Theater season means the sound of (familiar) music across Cincinnati stages

Most companies rely on tried-and-true classics

Tim Perrino’s title is artistic director. He could also label himself an astronomer, of sorts.

Every year, when programming a season of theater at The Covedale Center for Performing Arts, Perrino scans the galaxy of available plays, takes note of other Tri-State Area explorers who’ve recently visited bright or distant stars, then maps a constellation designed to satisfy his actors and audiences.

“I’m very aware of who’s just produced a show or if we’ll be the first to produce a show in a long time,” he said. “I’m constantly reading everybody else’s seasons and also noting what was a success and what wasn’t, and you have to determine whether you can do something differently.”

While a few companies—Playhouse in the ParkEnsemble Theatre and Know Theatre—have missions and budgets to seek new and experimental fare, virtually every other year-round theater company in and around Cincinnati sticks to the tried and true.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company opens “The Great Gatsby” on Sept. 5 in a season that also features three often-performed Shakespeare works—“The Comedy of Errors,” “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Henry V.”

The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati, which uses mostly adult performers in productions tailored to youth, this season is staging hour-long versions of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin,” along with the December 2014 premiere of the company-commissed and “Frozen”-inspired “The Snow Queen.” And what theater season would be complete without some nearby productions of “West Side Story” (The Carnegie), “The Glass Menagerie” (Mariemont Players) or “The Sound of Music” (Covedale Center)?

WCPO Insiders can read more about the choices theater directors weigh each season and how one local company ruled out a show that dealt with incest and had "horrible language."

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