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Jackie Demaline: A Fall Feast of Entertainment for NKY & Cincinnati in October

Top picks: Buyer and Cellar at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, a New York comedy hit about a guy hired to run Streisand’s personal shopping mall; the dazzling Broadway revival of Pippin, touring here for just a week with Broadway Cincinnati; Bruce Cromer in Death of a Salesman at Cincinnati Shakespeare; and Kentucky Symphony Orchestra snagging rights to a new Disney concert, in which they’ll perform live accompaniment to the classic Silly Symphonies cartoons.
 
There are more temptations: for story ballet romantics, there’s Lady of the Camellias at Cincinnati Ballet; I love trueTheatre with real folks taking the stage to tell their stories, this time trueGAMBLE; and Opera Fusion, which gives audiences a peek at the creative process with the adaptation of Salmon Rushdie novel Shalimar the Clown.
 
I’m circling Oct. 28 for the Open House at NKU’s new School of the Arts and Heroism in Paint: A Master Series by Jacob Lawrence begins a run at Taft Museum of Art. Did I mention Benedict Cumberbatch on screen as Hamlet and everyone’s favorite, Fringe-y funny guy Paul Strickland opening a promisingly strange Andy’s House of Blank at the end of the month at Know?
 
Disney in Concert: A Silly Symphony Celebration, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3. Florence Baptist Church at Mt. Zion, 642 Mt. Zion Rd., Florence, Tickets: $24, $32, $40, children ages 6-18 half-price. Available at www.kyso.org, 859-431-6216 and at the door.
 
 
Do you love vintage Disney cartoons? What? You’ve never seen vintage Disney cartoons? Now’s your chance. Three Little Pigs, The Skeleton Dance, Country Cousin, Music Land -- you’ll love them and so will your kids as the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra provides live accompaniment – and sound effects! – for classic animation.  The KSO gives the first pubic full orchestra performance of the original musical scores set to the Symphonies.
 
Taylor 2, 8 p.m. Oct. 9. Corbett Theatre, Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights. Tickets $10, students $8.  859-572-5464 and [email protected].
 
Paul Taylor’s classic work is fashioned for a smaller ensemble, but ever potent. The program is lighthearted Junction; the duet from romantic Roses; The Uncommitted, a comment on the impermanence of many relationships in the 21st century; and exuberant, beloved Company B (subtitled Songs Sung by the Andrews Sisters) with its “fleeting jitterbug references, coupled with a stream of wartime images, would suggest that "Company B" is about the 1940's. 
 
Actually, it is about us -- humans at large and Americans in particular, whatever the period.” – The New York Times
 
Heroism in Paint:  A Master Series by Jacob Lawrence, Oct. 10-Jan. 17. 316 Pike St., Downtown Cincinnati. Admission $10, ages 6-17 $5, five and under free. 513-684-4515 and www.taftmuseum.org.
 
Jacob Lawrence recounts the story of Toussaint L’Ouverture, founding father of Haiti, in 41 tempera paintings in his signature style of geometric shapes and expressive colors. No matter the subject of individual paintings. Together they are a testament to the endurance of the human spirit forged during the struggle for freedom. (Think about staying for lunch – the menu always has a selection inspired by the centerpiece exhibit. Haitian, anyone?)
 
Buyer and Cellar, Oct. 13-Nov. 1. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1028 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $28-$44 adults, $25 students. 513-421-3555 and www.ensemblecincinnati.org
Nick Cearley as Alex More (Image via Lynnae Vana) 
 
What’s a legend to do with decades of stuff? If you’re Barbra Streisand, you enshrine all of it in a mini-mall in the basement of your Malibu home, where you can pretend to go shopping! In the New York hit, out-of-work actor Alex More can’t pass up an offer to play shopkeeper for a customer who doesn’t let anyone rain on her parade. 
 
Pippin, Oct. 13-18. Broadway in Cincinnati, Aronoff Center, 650 walnut St., Downtown Cincinnati. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $29-$99 plus fees. 513-621-2787 and here.
 
Who’s Pippin?  He’s the son of Charlemagne. Who’s Charlemagne? Just the first Holy Roman Emperor! Not to worry, it’s just the story of a guy in the Middle Ages trying to find himself in a show that’s tuneful as can be. The 2013 Tony Award-winning revival is circus-tastic, filled with jaw-dropping acrobatics, wondrous magical feats and generally hailed as “astonishing!”
 
Death of a Salesman, Oct. 16-Nov. 7. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown Cincinnati. Tickets $22-$39 (plus fees.)  513-381-2273 ext. 1 and 
Bruce Cromer is Willie Loman in Arthur Miller’s American classic. Need we say more? Celebrating Miller’s centenary (the big day is Oct. 17), Willie dreams The American Dream, blind to the realities of his family and his job in a drama that explores degrees of failure and success.
 
