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Cincinnati Children’s Theatre Puts On a Hoppy Face with “The Velveteen Rabbit”


Review by Mary Kathryn Groh of “The Velveteen Rabbit”: Cincinnati Children’s Theatre

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati opens its stage for patrons to see the classic story of “The Velveteen Rabbit”. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting theatre performances on hold, it was wonderful to step back into the theater as a patron even with careful safety precautions. Written by Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a stuffed rabbit’s desire to become real through the love of his sweet owner. This modernized version of the story was adapted by William S. Kilborne, Jr. and Albert T. Viola, and it really appealed to the younger patrons with all of the exciting flashing and colorful lights. Director Roderick Justice does a fantastic job keeping the young patrons on the edge of their seats as they watch the story of “The Velveteen Rabbit” unfold. 

The show opens on Christmas Eve with the Boy (Kavan Vadivelu) eagerly opening his Christmas presents. He does so with much gratitude, showing love and appreciation for all of his new toys, but more so with the stuffed velveteen rabbit. He absolutely adores his stuffed rabbit, so much so that the rabbit begins to get worn and tattered. However, the Boy still loves the rabbit, and The Velveteen Rabbit (A. James Jones) longs to become real and to be able to hop on his hind legs like the other real rabbits. The Boy suddenly comes down with a case of pneumonia and is reluctantly forced to throw out his favorite toy. After being tossed out, a Fairy (Brandi Langford-Sherrill) uses her magic to turn The Velveteen Rabbit into a real rabbit. 

I loved how this classic story had a modern twist added to it with the high-tech robot character and the cool lighting and sound effects. Scenic Designer Jennifer Rhodus did a remarkable job creating fast set changes that accommodated the “modern” and technological aesthetic of the production. I was most impressed with the COVID-19 friendly costumes that made face masks part of the costume. Costume Designer Jeff Shearer had everyone on stage in masks but made sure that the mask wasn’t distracting or completely obvious to patrons. The masks did not take away from the production at all, in fact, I think that it added to it. At first, I was hesitant about the idea of the actors wearing masks, but once I saw them all together in their costumes and masks, it brought the whole show together. 

After the year we have had, it was nice to spend an evening watching a heartwarming show about love and friendship. More information on The Velveteen Rabbit can be found at https://thechildrenstheatre.com/shows/the-velveteen-rabbit/ . This modern retelling story of The Velveteen Rabbit is running at the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati on Red Bank Road from Thursday, November 12 to Sunday, December 13. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at https://thechildrenstheatre.asapconnected.com/?org=5133&_ga=2.238623488.165588914.1605293407-1030627372.1604369214#EventDetail=227001

Streaming this production on Broadway On-Demand begins on November 19 and can be preordered at https://shop.broadwayondemand.com/44017057957/checkouts/e5d3113c453b8ee2e308c0623ed8bc82

Know’s Epic “Feast” Stream Overflowing with Intention

Review by Liz Eichler of “Feast”: Know Theatre (streaming)

Know Theatre has been a Cincinnati leader in redefining theatre during Covid. They jumped in the pool of streaming theatre during June’s Fringe and discovered with audiences what techniques worked better than others. They are diving into creative problem solving in how we make and experience the art. Streaming theatre is a hybrid—theatre on a screen. The goal is to connect with an audience to may us think, feel, move, laugh and know that we are part of a greater whole—humanity. Running from the tide is not an option for these artists. 

Jennifer Joplin crashes through the screen and into your room in Megan Gogerty’s timely “Feast” @KnowTheatre—enlivening the tale of Beowulf from a real mother of dragon’s perspective. Through September 20. 

“Feast” is a clever, current  script (Megan Gogerty), with wise intention and direction (Tamara Winters) and a masterful performance by Jennifer Joplin. Know delivers a timely ancient tale of Beowolf, told through the eyes and heart of dragon Grendel’s mother. Joplin crashes through the screen and into your room in one of the best Covid-era offerings,  sharing her armored scales and soft underbelly. 

The solo performer acknowledges the screen, helping to wryly personalize the experience “Greetings, I have appeared…I can speak in this little box and all of humanity can behold me.” What we behold is a gracious regal woman, centuries old, with earned wisdom, patience, and rage who invited us here “to right a wrong.” She is a fiercely loving mother who’s “love takes many forms, but not all pleasant or healthy or wise.”

