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CSC’s “Merry Wives of Windsor”: Shakes in the City

Review by Sheldon Polonsky of “The Merry Wives of Windsor”: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Brian Isaac Phillips, director of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company‘s latest production, concluded his opening introduction with the suggestion William Shakespeare essentially invented the modern sitcom. CSC’s over-the-top “The Merry Wives of Windsor” takes that conceit and runs with it, with a fun-loving and breezy presentation that never tries to over-think itself.

Jennifer Joplin, Billy Chase, and Abby Lee in “The Merry Wives of Windsor”

Shakespeare’s plot is certainly as light and airy as a TV sitcom. Sir John Falstaff (Billy Chace), the bombastic, alcoholic and gravity-challenged companion of Prince Hal from “Henry IV”, is out of cash and attempts to woo two of Windsor’s wealthier wives to make himself flush (in more ways than one): Mistress Page (Jennifer Joplin) and Mistress Ford (Abby Lee). They get wind of his plans and hatch one of their own to embarrass and discredit him by leading him on, despite the jealousy of Mistress Ford’s husband, Frank (David Everett Moore). Meanwhile, Mistress Page’s husband, George (Sylvester Little, Jr.) is trying to marry his daughter Anne (Kahla Tisdale) to Abraham Slender (Crystian Wiltshire), the rich but otherwise ineffectual son of his friend, Justice Shallow (Paul Riopelle). Mistress Page prefers the foppish French Doctor Caius (Justin McCombs), but Anne herself wants the handsome young Fenton (Kenny Hamilton).

CSC sets this version of “Merry Wives” in New York of the 1910’s, in recognition of women’s suffrage, the centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, and its “Season of the Woman”. It’s an inspiring thought, but while CSC usually integrates its anachronistic settings ingeniously into the text, this one seems a little artificial and tacked on. Certainly the play emphasizes the more prudent and thoughtful judgment of its women characters over their male counterparts, which fits the suffrage theme, but if you are looking for any more feminist undercurrents in the play than that you will be disappointed, as it is otherwise a model for traditional family values, wifely loyalty and conservatism.

If “Merry Wives” is Shakespeare’s sitcom it comes with the same limitations of a modern situation comedy: stereotypic characters, repetitive jokes, and a plot no deeper than Falstaff’s pockets. Director Brian Isaac Phillips wisely doesn’t try to gloss over the shortcomings of one of Shakespeare’s lesser plays but rather lets it revel in its broad humor and colorful characters. Costume designer Rainy Edward’s eye-catching palette and unbridled wittiness support the humor, while sound designer Douglas Borntrager and lighting designer Justen Locke introduce a number of amusing effects to enhance the feeling of a television comedy. Shannon Robert’s scenic design, mostly consisting of two rotating houses, is serviceable but otherwise relatively subdued.

CSC once again demonstrates the depth and talent of its acting ensemble. Befittingly, the women take center stage. Jennifer Joplin and Abby Lee, as Mistresses Page and Ford, brighten every scene they are in, have incredible chemistry together, and just appear to be having a rip-roaring great time. So does Miranda McGee as Mistress Quickly, who helps the women in their plans and plays off against Falstaff with barely masked restraint. Chace’s Falstaff is spontaneous, spirited and indefatigable even in defeat. Sylvester Little, Jr. plays George Page with the boyish charm of vintage Billy Dee Williams and newcomer David Everette Moore’s Frank Ford is surprisingly multilayered and sympathetic. All of the supporting cast contribute in their own quirky and unique ways, highlighted by McComb’s unabashedly ridiculous Doctor Caius and Geoffrey Warren Barnes II as the barely intelligible Welsh parson Sir Hugh Evans.

“The Merry Wives of Windsor” may not be one of Shakespeare’s better regarded plays, and certainly doesn’t have the emotional or philosophical depths of many of his other comedies. Still, it was an enjoyable glimpse of a less self-conscious Shakespeare that one doesn’t often get to experience, and the CSC approached it with great delight and enthusiasm. So, if you want to get a little Elizabethan take on “Designing Women” and “Desperate Housewives” of Windsor, tune in, playing through December 7th. Tickets are available on their website, www.cincyshakes.com.

