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Posts Tagged ‘know theatre’

a sweet hit of an off-broadway show, “i love you because” is currently running at the know theatre. the surprisingly good thesis project of two nyu students, the show follows the lives of four youngish new yorkers in search of, well, that elusive “something” that draws, and maybe even keeps, two people together.

fang du’s austin is so adorable as an uptight, tie-wearing republican that you just want to wrap him and shake him ’til he rattles and loosens up and starts ordering electric-colored drinks with cute little umbrellas. as his brother jeff, daniel s. hines and his ’80s fashion (non)sense — the too-high-waisted jeans worn with white tennis shoes, the moussed-into-spikes-hair — hits a nice counterpoint to his sweet vulnerability (how many guys do you know who would cry over a my little pony abacus?). courtney brown’s marcy fitzwilliams is a believable bohemian who unintentionally sweeps austin off his feet, while jenny guy as diana bingley seems to capture exactly what it is like to be a sex-starved actuary (at least, i think she does…since i’m not much of a number girl myself it’s hard to say).  

“i love you because” is a musical, which after seeing “christmas yet to come” i believed was not the know’s strength. while i’m still not sure it is, this production has better-balanced sound and fewer out-of-tune tunes, making it much more enjoyable. the show’s instrumental quintet sits behind the stage in the midst of the new york city silhouette that is the play’s backdrop, and while at times i wanted their volume to drop so that i could better hear the actors’ voices, it’s a nice touch to have live music as a literal backdrop to the play.

my favorite things about the know are still the space and the ambiance. the bar/lounge area is a nice spot for a pre-show drink, with an eclectic decorative mix of urban industrial and public-school cafeteria. plus i like being able to sip slowly on my cocktail and take it with me into the theatre instead of guzzling it (or tossing it) at the door. the theatre space itself has a funky urban feel, with its steel stairs and metal grates leading up to what is basically a black loft with a stage area. given the group’s smallish space and minimal funds for sets and props, the shows we’ve seen imaginatively create various senses of place to carry the actors through their scenes. it’s a theatre for our times: economical and funky, doing good work with the resources at hand, it provides work for young up and coming actors and affordable entertainment for those of us who love theater.

i miss my days as an undergrad when i could get a rush ticket to big-city theatres for $5. but with $12 tix (shout out to the know for that one!), as well as a ticket stub worth 20% off a meal at the nearby mixx, a night at the know can fit into even a frugal budget. and everybody loves that.

“i love you because” runs through february 21. showtimes and more information about tickets at knowtheatre.com or 513-300-5669. curious but not ready to commit? check out a youtube clip, here.

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not in the know

we generally enjoy being cheerleaders for cincinnati. and we generally believe that it’s good to live by the maxim that if you can’t say something nice you shouldn’t say anything at all. and we generally find it worthwhile (not to mention a lot of fun) to explore all we can, around and about cincy.so perhaps this post should stop simply with the announcement that we recently saw the know theatre’s production of “christmas yet to come.”

or…

we could talk about the production qualities: the visuals were overly busy and the band outplayed the singers, even with their madonna-style mikes taped to their faces. or…we could talk about the plot and narrative, which dragged in some spots, didn’t know when to let gimmicks die and then turned inexplicably earnest and preachy. or we could mention the singing, which just wasn’t good. we could even mention the muppet knock-offs perched in a set-balcony who all-too-rightly derided the show, thereby using one attempt at humor — albeit outdated and, by now, predictable — to pinpoint the show’s genuine (and so not very funny) shortcomings.

but why talk about that, when everybody in town says that this show inadequately represents the know? and that this year’s “christmas yet to come” is a far cry from last year’s “christmas to come”? and that, according to regular subscribers, our maiden voyage to the jackson st. locale didn’t hold a candle to what we could expect on return visits?

even more to the know’s credit, folks there are partly responsible for bringing to life cincy’s fringe festival, which is all about taking risks and just getting things staged and seen. yeah, “christmas yet to come” wasn’t good. but better to be in a place that can afford bad productions than one that only brings in broadway’s big hits to play to safe audiences.  (see, we’re still cheerleaders.) we’ll go back.

after we’ve recovered.

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