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Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's 2014-15 Season Worth a Trip Across the River

It’s well-worth crossing the river for - Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s 2014-2015 season of regional premieres looks like a must-see, says RCN contributor Jackie Demaline.
 
The line-up:
 
Hands On A Hardbody, Sept. 3-21. Regional premiere.
Get your minds out of the gutter(!) “Hardbody” is based on a 1997 documentary about 10 down-on-their-luck Texans who set out to win a truck by keeping their hands on that hard body through scorching days and nights. The Tony Award-nominated score of blues, R&B, country and rock is by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio (front man for the band Phish). The book is by Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright, who had hits at ETC with I Am My Own Wife and Grey Gardens.
 
An Iliad, Oct. 15-Nov. 2.
Speaking of Don’t Miss – top regional actor Bruce Cromer should offer a tour-de-force performance in this one-man play, a contemporary adaptation of Homer’s epic of the Trojan War. Gods rage, man self-destructs, Cromer plays Achilles, Hector, Agamemnon – even Helen of Troy.
 
Sleeping Beauty, Dec. 3-Jan. 4.
The return of one of the favorite fractured fairytale holiday musicals by David Kisor and Joseph McDonough. Meet Briar Rose, her overprotective parents, three wacky fairies (and a wicked one), a dragon with an attitude – and a charing prince armed with a guitar. 
 
The Other Place, Jan. 28-Feb. 15.
This regional premiere by Sharr White is a psychological thriller described by The New York Times as “a cagy, emotionally resonant drama packed with plot twists.” Dr. Juliana Smithton has it all: career, family, fame. But just as her research leads to a potential breakthrough, her life takes a disorienting turn and soon nothing is as it seems. 
During a lecture to colleagues at an exclusive beach resort, she glimpses an enigmatic young woman in a yellow bikini amidst the crowd of business suits. Piece by piece, a 10-year mystery unravels as she sifts through disjointed facts, half-truths, and cloudy memories that lead her back to a Cape Cod cottage where a revelation awaits. 
 
To Be Announced, March 18-April 5.
It will be a regional premiere.
 
Outside Mullingar, May 6-24.
Talk about Cincinnati All-Stars. Ed Stern, longtime Playhouse in the Park producing artistic director, returns to ETC with a romantic comedy by John Patrick Shanley (Doubt, Moonstruck) with area favorites Dale Hodges and Joneal Joplin in featured roles as septuagenarian parents. The regional premiere is set in rural Ireland, where Anthony and Rosemary, both straddling 40, are introverted misfits and next-door neighbors. Can they find each other? Compassionate, funny and heart-breaking, it reminds us it's never too late to take a chance on love.
 
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati is located at 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. For more information call 513-421-3555 and www.ensemblecincinnati.org.