“Urinetown: The Musical”: See It To PEE-lieve It”

Review by Blair Godshall of ‘Urinetown: The Musical”: American Legacy Theatre/Thomas Moore University Villa Players

The American Legacy Theatre and Thomas Moore University’s co-production “Urinetown, the Musical,” opened Thursday night. So what does an audience member think about a show whose title can be so repellant it’s a running joke throughout the play?

This comedy-musical-parody-satire is based on the human right to pee for free. Reminiscent of Les Miserables (both have a shortage of toilets and basic human dignity), a water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has left the impoverished residents desperate and corrupt ones wealthy.

The law of the land declares that all private toilets are government banned. Citizens must pay to use public facilities. One greedy company’s got a monopoly over the toilets and makes a hefty profit price gouging bathroom admission costs. Any attempt to forego paying to urinate or “going in the bushes” gets violators arrested and “exiled” to the unseen, unknown “Urinetown.” This is not, as narrator and cop Officer Lockstock (Sophomore Joseph Waterbury-Tieman) says, “a happy musical.”

The title “Urinetown” is pretty on the nose and bound to include songs like “It’s a Privilege to Pee” and “I See A River.” While it seems a bit crude and disgusting, there really isn’t much in the way of adolescent, crass potty humor. Like most satire, there’s a deeper meaning but it’s drowning in a figurative and literal pool of urine. What is a basic human right and what is a commodity and how are those used and abused?

Director Greg Procaccino clearly worked with the ensemble to create a hilarious, energetic show and although it didn’t drag, I could tell the ensemble was a bit nervous and singing notes fell flat a few times. Unfortunately, the sound issues were so distracting I missed lyrics to songs and lines that I think were meant to be comical.

Kate Altieri’s choreography was so engaging and a perfect way to elevate the story. Her choreography and staging was uplifting and diverse and it helped immensely to pull the ensemble back when it became a bit chaotic.

 I felt the cast as a whole was greater than the sum of its parts and the group numbers were always fun (and funny) to watch. Junior Elizabeth Butler played Little Sally in such a convincing way I couldn’t help but watch her almost all the time and Sophomore Lena Bauer as Penelope Pennywise absolutely blew me away with her sustained, high belting notes and comedic timing.

URINETOWN: The Musical runs Nov 14-24.
Presented by American Legacy Theatre & Thomas More University
Thomas More University.Link to official page https://university.thomasmore.edu/student-life/clubs-and-activities/theatre-villa-players/

CCM’s “The Rocky Horror Show” Thrills, Chills, and Fulfills

Review of by Nathan Top of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”: CCM Musical Theatre

As UC College Conservatory of Music‘s current musical, “The Rocky Horror Show”, began, I noticed across the way four empty front-row seats in an otherwise sold-out theater. During the production, I came to realize that the individuals who were assigned such seats but unable to attend were the unluckiest people in Cincinnati that evening. 

CCM’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show” is the most joyful, raucous, and irreverent I have had the pleasure of experiencing. The plot consists of newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, being stranded in the middle of nowhere and forced to ask for help at the “Frankenstein Place.” Once they arrive, they are guided by Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter through a Wonderland of colorful, sensual characters, each with their own agenda for the evening. 

Most people have at least heard of this show, if not seen it. Similar to a religious setting, the show included many non-scripted rituals of audience participation for those in the know.  The show presented by cast, pit, and crew reinforced why his show is iconic. Brad (Jake Waford) and Janet (Mikayla Renfrow) are hilarious in their earnest naivete, portrayed in their first number, “Damn It, Janet.”  Riff-Raff (Erich Schleck) is deliciously eerie from his first solo during “Over at the Frankenstein Place” and, when joined with Magenta (Sofie Flores) and Columbia (Delaney Guyer), the trio brings the house down with the legendary musical number “Time Warp.” Rocky (Andrew Astat) is not only appropriately chiseled for the role but blessed with a golden voice, revealed during his number “The Sword of Damocles.” Joseph VonKolnitz, portraying both Eddie and Doctor Scott, energetically breezes through his number “Hot Patootie.” However, the true star of the show is Frank ‘N’ Furter, played by the hypnotic Ethan Zeph. From his entrance with the show anthem “Sweet Transvestite,” the audience was captivated. Zeph’s charisma and magnetism elevates the role to what it should always be: iconic. The ensemble of Phantoms (Britta Cowan, Jack Johnson, Christian Kidd, Tyler martin, Brandon Schumacker, Sasha Spitz, Veronica Stern, Jordyn Walker) is a well oiled machine. Singing, dancing, moving set pieces, engaging with the audience, the Phantoms set the tone for the rowdy, ninety-minute whirlwind of a show. 

