Artistic Director Blake Robison, like long-time AD Ed Stern before him, picks a pretty wide variety of material for each season. There is always at least one musical, one comedy review, one edgy drama, one classic drama, and one "concept" play. Depending on your theater preferences, this usually means there will be at least one production each season that you love, and at least one that you will hate.
A couple of things stay the same for all productions, however: Great production details and a great space to watch theater, whether it is the thrust stage of the larger Marx theater or the smaller, very intimate, nearly surrounded stage in the Shelterhouse. The big musicals, classic dramas, and complicated scenery-change plays tend to be in the Marx while the edgier stuff tends to be in the Shelterhouse. Several times during each production, most of the primary actors are available for audience questions after the play concludes.
As noted, production details (lighting, scenery, props, staging, etc.) are excellent. This probably reflects some collaboration with UC's nearby College-Conservatory of Music, where musical theater and drama are big programs.
A couple of minor downsides: Some reviewers have commented negatively on the food that is available, and I am not impressed by the food there either - follow another reviewer's suggestion and eat downtown or at one of the Mt. Adams eateries (like Teak Thai), from which you can walk (caveat: it is uphill), before going to Playhouse. The parking is tough as well - we are subscribers and buy a parking pass for the garage next to the building, but if you cannot get in there, may you have good luck because parking will be a challenge. If you are staying in a downtown or Uptown hotel or eating downtown beforehand, I suggest taking a taxi. Cincinnati Art Museum is a short walk away, so if you are seeing a matinee, you could do both and perhaps leave your car, if you are driving, at the museum - don't quote me on that, however, and if you get towed, you didn't hear any such suggestion from me! ... Huh? This is on the Web? Uh-oh.
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