Cincinnati Playhouse Season Includes High, The Understudy, Beehive and Behind the Eye

By Adam Hetrick
March 22, 2010

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will stage Theresa Rebeck's The Understudy, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Kaufman and Hart comedy You Can't Take It With You and the world premiere of Carson Kreitzerís Behind the Eye.

The season in the Marx Theatre will launch with the rolling pre-Broadway premiere of Matthew Lombardo's High starring Kathleen Turner as a nun who reluctantly takes a young drug addict under her wing. As previously reported, High (co-presented with Hartford TheaterWorks and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis) will be directed by Rob Ruggiero, who also staged the Broadway production of Lombardo's Looped. High will run Sept. 4-Oct. 2 (opening Sept. 9). The play is expected to bow on Broadway in early 2011.

Kaufman and Hart's You Can't Take It With You will follow, Oct. 16-Nov. 13 (opening Oct. 21). St. Louis Repertory Theatre artistic director Steven Woolf will direct the classic comedy about a free-spirited family of artists who have to put their best foot forward when their conservative future in-laws arrive for dinner. The run is also a co-presentation with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

The holidays welcome the annual staging of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Howard Dallin and directed by Michael Evan Haney (for his 18th year). Performances are Dec. 2-30 (opening Dec. 3).

Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder's Gee's Bend, a regional favorite, will run Jan. 22-Feb. 19, 2011 (opening Jan. 27). The gospel music-filled production follows the women of an Alabama town who create quilts. Their story parallels the turbulent history of African-Americans in the 20th century.

Pam Hunt will direct the 1960's musical revue Beehive, running March 12-April 9, 2011 (opening March 17). The girl-group celebration offers the hits of The Supremes, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin.

The Marx season concludes with Tom Duzick's Over the Tavern, which will run April 23-May 21, 2011 (opening April 29). Michael Evan Haney will direct the coming-of-age play about the Pazinksi family and their son Rudy as he goes head to head over his catechism lessons with Sister Clarissa. The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis co-presents.

The Shelterhouse season will begin with Rebeck's The Understudy Sept. 18-Oct. 17 (opening Sept. 23). Michael Evan Haney will direct the comedy about a stressed-out stage manager contending with an over-eager understudy and the action movie star currently occupying the leading role.

Chicago's Second City comedy troupe will premiere its Cincinnati-targeted evening of sketch comedy, The Second City Does Cincinnati: Pride And Porkopolis, running Nov. 6-Dec. 23 (opening Nov. 11).

Julia Cho's The Piano Teacher will follow Feb. 12-March 13, 2011 (opening Feb. 17). Dale Hodges, who starred in the Cincinnati regional bows of 33 Variations and Grey Gardens, will star as grandmotherly piano teacher Mrs. K under the direction of Edward Stern.

The life of Vogue model and acclaimed fashion and World War II photographer Lee Miller is the subject of Kreitzer's Behind the Eye, which will premiere April 2-May 1, 2011 (opening April 7). Mark Wing-Davey will direct.

The final work on the Shelterhouse stage will be Craig Wright's romantic play The Pavilion, running May 14-June 12, 2011 (opening May 19). The work centers on two former high school sweethearts who reunite at their twentieth high school reunion.

Subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 16. For tickets phone (513) 421-3888 or visit CincyPlay.