The character requires the performer to have an ocean of skill, to ride the giant waves and subtle drip drip drip of unleashing emotions. Joplin has it. She shows the heart of a dragon, and when Grendel is humiliated by Beowulf, she flips the switch. The suburban housewife is stirred and she methodically plots her revenge on pompous Beowulf, the hero of men. She knows “the secret of the strong man is that he is weak” and weighs his vulnerabilities.

Grendel’s mother knows the sacrifices she must make to bring down “the age of the fathers.” 

She is alive in that screen—and silently pulls in the content from the other screens we watch and carry in our pockets. Clever writing, Ms. Gogerty. 

Kudos to the team: Director Winters, Designers Andrew Hungerford (set and lighting), Noelle Wedig-Johnston (costume), and Doug Borntrager (sound). While the space and high def camera angle do not change, the lighting and sound do and add depth and effects to her “mother of the groom” attire. 

Much like Grendel’s mother, Know is ensuring that stories are told through a new lens. Catch it streaming through September 20 @knowtheatre.com

Theatre in Wake of COVID-19: A Review of CCM Acting’s Transmigration 2020

 Review by Alan Jozwiak of “Transmigration”: CCM Acting

In a time where social distancing has closed down Broadway and darkened most theaters in Cincinnati, a small ray of theatrical light still shone bright on the boards—CCM Acting’s Transmigration 2020. Billed as “A Festival of Student Created NEW WORKS,” Transmigration consists of six half-hour plays, only four of which can be seen on any given evening. Because each of the four classrooms for the show can hold under fifty people, CCM allowed Transmigration to proceed during a time when almost all the theaters were shutting their doors.

This review will give you a sampling of what an evening at Transmigration could be like by focusing on four out of the six plays. These plays were what I was able to see and they are a good representation of Transmigration as a whole. The four plays I will be reviewing for this year’s Transmigration include “(Im)mature,” “Phantasmagoria,” “Hint!: A Play About Clue,” and “Dirty Laundry.”

“(Im)mature” was anything but what the title would suggest. The play centers around the hilarious aftermath of a Sex Ed (oops, Family Life) talk about human sexuality which gets the ten-year-old students who saw it to come to some outrageous conclusions. They start asserting that women poop babies and if you are someone’s Valentine, that means you automatically must have sex with them. While this sounds like immature hijinks unbecoming of a theatrical piece, in the capable hands of the cast, this play takes what is immature and transforms it into a humorous and poignant examination of an important life transition. This tightly crafted ensemble piece was clearly one of my two favorite Transmigration plays from this year. Everyone, from the two teachers to the ten-year olds learning about human sexuality, was distinct and well-crafted. I applaud the cast for creating a charming, poignant, and funny look at being immature and learning about life.

By contrast, “Phantasmagoria” took its audience into a fairy tale world where two temperamentally opposite sisters learn to rely on one another through a series of tests they face while driving to their father’s house for the weekend. This show was adept and skillful in utilizing a combination of video and theatrical elements to create arresting visuals. For instance, when the sisters have to grapple with being thrown into water, we see waves projected on the screens behind the sisters and clear plastic sheets are manipulated by other actors to resemble billowing waves. Also arresting was the last scene where the sisters finally have a respite in a land with colorful creatures and an improbable, but loveable, Cactus-girl (Cactus-girl was awesome). While this play took a while to get going and does not explain the shift into this fairy tale world, “Phantasmagoria” was still an entertaining piece of theater.

The next show I saw was “Hint!: A Play About Clue.” This show was tied with “(Im)mature” as my favorite because it is one of the most inventive and audience interactive shows I’ve seen. Dividing their playing space into four sections of a board game similar to that of Clue, “Hint!” had actors playing roles similar to that of Clue with the two facilitators asking the audience to be players in the game. Audience members then had different roles. One chooses the killer from an array of posters and the whole audience then decides which scenes get to be shown for clues. The audience then finally votes on who the killer might be. The cast wrote multiple pathways in the play depending on who is chosen as the murderer, which makes this impressive production even more so.

