate Artist Timothy Douglas is one of the foremost directors of August Wilson. Most recently for the Playhouse main stage, he directed Wilson's Jitney in 2016. TWO TRAINS RUNNING is a co-production with Milwaukee Repertory Theater.


Based on the comic strip "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz

Book, Music and Lyrics by Clark Gesner

Directed by Bill Fennelly

April 20 - May 18, 2019

Opening Night: April 25

The Peanuts gang comes to life onstage in this whimsical and witty musical. You'll fall in love all over again with Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty and Snoopy as they deal with the joys and frustrations of kites, school, baseball and first love. Featuring a new musical arrangement with actors playing their own instruments, delightful numbers like "My Blanket and Me," "The Book Report" and "Happiness" abound with joy.

This production also re-unites the director and star of Playhouse's 2017 production of Little Shop of Horrors. Bill Fennelly returns to direct and Nick Cearley (Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors) plays Linus.


By Jen Silverman

Directed by Tracy Brigden

Sept. 21 - Oct. 21, 2018

Opening Night: Sept. 27

The Odd Couple meets Breaking Bad in this wickedly funny comedy. Fifty-something Sharon finds a roommate in Robyn, who needs a place to hide and the chance to start over. When Sharon begins to uncover Robyn's secrets, she takes a leap towards the dark side. The Roommate hilariously examines what happens when the wheels come off.

Playwright Jen Silverman's All the Roads Home made its world premiere at the Playhouse in 2017, and THE ROOMMATE received its world premiere during the 2015 Humana Festival of New Plays at Actor's Theatre of Louisville. Sponsored by Digi and Mike Schueler.


Written and Directed by KJ Sanchez, Associate Artist

Nov. 3 - Dec. 23, 2018

Opening Night: Nov. 8

Celebrate Cincinnati's rich music history in this world premiere musical about King Records. Based on hundreds of interviews, the story traces the groundbreaking rise of music pioneer Syd Nathan and the artists he produced, the music he created and the enemies he made along the way. The show shares behind-the-scenes tales of King Records hits including "The Twist," "Blues Stay Away From Me," "Fever" and "Need Your Love So Bad." CINCINNATI KING shines a spotlight on this revolutionary music label and its Queen City roots.

Playhouse Associate Artist KJ Sanchez is founder and CEO of American Records, a company devoted to making theatre that chronicles our time. She most recently directed the Playhouse production of Jane Eyre in 2017. A staged concert reading of CINCINNATI KING was performed in Washington Park in May of 2015 as part of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and 3CDC's OTR Performs Series. Sponsored by The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.


Jan. 10 - 27, 2019

The Second City has been laughing at love and its various side effects for decades. THE SECOND CITY - IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME takes shots at heartbreak, missed connections and the mire of human relationships, as seen through the eyes of the next generation of comic writers and performers. Your friends, parents and blind date will all find something achingly familiar to laugh at.

This booked-in, limited run is not part of any season subscription package, although subscribers do receive early buying opportunities.


By Audrey Cefaly

Directed by Blake Robison

Feb. 9 - March 10, 2019

Opening Night: Feb. 14

Fate plays its hand in this wondrous and romantic world premiere. Lina, a young waitress, and Roberto, an Italian immigrant, have been working together for years but rarely talk. If they do, it's from a distance or gets lost in translation. But when a late-night thunderstorm finds them alone in the restaurant at closing time, they find their lives intersecting in surprising and mystical ways. Over wine and conversation, they test the waters of happiness and intimacy. A love song in three movements, THE LAST WIDE OPEN imagines how the universe conspires to bring us together.


By Larissa Fasthorse

March 23 - April 21, 2019

Opening Night: March 28

Watch as a group of liberal artists walk the fine line of political correctness in this fresh, satirical comedy. Armed with progressive lingo and questionably good intentions, they attempt to devise a culturally sensitive Thanksgiving play for local elementary schools. Slowly but surely, the well-meaning plans dissolve into an outrageous sendup of PC behavior. THE THANKSGIVING PLAY treads the minefields of appropriation to inject some laughter into activism, apathy and all the assumptions in between. This production marks the first time the Playhouse has produced a play by a Native American playwright.


The final play title in the Shelterhouse Theatre season will be announced at a later date.

For the 2018-19 season, Playhouse performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, at 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays.

Subscriptions to the 2018-19 Playhouse season are available now in a variety of packages.

Prices range from $157.50 to $408.00 for the five-show Robert S. Marx Season or the five Shelterhouse Theatre shows and $280 to $713 for the full 10-show combination series.

The popular Build Your Own subscription allows patrons to create their own season of four to nine shows. Once again this season, all price options are available in the lower level of the Marx Theatre. The Playhouse offers two-, three-, six- and nine-month payment plans for subscribers. Some restrictions apply.

A student Build Your Own package allows full-time students to pick as few as four shows and as many as all 10 for just $15 per show. The Babysitter Rebate Series allows a couple purchasing two subscriptions in the Marx Theatre to attend any performance and receive up to $100 at the end of the season to help cover the cost of babysitters for children under the age of 12.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community campaign. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation.

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