Last night we had the opportunity to visit one of our favorite theaters in town – The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Otto M.Budig Theater – to see their newest show, Gaslight. This play took me back to my childhood because our family loved watching old thrillers from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The Cincy Shakes performance of Gaslight was both intense and hilarious and it left me wanting to make some popcorn and check out the movie at home now. In fact this play makes me want to not only watch the old movie Gaslight, but other old thrillers like The Birds and Arsenic and Old Lace.
The set was remarkable, it always impresses me how well Cincy Shakes utilizes every inch of their stage and give so much attention to every little detail. We felt like we were sitting right inside their parlor and due to the seating design we were just inches away from the actors at times. The acting was superb as always – the performers really brought their roles to life. This show is only here until September 24th, so get your tickets now! It’s a perfect place for a date night or night out with friends. Before the show and during intermission be sure to visit Bob’s Bar and grab some sweets or Greaters Ice Cream during intermission. They have beverages as well: beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks. I love their “Shakesbeer” lager but they always have an interesting specialty cocktail for each show. Here’s what they are serving for Gaslight…
A lime margarita that sets your senses ablaze. Ignite your taste buds with zesty lime, perfectly complemented by a tajin rim that sparks nostalgia. A garnish of jalapeño and gummy pepper adds spicy flare to this classic cocktail. Can also be made as a mocktail.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents: Gaslight
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company unveils a gripping new World Premiere adaptation of the thriller, Gaslight: The official start of the 30th Anniversary Season at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company opens with a World Premiere: Patrick Hamilton’s Gaslight in a new version for the stage by Steven Dietz and produced in partnership with Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Directed by Courtney Sale, Gaslight sees it World Premiere on CSC’s stage September 8-24, 2023 before moving to Lowell, MA. The design of Gaslight is generously sponsored by President H. James Williams and First Lady Carole Campbell Williams of Mount St. Joseph University, Theater Arts Department.
The sanctity of marriage is threatened when sanity is at stake. Strange things start to happen to the newlyweds Bella and Jack in this turn of the century Victorian thriller as their seemingly perfect marriage devolves into something sinister. Why is the attic door locked? Whose footsteps wander the halls at night? And is that gaslight flickering… or not? Bella’s reality is twisted, forcing her to question both the truth and her husband’s intentions in this haunting thriller based on the acclaimed play and classic film and the story that gave rise to 2022’s word of the year: Gaslight.
A play originally written in the 1930s by Patrick Hamilton, and known for the 1944 film adaptation that reigns beside other film noirs like The Maltese Falcon and Double Idemnity, Gaslight’s newest revamp takes the stage. Steven Dietz, the playwright behind CSC’s fan favorite production of Dracula, is thrilled to be “the latest writer to take a crack at [Gaslight].”
“The enduring appeal of Gaslight is that there are secrets in our lives,” says Dietz. “These can be delicious or dangerous secrets. In his 1930s play, Patrick Hamilton put that in a pot boiler atmosphere where the secrets are dangerous and urgent, seeking to unsettle and entertain at the same time.”
This thriller will play in Cincinnati September 8 – 24, 2023 before the entire production, cast, and crew transfer to Lowell, MA, near Boston, for a run there as a part of this rolling world premiere. Merrimack Repertory Theater (MRT) will celebrate 43 years this season as the Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre. Under the leadership of the Nancy L. Donahue Executive Artistic Director Courtney Sale, MRT strives to fulfill its mission to “create remarkable new and contemporary plays that bring joy to our art form while engaging, entertaining and enriching our community.”
Gaslight ensemble features CSC fan favorites such as Jim Hopkins and Candice Handy, while welcoming Jack Bausch and Christian Hall along with visiting actors Tom Coiner, Karen MacDonald, and Kristin Yancy to the stage. Tom Coiner and Kristin Yancy play Jack and Bella, the couple at the center of the thrilling and suspenseful plot.
The creative team tackles the world of this Victorian thriller directed by Courtney Sale. Scenic and costume designs by Samantha Reno and Rainy Edwards, respectively, with Laura Glover as Lighting Designer. Sound design and properties design by Robert Carlton Stimmel and Kara Eble Trusty. Fight choreography is by Gina Cerimele-Mechley.
Gaslight runs from September 8-24, 2023. Performances of Gaslight are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, with two Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM on September 17 and 24, and two Saturday matinees at 2:00 PM on September 16 and 23. CSC offers performances with accessibility resources. The final Sunday matinee on September 24 is Sign Language Interpreted and Audio Description service is available.
Tickets are on sale now. Discounts are available for students, seniors, local residents, and community partners, as access to all is important to CSC. Each performance night has a limited number of $14 “Access” tickets in the Upper Gallery and Stage Gallery. These can be purchased in advance by going online or calling the Box Office. And starting 1 hour before each performance, any unreserved tickets may be available as a discounted Rush Ticket to anyone, not just students. These tickets are only $12 and could be located anywhere in the house, depending on that evening’s availability. These cannot be reserved more than 1 hour before a show and must be purchased in person in the Box Office. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees apply. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is located at The Otto M. Budig Theater at 1195 Elm Street in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park. Many parking spaces are available on the street and in nearby lots and garages- for more information, visit http://www.otrchamber.com/pages/WheretoPark.
CSC also offers Valet Parking for every performance! Make reservations for $25 in advance when purchasing tickets, or visit www.cincyshakes.com/parking. Purchasing in advance guarantees a spot. Valet is available right at the corner of 12th and Elm Street in front of the theater and begins approx. 1.5 hours before a performance. Cars can be picked up for up to one hour following a performance. (After one hour, you will need to arrange pick up with the valet service directly.) After purchasing, the valet will have your name on the list— it’s that easy!
Disclaimer: I was given a pair of tickets to see this production, but I promise you that the opinions are 100% my own. Photos by Mikki Schaffner and press release provided by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.