Finally, “Dirty Laundry” was a guilty pleasure play where the audience gets to see various contract killers kill each other on stage. Before all the contract killers begin shooting each other in an impressively choreographed fight scene, they are given their week’s list of contract kills, which accidentally ends up being their assignments for Secret Santa. The actor playing Crystal, the New Age contract killer, stole the show with her wild antics, as well as the actor playing the newcomer contract killer, whose name gets chosen by the audience. He was dressed like he walked out of the film “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”. While this piece was a strong ensemble work, it needed some editing and tightening. Sometimes I felt the plot and direction of the piece was less important than having the various killers engage in hilarious unrelated hijinks.

Overall, this was a strong outing for “Transmigration”. Sadly, it will also be the last time for this series. Citing the desire to evolve “to meet the demands of our industry, our programming and pedagogical efforts,” CCM Acting will move the creative energies of “Transmigration” into different arenas. This is a shame because over its history, “Transmigration” has produced some memorable work. One hopes what comes next will shine just as bright. CCM “Transmigration” played March 11-13, 2020 nightly starting at 7 pm nightly. Because of the COVID-19, CCM has suspended all performances from March 14 until May 31, 2020. For more information on future CCM productions, check out the CCM website on https://ccm.uc.edu/.

Incline’s “Last Five Years”: Chronology Disrupted

Review by Doug Iden of “The Last Five Years” : Incline Theatre

Prepare for a mind-bending experience when you journey through “The Last Five Years“ playing at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater.  Using an unusual structure which features Cathy Hiatt (Lauren Magness) telling her story backwards from five years in the future to today while Jamie Wellerstein (Elliott Handkins) narrates his tale chronologically, we are told about their, often, tempestuous relationship.

Told almost entirely through song, the show opens when Cathy, wrenchingly, sings about her failed marriage in one of the best songs “Still Hurting”.  Therefore, it is not a spoiler alert to immediately discover that we are witnessing the dissolution of a marriage and the rending of trust between the characters.  In the next song, Jamie gushes about the girl he just met (five years earlier) as his “Shiksa Goddess”.  One minor theme is a Jewish man marrying outside of his faith.

Their songs alternate as the show progresses and as the audience discovers both the future and present state of their relationship which includes love, happiness and heartbreak.  One major element that begins to appear early is the difficulty of trying to make a career of the Arts, especially when one partner is prospering while the other is declining.  In the present, Jamie has successfully published a book while Cathy, in the future, is desperately trying to revive her flagging musical theater career.  One of most interesting scenes shows Cathy agonizing through a series of auditions with hundreds of other girls “younger and thinner than I am”.  After waiting in line for hours, she finally hands her audition sheet music to the stage pianist (Music Director and keyboardist Michael Kennedy) and alternates between her mundane audition song and her inner thoughts about how the tryout is proceeding in “Climbing Uphill”.  It’s unusual to see a musician become a character.  

Throughout the show, we alternatively see the characters onstage together or separately.  However, with one exception, they are not interacting.  It’s as though each character is singing to a ghost.  The only time they actually interact is the finale of Act One when they are married and sing the duet “The Next Ten Minutes”.

Handkins as Jamie and Magness as Cathy have created solid and believable characters.  Handkins shows a cockiness and extraverted personality which is infectious while Magness portrays a less ambitious and somewhat naïve role of a women who “just wants to be loved”.  They each have good singing voices, however, they are occasionally off pitch, especially when they sing loudly.  In the softer and more retrospective songs, their singing is good.  

Time is clearly a major theme.  As Director Tim Perrino stated in his opening comments about exits, etc., the story is about time:  how you spend it and what you do with it.  Time can be positive or it can be debilitating and corrosive.  The “time” theme is personified by Brett Bowling’s static but very effective staging.  In the middle of a mostly bare stage, we see the partial face of a giant timepiece showing the roman numerals for the numbers nine through twelve.  The clock is also an impressionistic sundial.  As the play progresses, the actors move the sundial as an arc and walk through a “door” in the sundial to symbolize the passage of time and a scene change.  Another indication of scene and time changes are the contemporary costumes designed by Caren Brady.  

Both the set and the costumes help us navigate through the story as it progresses in opposite directions.  As an audience member, you need to do a little more work than normal to follow what is happening.  If you are used to ignoring the first several minutes of a play while munching your popcorn, you may miss some important points.

This show has more meat than you may assume at the start.  It is, primarily, a love story but it also addresses infidelity, lack of communication between the characters (“Why do you always contradict me?”), egos, differing views of what life and success are and commitment to a lifelong relationship.

