“I’m uncomfortable.”

That is one reader’s entire review on Goodreads.com for Dennis Kelly’s play, “After the End.”

Another said this: “Wow… This is a f***ed up play. A bit difficult to read, but it would be amazingly juicy to work on.”

It's no wonder that these ambitious students were interested in the play as an independent study project.

More photos from this staycation are available here.

I need to have something to look forward to. Having an upcoming event or trip helps me keep moving forward in life. But the year 2020 has made planning things difficult, especially travel. We’d planned a Cedar Point trip, including overnight accommodations at Hotel Breakers, but we canceled that right before they announced they were only going to be open on the weekends. I’m going to Las Vegas in a few weeks, but Connie and I needed something.

Then we found this post from Cincinnati Refined, highlighting the newly renovated (and rebranded) Graduate Cincinnati hotel. We were intrigued, and as…

Terry Gosdin, David Levy, Jay Dallas Benson, and Lisa Dirkes in “Daisy”

Despite COVID-19, Falcon Theatre, based in Newport, KY, has forged ahead with its first production this season. But you don’t have to go to their storefront theater to see it. Instead, it’s available from the comfort of your living room or computer screen or iPhone. Working with Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics, the ambitious team has produced a film version of the stage play, “Daisy.”

From their press release:

“In 1964, the New York advertising firm Doyle Dane Bernbach forever changed the course of political advertising with a 60-second television spot. Today, the ad is usually referred to simply…

Unpopular opinion: I wouldn’t say I like Sondheim. I know I’m supposed to, and I can — objectively — recognize the level of talent and sophistication of his scores and lyrics. But I don’t love this show. And I don’t have to.

Nevermind that.

When CCM’s Sophomores and Juniors announced a student-led, socially-distanced outdoor production, I immediately clicked “Going” on the FaceBook invite. After all, it’s been months since I’ve seen any live theatre. And there’s something magical about watching the stars of tomorrow at CCM shine now, getting a glimpse of Broadway’s future.

Directed by Sammy Schechter and produced…

My host at my local casino, awkwardly and temporarily named the “Future Home of Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati,” reached out to me last week and offered me some comps at Prism Steak and Seafood. Since Connie and I were supposed to be at Cedar Point this week but canceled due to a COVID-related lack of activities, we decided this could be fun instead.

I have eaten at Prism many times before; Connie and I celebrated our birthdays here last year, but I also go whenever I get an offer for freebies. …

Photo by Ramiz Dedaković on Unsplash

I was mindlessly waiting for the light to change; I always hated this intersection. It was at an angle, and it was hard to see the traffic on either side. I wasn’t aware of any accidents there, but it still made me nervous.

Straight ahead of me was a Burger King. To my left was a Rent-A-Center. Forty-five degrees, either way, was one of the busiest streets in the neighborhood.

This community was a decent place to live. People were friendly. They knew their neighbors and families passed down homes from generation to generation. …

Ah, this is interesting. A filmed live performance — in front of an audience (back when that was allowed) — with crowd reactions. Palpable energy. This is good.

Martin Dockery is an interesting character; his rapid, almost manic-delivery packs a lot of storytelling into a relatively short amount of time. He’s savvy, too; he begins the performance by getting the audience on his side by giving a humble, self-deprecating peek behind the curtain. He shows us that he’s likable. We root for him. It’s good that he takes a minute to do that because once the show gets going, you…

True confession: I’ve never seen a Pones show.

I know.

:::hangs head in shame:::

Pones is a popular dance troupe who’s Fringe shows get rave reviews every year. I always seem to find an excuse not to go. Sometimes its because I heard there was audience participation. (I hate that.) Sometimes its because there was a lot of walking involved. (I’m lazy.) One year it was because the venue was too hot.

Subconsciously, its probably because I don’t feel qualified to write about dance performance.

But this year, there’s no reason why I couldn’t sample it. After all, “walking out”…

Alexx Rouse is one of my favorite young writers. She has a distinct voice, informed by her quirks and doubts and self-consciousness, and seemingly doesn’t know how talented she is. I like that about a person.

She’s written a new play, QUIT WHILE YOU’RE AHEAD, that I would have pegged as hers (if I didn’t already know) at about the two and a half minute mark. The show goes dark quick, but comedically. I was instantly intrigued.

This show is a “filmed play” and looks to have been shot on an actual stage somewhere. Trevor Browning plays “Jason,” Nick Riley…

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Walt Disney World. I can hold court with any group, relaying the history of the Disney company (especially the theme parks). I love it so so much.

And I love this show.

Rory Sheridan tells the story of Walt Disney through a mouse’s written memoir found by a space archeologist in the future. It’s irreverent, hilarious, weird, and spectacularly brilliant. He embraces the digital technology required of this year’s Fringe very well and kept my attention through the entire show. …

Kirk Sheppard

Kirk Sheppard, LPCC-S, LICDC, is a counselor, helper educator, blogger, photographer, and playwright in Cincinnati. More at www.kirksheppard.com

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