Hamlet, 7 p.m. Oct. 15. National Theatre Live, Newport on the Levee ($18), Cinemark Milford 16 ($19, seniors $18). 
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock!) stars as the Prince of Denmark in this filmed four-hour (!) stage production by London’s Barbican Theatre. As Entertainment Weekly wrote – “Many of the reviews found fault in director Lyndsey Turner’s more-modern staging — but who the heck cares… CUMBERBATCH, BABY!” EW provided a critical round-up (which includes a comment by his mum) here.
 
Shalimar the Clown, Oct. 17. Opera Fusion. For details and reservations (required), contact Cincinnati Opera box office at 513-241-2742. 
 
If you like opera and don’t know Opera Fusion, give yourself the treat of experiencing an opera-in-the-making. CCM Opera, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis collaborate to create a new work by Jack Perla (composer) and Rajiv Joseph (libretto) based on Salmon Rushdie’s novel. The story revolves around a child named India who loses her father -- a United States diplomat to India’s namesake country -- to assassination at the hands of his former chauffeur Shalimar. 
 
trueGAMBLE, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19. True Theatre, Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St. Tickets $18. 513-300-5669 and here.
 
The mission of True Theatre is to bring together a wide variety of people to share their personal stories and remind everyone that ALL of us have stories (limited to 10 minutes) to tell with unique insights and broad appeal. There are four themed evenings a season, starting with a curated evening about gambles folks have taken. It’s presented cabaret-style in Know’s Underground bar.  Take the gamble.
 
Lady of the Camellias, Oct. 23-24. Cincinnati Ballet, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown Cincinnati. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $34-$100 plus fees (Click Here).
Set to Chopin, Val Caniparoli’s take on Alexandre Dumas’ romantic classic. In 19th Century Paris, Marguerite, a famous courtesan, begins a forbidden affair with young and handsome Armand. 
 
NKU School of Fine Arts Open House, 7-10 p.m., Oct. 28. Free. Details to come but look for performances throughout the Fine Arts Center. Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights. 
 
“Meet us, see our spaces,” invites SOTA founding director Ken Jones. There will be food, drink and what Jones calls “a festival” of activities across music, visual arts, theater and dance curriculums. Details will be announced in coming weeks. 
 
Andy’s House of Blank, Oct. 30-Nov. 14. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. 8 p.m. Thursday- Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $20. 513-300-5669 and knowtheatre.com.
Happy Halloween! Paul Strickland and Trey Tatum tell the story of a small town man and his house of oddities, a Museum of Unmailed Love Letters, the sudden appearance of an unrequited love with a strange machine – it’s a musical comedy. 
 
Also on Northern Kentucky stages 
 
Theatre Sets of Liliana Duque Piñeiro, through Oct. 30. Main Gallery, Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights. Gallery hours 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday. 859-572-5148 and here. *Free performance of a short opera and two short staged readings at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 and Oct. 2. Reservations required, contact David Knight at 859-572-5148 or [email protected]. VERY LIMITED SEATING. 
 
Gallery visitors can watch California-based sculptor and set designer Duque Piñeiro and NKU students construct sets for the performances during the first week of the exhibit, as well as see sketches, renderings and models of past work, some of it from UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she did theater designs while she earned her MFA. 
 
The Marriage of Figaro, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1, The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington. Tickets $28, students $25. 859-957-1940 and www.thecarnegie.com.
 
The Kentucky Opera brings its touring production to Covington with Mozart’s beloved comic opera. Figaro tries to outwit the Count, who schemes to marry his beautiful bride, Susanna. Performed with super-titles. 
 
Venus in Fur, Oct. 16-24. WIT (Women in Theatre, The Avenue Stage (St. John United Church of Christ), 520 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue. 8 p.m. Tickets $20. Click Here. You’re invited to bring your own lawn chair to expand limited permanent seating.  
 
Playwright David Ives brings together a spacy actress (late for an audition) and a playwright/director for a sly, sexually charged comedy/drama between a man, who doesn’t know what he wants and a woman who knows exactly what she wants.
 
The Winter’s Tale, Oct. 20-25. Northern Kentucky University, Stauss Studio Theatre, Fine Arts Center, Highland Heights. Tickets $14, seniors $1, students $8. 859-572-5464 and [email protected].
 
Comedy? Romance? Problem play? It’s all three as Shakespeare fills this fantasy with some of his favorite devices -- princes and princesses, disguised identities, jealous kings, oracles, pickpockets, and one ravenous bear, en route to love and redemption.
 
How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Oct. 22-Nov. 7. Footlighters, Stained Glass Theatre, 802 York St., Newport. Tickets $20 plus $1 handling fee. 859-652-3849.
 
Delicious musical satire of corporate America follows J. Pierrepont Finch as he consults a little handbook to climb the corporate ladder from lowly window washer to high-powered executive.
 
Written by Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts
Images provided