Based upon his own failed marriage, the playwright, lyricist and composer Jason Robert Brown has written some excellent lyrics but, with a few exceptions, a rather pedestrian score.  However, he has previously won Tony awards for scoring Parade and The Bridges of Madison County.  You will not leave the theater humming the songs.  The six-person orchestra which is onstage, however, is excellent with a special nod to violinist Rachel Lee.  

While not initially successful off-Broadway, the play has achieved a somewhat cult status among local theaters.  It is not an easy play to watch but it is worth the effort.  This production is good but a little uneven.

Executive Artistic Director Tim Perrino did address the coronavirus situation in his opening remarks.  They have sanitized the theatre repeatedly and plan to have no more than 100 audience members per show for the foreseeable future.  You might want to check the box office however before you go to ensure that there will be a performance.  I attended opening night on March 12 but Perrino said he would be reviewing the situation on a continuing basis.

So, grab your time machine and travel forward and backwards to the Warsaw Federal Incline theater through March 29.

Miami University’s “The Wolves”: Girls, Interrupted

Review by Blair Godshall of “The Wolves”

Unfortunately, due to current circumstances regarding COVID-19, all performances of Miami University’s “The Wolves” have been postponed. It’s a shame given how well this production was executed.

“The Wolves” follows a team of high school females competing in an indoor soccer league. The season is grueling, and athletes play multiple games in a single weekend. Playwright Sarah DeLappe has described the work as “a war movie – but about girls’ soccer.” As the girls enter the spring of their junior year, their dedication grows stronger as they consider — and are considered for — a college career. The pressure will be familiar to audience members familiar with the challenges of being a high school student questioning what comes after graduation.

DeLappe, who was named a Pulitzer finalist for this work, gives all of these young characters a strong, distinct voice. The girls’ conversations are filled with everyday fodder: they discuss pads versus tampons, gossip about other teammates, and joke about their possibly hung-over coach. They also grapple with more serious questions and topics on death, disease, abortion and morality. The characters lack adult sophistication, but their energy and curiosity are boundless. The dialogue creates a quick, captivating momentum as the girls continually lurch toward the next topic.

The players remain nameless, instead referring to each other by number, underscoring the vital role of the sport in their lives. A true ensemble piece, no one character’s arc dominates, though #46 (Freshman Grace “Crispy” Marcontell) — the new girl with seemingly no experience— seems the most obvious protagonist. She often blurts out clumsy or inappropriate comments when conversing with the team. It seems that #46’s dialogue is used (by the dramatist) for the sake of comic relief; an ineffective overture to connect with the other girls. There were many fine performances: freshman Cassie Duker evokes #7’s frustration and resilience when an injury brings her season to a premature end, jeopardizing her chance to play in college. Senior Marjorie Tremble’s #25 is also striking as the team’s captain, conflicted between leadership and friendship when interacting with her teammates. The goalie (Sophomore Laura Smith) is a mysterious, silent girl who appears to be socially inept and paralyzingly shy. We learn she struggles with severe performance anxiety. Loudmouth, no-filter #13 (Junior Elizabeth Bode) plays her character with an energy that is obnoxious but not annoying. #13 says exactly what she thinks and lets everyone know it.

The unifying moment comes at the end of the play. The girls are recovering after a tragedy, only to have the mood disrupted by the entrance of a distraught soccer mom (played in a uniquely and delicately beautiful way by Professor/Chair of Theatre at Miami University, Julia Guichard), whose frantic energy disrupts what should be a tender moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, though, so kudos to the cast for this cathartic moment.

There is only one set, the in-door soccer field with the green artificial turf, but scenic designer Lauren Lienhart conveys where the team is without adding too much. Melanie Mortimer’s costume design dresses the entire cast in purple team jerseys and appropriate soccer attire where they can move and move, they do. The team engages in dialogue and physical exercises challenging their stamina.

Director Susan Felder breathes additional life into this already well written, female fantastic play. Women are complex and should be given complex story lines. Men are seen to struggle and succeed in plays and films but finding stories that center on young females (who aren’t boy crazy) are few and far between. The Wolves serves up plenty of revelations, as DeLappe celebrates the drives, struggles, and successes of her characters. This play gives me hope for the current and future generations of female creatives.