In looking at the intimate Cohen Family Studio Theater, the space could have felt claustrophobic with such an ambitious show. This is a non-issue thanks to scenic designer and student Joshua E. Gallagher. The world Gallagher has built is transportive and interactive, adding to the fast pace of the show. Costume designer and student Maddie Kevelson captures, with absolutely no subtlety, the sensual color of the show. From head to high-heels, each cast member is dressed to show-stopping sexual spectacle, climaxing with the “Floor Show” before the finale.

The pit, compiled and led by musical director Stephen Goers, is filled with some of Cincinnati’s best musicians and it grooves hard. Aaron Jacobs on bass and Devon Leigh on drums lay it down while Brad Myers shreds over the awesome score. As with most rock musicals, the threat of the cast being overtaken by the band is looming. This show avoids that with effective sound design by Hannah Werle and Chris Jacobs, truly the unsung heroes of the show.

If there are any seats left, I would advise you to fill them ASAP. CCM’s “The Rocky Horror Show” runs through November 10th. Tickets can be purchased here.

The Carnegie Explores Life, Loss, and Legacy in Dramatic Fashion with David Auburn’s “Proof”


Review by Jenifer Moore  of “Proof”: Carnegie Theatre

We are our parents’ children, but we aren’t them. Or are we? 

I found myself pondering this very question while traveling through the trifecta of life, loss, and legacy with the phenomenal cast and crew at The Carnegie’s adaptation of David Auburn’s “Proof”, now showing as a part of the 2019-2020 theatre season. The Tony Award-winning play opens on the eve of a funeral of a mad mathematician, Robert, as his equally brilliant daughter, Catherine, grapples with the reality that her witty father is gone. It is also her twenty-fifth birthday, and the weight of caring for her father for half a decade lays heavy on her mind and heart as she guzzles cheap champagne. 

While the synopsis centers around inheriting the traits of a parent and its associated fear, much more reveals itself over the duration of the roughly 120-minute production. The underlying theme of caregivership looms like a white elephant in a room. Being a caregiver to an ill parent can leave a person feeling isolated, depressed, resentful and a host of other complicated and transitioning emotions. But don’t think this is a heavy, emotional-led play. The comedic quips weaved into the fabric of the script centered around a mathematical proof that needs authentication of authorship offers levity to an otherwise heavy, reflective story. 

The poetic performances of the cast, most notably Allen R. Middleton and Katie Mitchell, in their roles as Robert and Catherine, will tug at your heart and leave you speechless. Middleton’s talent shines at a pivotal point in the production as he showcases his expertise in using voice affliction and cadence to draw in audiences. Jared Erland and Kate Mock Elliott in their supporting roles as Hal and Claire bring balance to the cast in a unique way with their soft, yet firm demeanors.  

Home is a safe haven and Doug Stock, the scenic designer in his second full-time season at The Carnegie, literally gives us one as the set for the drama.  A full house (I repeat.. A FULL HOUSE) complete with a solid roof, windows, and a full back porch is the perfect compliment that was executed effortlessly. Home takes on new meanings–literally and figuratively–as family ages. The set design is a reminder that home may not be home as it was once known, but it still stands on a solid foundation against trials and tribulations. 

The “Proof” is in the cast performances and stellar directing by Tonie Wiggins. This mysterious, yet heart-warming production is a reminder that sometimes we are not our parents, we are destined to be better. I encourage you to grab a friend and prepare to be drawn into “Proof” adapted by The Carnegie–an inspiring tale of life, and legacy. 

“Proof” runs until Nov 17 at The Carnegie located in Covington, KY. Tickets can be purchased online HERE or by calling the box office at (859) 957-1940.

Hang Onto Your Fishnets! CCM’s Spirited “ROCKY HORROR” Will Drive You Insane!


