The essential guide to Cincinnati theater

By: Alex Spindler ~Arts & Entertainment Editor~

While the end of the summer season marks the conclusion of tan lines and beach playlists, the Cincinnati theater scene is only beginning to heat up.

Repertory companies and even Xavier’s own Department of Music and Theatre have un­veiled their season listings for what is sure to be an eclectic ar­ray of shows. Among the variety of productions are seasoned clas­sics and regional premieres. The Xavier Newswire has the scoop on which shows will generate the most excitement and will be open­ing soon.

“The Last Five Years” by Jason Robert Brown, Xavier University Department of Music and Theatre, Sept. 5 – 6

This two-person musical trag­edy showcases all the pitfalls and peaks of a monogamous relation­ship from the perspectives of Jamie and Cathy. The show uti­lizes a unique, parallel structure in which the plot is told in both regular and reverse chronological order. Heartbreaking and hope­ful, this musical will surely incite simultaneous tears and laughter.


“Hands on a Hardbody” by Doug Wright, Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Sept. 2 – 21

In this debut, regional pre­miere, “Hands on a Hardbody” is based off a 1997 documentary in which a group full of Texas hopefuls fights for more than just a shiny set of wheels. These con­testants must keep their hands on a new red truck, and the last to keep his or her grip wins the cov­eted prize. With a score inspired by rockabilly blues and country-western flair, “Hardbody” looks to raise the roof.

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, adapted by Simon Levy, The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Sept. 5 – Oct. 4

Per tradition, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s crop of productions includes classics from the Bard along with modern adap­tations. “Gatsby” introduces lead­ing man Nick Carraway to tycoon Jay Gatsby and his past. Masked beneath the glitz and glamor of the 1920’s Jazz Age, “Gatsby” re­ceives its first staging in an exclu­sive and fresh production.

“Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club” by Jeffrey Hatcher, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Sept. 6 – Oct. 4

Inspired by the writings of both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson, this classic “whodunit” play combines both mysterious suspense and humor. An off-the-cuff game of Russian roulette finds Holmes at the center of a grave mystery far beyond any­thing he has seen before. Sly, humorous and intriguing at its core, “ S h e r l o c k Holmes” is sure to be a hit.