See the link below for information about the postponed performances: https://behindthecurtaincincy.com/2020/03/12/all-remaining-performances-of-the-wolves-cancelled-at-miami-university/

CCM Brings Heart and Soul to “The Secret Garden”

Review by Kevin Reynolds of “The Secret Garden”: CCM Musical Theatre

Working around the news as I do, weeks like this can take their toll – not to mention fighting off a stubborn cold. While part of me wanted to take the night off, I made my way to the Corbett Auditorium at CCM (in a surprise rain shower nonetheless) to see the second night of their production of “The Secret Garden.” And I’m very glad I did, and I hope you can find your way there as well.

I don’t want to spend time recapping the twists and turns of the plot, but the thumbnail is young Mary Lennox, living in India, loses her parents to cholera. Her only living relative is an uncle by marriage who lives a sheltered, melancholy life in a manor on the moors of northern England. He is friendless, save for his younger brother who controls his affairs, plus he has a sickly son, whose birth caused the death of his beloved. As Mary rebuilds her life, she’s helped by the maid, the maid’s brother, the gardener, and I’ll leave it at that.

“The Secret Garden” is based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel and was adapted by Marsha Norman with music by Carly Simon’s sister, Lucy. The songs all help tell the story, share the emotions, and allow you into the souls of the characters. While you won’t leave humming the finale, you will feel fulfilled by the way the story was told.

I can’t say enough good things about the work of the guest director and choreographer, CCM alum Connor Gallagher. With a very successful career in New York (including choreographing the current Broadway hit Beetljuice) and elsewhere, his direction is both energetic and reserved, flowing and heartfelt. The chorography is dynamic and graceful, and he uses his cast and ensemble to perfection. He has a very special touch and it was a treat to witness.

The set takes full advantage of the space in the Corbett Auditorium, using a series of staircases and doorways to keep the action moving at a steady pace, allowing for a variety of egresses that keep your eyes moving and absorbing the story. It flows seamlessly from India to the wuthering heights; from indoors to outdoors; and from day to night. Scenic Designer Joshua Gallagher and his crew of nearly 60 constructed a set (and two impressive trees) that is purposeful, surprising, and the perfect setting for the action.

I would be writing this review all night if I spotlighted each cast member who deserves it, but any production of “The Secret Garden” really lives and dies with Mary Lennox. Zoe Mezoff beautifully captures the fears and frustrations of a suddenly-alone young girl and her strength and determination not to be forgotten or locked away. Her transformation and growth, much like the garden she brings back to life, happen right before your eyes and it’s truly lovely.

One other cast member who is so very memorable is Kurtis Bradley Brown as Dickon, brother to the housekeeper and a full liver-of-life, even in the moors. His almost leprechaun-like charm (and his ability to speak robin) is the proverbial ray of sunshine in Mary’s darkest days, and Brown brings such joy to his performance.

The ensemble, under Gallagher’s direction, brought to the stage flowers and wind and spirits and fears, all with the use of their voices, their bodies, and parasols. They represented times past, times present, and those spirits perhaps we all have beside us. There wasn’t a false note in any of the vocal performances, plus the costumes were all spectacular, sometimes just in their simplicity. 

The 16-piece orchestra, led by Jeremy Robin Lyons and Dean Balan, included harp, pan pipes, and more and provided wonderful accompaniment to the vocalists, but occasionally were a bit much under dialogue. CCM is using an enhanced, immersive sound system for “The Secret Garden” and I’d say it was 98% effective, but just a shade overwhelming at times.

I know this is short notice and I know you may have a busy weekend, but if you love musical theatre, if you want to share this special story with your children, please make arrangements now as “The Secret Garden” only runs through Sunday. There are two performances Saturday (2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and one on Sunday (2 p.m.) Visit the CCM Box Office online at https://ccm.uc.edu/ or call 513-556-4183.

CCM’s “The Secret Garden” is Beautiful and Profoundly Moving

Review by Nathan Top of “The Secret Garden”: CCM Musical Theatre

Written by Lucy Simon and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman, “The Secret Garden” is a large-scale musical based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 book of the same name. The story centers on the recently orphaned ten year-old Mary Lennox, who is sent to live with her reclusive widower uncle, Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. After hearing stories of a hidden garden which belonged to Archbald’s late wife, Lily, Mary makes it her mission to bring new life to the garden, as well as her uncle and sickly cousin. The original Broadway production was a huge success, nominated for seven and winning three of them, including Best Book of a Musical.

