OnStage January

Theatre news and reviews

By Brian P. Sharp

The Human Race sees “Red”
The Tony Award-winning play Red that is, John Logan’s two-man drama which is a thrilling look at the artistic process and a biographical sketch of a methodical painter that defied the stereotype of the reckless artist. Artist Mark Rothko the Abstract Expressionist known for paintings composed of color blocks is shown a piece of work himself.

Red dramatizes Mark Rothko’s struggle to deal with his increasing fame and fortune, while still being able to create great art. As the artist said, “There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend … one day the black will swallow the red.”

“What do you see?” asks artist Mark Rothko in the opening line of Red, as he stares at one of his works — and what artists see is the core issue of the play, which won six 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Play. The Guardian of London calls this look at Rothko, his work and his working relationship with his apprentice “a totally convincing portrait of the artist as a working visionary.” What the audience sees will include onstage preparation of a canvas for one of Rothko’s famed larger-than-life rectangles of bursting color. Resident artist Michael Kenwood Lippert (The Sunset Limited, Drawer Boy), a painter himself, plays Rothko, with Chicago-based Will Allan (Oakwood High School, class of 2005) as Rothko’s apprentice.

The show runs January 19–February 5 at the Loft Theatre in the Metropolitan Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketcenterstage.com or by calling (937) 228-3630.
You won’t want to miss this show!

Dayton Playhouse has a busy month…
January sees the addition of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical A Grand Night for Singing. This compilation, loosely tied together, of the great songs of this songwriting duo is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Directed by Richard Croskey with musical direction by Ron Kindell, the cast includes Matthew Bone, Carol Chatfield, Kathy Clark, Patricia DiPasquale-Krul and Tom Lehmann singing the night away.

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s A Grand Night for Singing is an evening of music and romance. The musical review explores the broad spectrum of romantic relationships by more than 30 Rodgers & Hammerstein songs. Each of the team’s musicals is represented. The songs have all been placed in fresh theatrical settings, strung together so that the review “grows up” emotionally. The show is constructed as an emotional journey beginning with young infatuation and the awakening of real love through the touching complexities of commitment and marriage, the joys of parenthood, and finally, the power of enduring love. As a result, the review has a cumulative impact.

The show runs January 5–January 15 with performances Thursday through Sunday.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.daytonplayhouse.com or by calling the box office at (937) 424-8477.

The Playhouse quickly turns the stage from this musical to the musical comedy Nunsense. Directed by Greg Smith with book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin, it opens February 5.
Nunsense is a hilarious talent show staged by five survivors of the Little Sisters of Hoboken nunnery. The rest of the sisters have succumbed to botulism after eating vichyssoise prepared by Sister Julia, Child of God. The remaining sisters parade their talents at a variety show staged to raise funds, so that the last four of the dearly departed can be buried.

Nunsense offers a cornucopia of hilarity for the whole family, proving conclusively that nun rhymes with fun!  The cast includes Tina McPhearson, Ellen Finch, Sherri Sutter, Amy Askins and Kelly Locker. This will be a hilarious night of theatre fun.

“Nunsense” will run February 5–19, with performances returning to Friday through Sunday.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.daytonplayhouse.com or by calling the box office at (937) 424-8477.

The Dayton Playhouse is located at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave. in Dayton, within the Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark complex.  

“Heroes” visit the Dayton Theatre Guild
Heroes, by Tom Stoppard adapted from Gerald Sibleyras’s Le Vent De Peupliers opens January 6 at the Dayton Theatre Guild.

Three aging WWI French army veterans, a very different “band of brothers,” muse on life, the past and what is over the next hill as they confront, comfort and sometimes ignore each other. This wistful and often hilarious piece takes place on the terrace of a French military home in 1959 where these heroes have spent the last 40 years recollecting it all.
Heroes is directed by Fred Blumenthal with a cast that includes Tom Stiver, Richard Young and Gil Martin.

“Heroes” runs January 6–22. Tickets can be purchased online at www.daytontheatreguild.org or by calling (937) 278-5993. The Dayton Theatre Guild is located at 430 Wayne Ave. in downtown Dayton.  

Reach DCP theatre critic Brian P. Sharp at Theatre@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP food critic Brian P. Sharp at BrianSharp@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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