Review by Liz Eichler of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”: CCM Musical theatre

The bare-stage setting of “an abandoned movie theatre in Denton, Ohio on Halloween” is genius. As a group of young people start exploring and joking around the broken-down marquee, the old movie Phantoms reach out and transport them into another world. A theatre’s job is to transport you, and CCM’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” does that so well, on so many levels.  It transported me to the midnight movies of my youth; it helped me see the nuances of the show though direction and framing, far superior to many other versions I’ve seen; and allowed me to be carried away as the phenomenal cast retelling of the story of the sweet transvestite, from transsexual, Transylvania.

And so it begins: young and naïve Brad (Jake Waford) and Janet (Mikayla Renfrow), caught in the rain when their car breaks down, approach a castle looking for a phone; instead they find a world where the rules they know are broken, allowing for sexual freedoms they never imagined, which they find both compelling and frightening. Just like horror movies of the 50’s, the world includes a maid and butler, the master, his science lab and creation, and some Rock and Roll.

Fans of Rocky Horror will be more than satisfied. There’s a lot of the old and plenty of new ideas in staging. The abandoned movie theatre is a great framework, and the set and costume pallet begins in black, white, and greys of B movies. The set pieces (designed by Joshua E. Gallagher) roll on and off and lock in place as needed, and the actors fluidly enter, exit, and roll over the tables, down the fire pole, sit in the seats and own the space.  Director and choreographer Vince de George knew what to keep sacred and what to explore. Janet and Brad are still square, butler and maid siblings Riff-Raff (Erich Schleck) and Magenta (Sofie Flores) bring weird to another level, the creation Rocky is more than appropriately beefcake and athletic. The star of the show is Ethan Zeph as master Frank ‘N’ Furter, whose moves, freedom, voice, and acting range assure a strong future.  Rounding out the ensemble is Delaney Guyer as a sweet and spunky Columbia, friend of CCM John Harrison as the Narrator, Joseph Von Kolnitz as over the top Eddie/Dr. Scott, and the Phantoms: Britta Cowan. Jack Johnson, Christian Kidd, Tyler Martin, Brandon Schumaker, Sasha Spitz, Veronica Stern and Jordan Walker. They are all a great ensemble vocally and in intricate movements on the studio stage. Glad to see k. Jenny Jones credited as the Fight and Intimacy Director as there are many intimate scenes.

Live music is in ample supply at CCM, and musical director Steven Goers conducts the off-stage musicians (I was in the balcony, so I think they were off-stage). Their sound was balanced well with the wonderful vocals, but at times the band was able to let loose, still at the level of a theatrical show, not a deafening rock concert. Sound (Hannah Werle) is rich and full, with some wonderful added effects.

Lighting (Michael E. Nardella) is crisp and bright or foggy and dark as needed. Costumes (Maddie Kevelson), hair and wigs (Kelly Yurko) are wonderful, with the design of the Floor Show costumes exceptional. (There must have been some amazing wardrobe and dressers backstage–lots of quick changes on stage and off, keeping the show moving quickly.)

Once again, CCM produces an amazing show. Even if you’ve seen it many times (on screen or on stage), this version is a must see.  Try to get tickets. You will be transported.  Call the CCM Box Office today (513)556-4183.

Do the Math and Take in Carnegie’s Proof

Review by Jack Crumley of “Proof”: Carnegie Theatre

The flow of stories from The Carnegiein Covington is going from the all-out rock-out of summer’s “American Idiot”to a thoughtful, award-winning show this autumn with “Proof.” The play from David Auburn developed in New Jersey, and was a Broadway production by about this time in the year 2000. It won the 2001 Pulitzer for drama and the Tony for Best Play. 

“Proof” tells the story of Catherine (played by Katie Mitchell, last seen as Evie in Carnegie’s 2018 production, “In Love and Warcraft”), a 25-year-old struggling with the recent death of her mathematical genius of a father, Robert (Allen R Middleton, in a role that calls for wisdom, warmth, and mania) and her fear of how much she takes after him. Robert was a legendary academic, but his brilliant mind deteriorated in his final years as Catherine dropped out of school to take care of him. Over the course of the play, Catherine is coming to terms with her loss, her current relationship with her perfectionist sister, Claire (Kate Mock Elliott, whom I last saw as Maggie Jones in Covedale’s production of “42nd Street”), and her drive to prove herself in the field where her father already made his mark. 

