While we should all still be mindful that the pandemic has not quite passed us by, it has become easier to enjoy live theatre again due to those who are taking proper precautions in order to protect their own health and the health of those surrounding them. As live theatre continues its grand “return”, it is my great honor to share with you some highlights of the 2022-2023 theatre season thus far.
Without a doubt, the best show I have seen this season, not to mention in the last several seasons, was Sweat produced by Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Director Darnell Pierre Benjamin assembled a beautiful body of artists both on stage and behind the scenes to give this masterful script life. From Lynn Nottage’s excellent writing to the adept acting to the aesthetically perfect set, I saw the show twice and could have eagerly seen it again. On my personal list of the best shows I have ever seen live, Sweat is in close contention with Hamilton and Whisper House, the latter of which was produced by Know Theatre of Cincinnati in 2018.
The 2022 portion of the season also brought us the new play The Living Dead written by the incomparable Isaiah Reaves and produced by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. I had been looking forward to this commission, and it certainly did not disappoint. As a lifelong horror, film fan, it exceeded my expectations. For those who know, the horror of the tale is not in the blood and guts from a zombie apocalypse, but from how human beings can behave when faced with pandemic-like circumstances.
The remaining part of this theatre season promises to be a good one. Hadestown has been a show on my radar for quite some time, so Broadway in Cincinnati’s cast can not come to town fast enough! I am also looking forward to seeing Kiss Me, Kate presented by the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts and starring the incredibly talented Evan Koons, one of the only local actors who can properly tackle a role played by greats such as Howard Keel and Brian Stokes Mitchell. How interesting that the two shows to which I’m looking forward most are musicals! Perhaps 2023 will be the year I prefer musicals to plays…
(Spoiler alert: I highly doubt it, but it’s fun to say.)
Cheers to a new year – wishing you all health and happiness!