If for no other reason, audiences should get tickets to see the work of guest director and choreographer Connor Gallagher, whose credits include a new adaptation of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and the Broadway hit “Beetlejuice.” The choreography in “Garden” is simultaneously haunting and moving, juxtaposing the stage’s world of the living with the wistful waltzing ghosts of the past.

Scenic designer Joshua E. Gallagher has built a large world of a set, which feels appropriately harsh and heavy. The mansion on stage feels like a maze, reflecting the confusing and painful journey the characters embark on through the show. Other major contributors to the nostalgic atmosphere of the show are costume designer Dean Mogle, wig and make-up designer Marnee Porter, and lighting designer Evan Carlson, who allow the actors to magically enter and exit as ghosts and memories, often at the same time.

“The Secret Garden” has an exceptionally beautiful score and seeing a production that can do justice to the material is a rare opportunity. Music director Jeremy Robin Lyons has assembled a professional pit of CCM students and the vocals are consistently knocked out of the park. Starring as the show’s primary protagonist Mary is Zoe Mezoff, whose nuanced performance captures both the humor and heartbreak of her layered character. Opposite Mezoff is Madison Hagler as Mary’s uncle Archibald Craven, whose duet with Sam Pickart as Dr. Neville Craven on “Lily’s Eyes” is the best moment of the show. Anna Chase Lanier and Kurtis Bradley Brown, playing siblings Martha and Dickon, both steal the show with their respective solos “Hold On” and “Wick” and Delaney Guyer as Lily lands the emotional high of the show with “Come to My Garden.” “The Secret Garden” is a monumental work and every member of the cast is on-point for their role in CCM’s production, which runs now through March 8th. Get your tickets here.

Reviewer Nathan Top is a CCM alum, musician, and playwright.

“Annie Jr.” Shines as Bright as the Chrysler Building at the Taft Theater

 Review by Mary Kate Groh of “Annie, Jr”: Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati celebrates 100 years with the beloved classic, “Annie Jr.” Written by Thomas Meehan, “Annie Jr.” is the shortened version of the popular Broadway musical, the story of a bright and optimistic orphan girl who gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she gets to stay with billionaire Oliver Warbucks. Director Eric Byrd does a wonderful job keeping the young audience members on the edge of their seats as they watch the story of Annie unfold.

The show opens at the orphanage with Annie (Diana Hutchinson) trying to calm down Molly who is crying from a nightmare that had woken her up. Annie reads Molly a letter that her parents had written for her when they dropped her off at the orphanage when she was just a baby. The only thing that Annie has to remember her parents by is the letter along with half of a locket. Annie dreams of her parents coming back to get her, but those dreams come to a jolting stop as Ms. Hannigan (Katie Arber) barges into the room and demands that the girls clean their room, despite it being the middle of the night.

Annie’s life suddenly changes when she is brought to stay with billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Jason Glaser) for the holidays. Oliver Warbucks is so taken by Annie, that he wants to adopt her. Annie is overjoyed with the news, however, she still feels like a piece is missing from her life because she longs to know who her parents are. Oliver decides to help Annie find her parents and sets up a $50,000 reward to whomever can prove that they are Annie’s parents. Miss Hannigan, along with her brother Rooster and his girlfriend Lily, decide to try and scam Oliver Warbucks and pretend to be Annie’s parents just to get the reward. 

I applaud everyone involved in this production. From the set design, costumes, choreography, acting, and vocals, everything was fantastic. Set designer Mark Halpin created a wonderful set to accommodate the many scene changes from New York City to the orphanage and Oliver Warbucks’ mansion. I was truly impressed with how quickly the scene changes took place. My favorite aspect of the production was the choreography. “It’s A Hard Knock Life” left me awestruck with the timing and the young girls dancing en pointe.

More information on “Annie Jr.” can be found at https://thechildrenstheatre.com/shows/annie-jr/. The heartwarming story of little orphan Annie is running at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati from Friday, March 6 to Sunday, March 8. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased online at https://www.ticketmaster.com/annie-jr-the-childrens-theatre-of-cincinnati-tickets/artist/2665107?_ga=2.159697592.428727757.1583196642-349685423.1583196642 Review