“Proof” is a challenging script that calls on its small cast to showcase a variety of subtle emotions in every scene. Catherine’s feelings about her father are rooted in love, but there’s an underlying fear of how far the apple falls from the tree. Claire’s insistence on Catherine moving to New York after their father’s death has her meaning well, but she’s also checked out mental health treatment options as a just-in-case. Robert’s former student, Hal (Jared Earland), has been going over Robert’s crazed writings in a search for insight amidst lunacy, but he also has unrequited feelings for Catherine.

When it comes to this production, I’d be remiss if I didn’t start with the set. Scenic designer/production manager Doug Stock built most of a house on stage, and it looks great. I don’t know what kind of brick veneer he used, but I would completely believe it if someone told me that the house was constructed on stage brick-by-brick. It’s the back of the house the audience sees: specifically the table on the backyard deck. It’s a detailed set with some half-dead plants along the side, but it also leads to some challenges when it comes to blocking. In addition to director Torie Wiggins having to get these complex emotions out of the cast, there’s also the task of having them move around the yard in a way that’s interesting and also makes sense. One of the highlights of this show for me is the monologue that Robert gives near the start of Act II; it’s a flashback scene where he’s been lucid for months, and he’s wistfully remembering being on a college campus in the fall with the bookstores full of students. Middleton stands his ground for almost the entire soliloquy, and it really adds to the intensity of the memory.

Each member of the cast has at least one outstanding moment in this show: whether it’s an emotional outburst or a bit of honesty. For me, Middleton’s Robert has his during that college memory speech. There’s a warmth to his voice that wasn’t there when he first appeared as a memory, and it’s absent again at the end when Catherine finds him frantically writing outside in the cold. The character of Catherine has multiple “big moments,” but I was stirred the most when she learns that her sister is selling the house. Interestingly, Mitchell plays Catherine with a unique combination of frustration and surrender after she reveals that she’s the one who wrote a next-level mathematical proof discovered in one of her father’s notebooks. This moment also comes after her character has spent the night with Hal, so Mitchell is layering in those feelings as well. 

For the most part, Hal is the most straightforward role. He’s an earnest, honest nerd who was devoted to being Robert’s mentee. His big moment comes in what’s essentially an act of betrayal when he doesn’t take Catherine’s word that she wrote the proof. Earland plays Hal as struggling with his dedication to pursue knowledge and also his newly-developed feelings with a woman he’s had thoughts about for years. In the aftermath of that doubt, Claire has a standoff when Hal wants to visit Catherine. Mock Elliott portrays Claire with a protective strength combined with a dismissive practicality. 

There aren’t many sound and light cues over the course of the show, but the few that do exist were executed perfectly. The upstairs light where Hal is doing his research turns on and off in a logical time-frame when Hal is entering or exiting. I noticed how spot-on it was. Also there are sound cues of people at a post-funeral get-together in the house that interacts perfectly with the main action on stage. That’s in addition to original music composed by James Allen in between the scenes.

“Proof” is a play about somber memories and emotions that never gets too bogged down in depression. Producing it this time of year is a no-brainer, and I hope The Carnegieaudiences appreciate the multiple layers the actors are putting in every line and action.

There is some swearing in the show, but beyond that, the tone and the themes in general aren’t really appropriate for children (they just wouldn’t be into it.) If you’re looking for a glimpse into the life of a profound young woman whose whole world is in upheaval, make your way to Covington to see “Proof.” It’s playing at The Carnegieon Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons through November 17, 2019. Tickets are available here.

Beloved Classic “Pinocchio” Comes to Life at the Madcap Puppet Theater

Review by Mary Kate Groh of “Pinocchio”: Madcap Puppet Theater

Madcap Puppet Theater opens its 2019-2020 Hats Off Series with the cherished tale of “Pinocchio.” This hilarious and engaging performance directed by Dylan Shelton kept the young audience members on the edge of their seats as they watched the story of a wooden puppet who just wants to become a real boy. 

The show opens with a cricket narrating the story of how Geppetto creates a wooden puppet named Pinocchio. One night, Geppetto makes a wish for Pinocchio to become a real boy. The rockstar Blue Fairy makes his wish come true and allows the wooden puppet to move, talk, and think. The Blue Fairy tells Pinocchio that he can become a real boy if he learns to be kind, good, and honest. However, she warns Pinocchio that if he tells a lie, his nose will grow. Geppetto sends Pinocchio to school, however on his way to school, Pinocchio gets lured into skipping school to join Mangia at Fun Land. Pinocchio is unaware that this was a trap to turn all the children into donkeys. Geppetto, worried about Pinocchio, goes out to sea to search for him, however, he gets swallowed by a giant Dogfish. The Blue Fairy comes to Pinocchio to help him escape Fun Land and save Geppetto. After reuniting with his loving Papa, Pinocchio finally turns into a real boy.   

The two actresses, Rachel Bailey and Rachel Kimberlin, did a fantastic job with keeping the young children engaged and entertained. The children were very responsive when the puppeteers asked the audience questions, and when they asked for volunteers to participate in the show, almost every child’s hand flew into the air in excitement. 

The children’s faces lit up when each puppet was brought on stage. The puppets were crafted with such exquisite design by the ever-so-talented Blythe Russo and Chris Douglas. One of my favorite parts of the production was at the end of the performance when Rachel Bailey and Rachel Kimberlin opened the floor for any questions the audience members had, and they took the time to show off the unique puppets that were used in the performance. 

Pinocchio is playing at the Madcap Puppet Theater on November 3, 9, and 10. Tickets: $10, Free for Family Memberships. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone (513) 721-ARTS. Vouchers can be redeemed for complimentary tickets by phone (513) 721-ARTS or in person. More information can be found on the Hats Off Series website: https://madcappuppets.com/programs/hats-off/

Human Race’s “The Cake” is a New Slice of Conflict

Review by Raechel Lombardo of “The Cake”: Human Race Theatre

Bekah Brunstetter’s play “The Cake” brings a new flavor to the modern-day conflict between those in the LGBTQ+ community and those who are of a more conservative mindset.  I often only see productions that are set in an earlier era presenting this issue, but to see it brought up to a contemporary setting is even more powerful, as the LGBTQ+ community still struggles to seek normalcy and acceptance among everyone.

“The Cake” tells the story of Della, a baker who, with her hands full already preparing for casting in “The Great American Baking Show”, is asked to prepare a cake for the wedding of her best friend’s daughter, Jen. When she discovers that Jen is marrying a woman, Della must reconsider her long-held Christian beliefs and assumptions to decide whether she can contribute to a gay wedding.

Each actor was strong in defining their distinct circumstances and characteristics for their roles, and ensured at least some sort of understanding for each character; whether you agree or not you can be swayed into empathy.  Claire Kennedy as Jen brings such wonderful depth to such a kind character. Candice Handy is unapologetic, truthful, and real in her hard exterior as Macy, Jen’s fiancee. Tim Lile, as Della’s husband Tim, works an unexpected child-like angle for his close-minded “man’s man”. Finally, Laurie Carter Rose as Della handles the confusion and desire for understanding, love, and to be heard in such a delicious way that can help to bridge that connection that some may be missing. Her performance is made even stronger by the distinguishing, contrasting dynamics of Handy, Kennedy, and Lile, each of whom offers a new perspective for Rose to taste, marinate over, and grow from in her continuous hunger for insight as her character develops.

Director Greg Hellems has clearly standardized an open conversation and trust among his actors and team.  Stage manager Jacquelyn Duncan deserves kudos for being so on top of clean-ups and proper executions of food for the sake of the humor–it must have been stressful!  Jay Brunner as sound designer establishes a fun transition from reality to fantasy game show that is so enjoyable without visuals.  Scenic designer Dan Gray must have had a blast replicating that bakery that everyone has seen at some point with the pastels and religious décor: very familiar and spot-on.  Costume Designer Jessica Pitcairn took these unique, specific, individual people and made sure their wardrobe fit them to a T (or tee, rather).  And John Rensel as lighting designer distinguished that precise store lighting from night lighting, lamps, and hotspots, which all were instrumental in performing certain jokes.

The Human Race Theatre Company’s theme for the 2019-2020 season is “Women of Influence:  Their Power, Passion and Pitfalls”. I say this as this company is honoring this theme very well with what has started and what’s to come (even starting at the end of last season with their incredible production of “Lizzie”).  This is a play that provides a strong variety in female characters that are so different and individualistic, often a difficult opportunity to come by for women in the industry who otherwise must settle for more stereotypic parts.

“The Cake” is performed by Dayton’s Human Race Theatre through November 17th. Tickets can be obtained at Human Race’s website, http://humanracetheatre.org.