It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati showcasing once again how imaginative they are with their production of “SUPERMAN™,” Composed by Charles Strouse, with lyrics by Lee Adams and book by David Newman and Robert Benton. Taking a page from comic book lore, TCT embraces the lights, sounds and colors associated with the original Superman comics to deliver an energy-infused, tongue-in-cheek romp that reminds us of the need for heroes every day. More importantly, TCT plays the role of hero by teaching and embracing art appreciation from the moment they share audience etiquette with the youngest patrons to the when they offer up their new podcast “Footlights” to engage the audience long after the curtain falls with more details on how they make it all happen. With the rallying cry of “Go out and be a hero to someone today,” “SUPERMAN™” kicks off their 2018-19 season with a WHAM! POP! BAM! of energetic fun and a Superman-sized dose of anticipation for what’s to come.
As with all TCT shows, “SUPERMAN™” is appreciatively short to ensure optimal engagement from its younger viewers and maximize storytelling impact. The cleverly designed set engulfs the audience in the comic book world from the moment they take their seats, complemented by well-executed lighting and sound effects throughout. The talented ensemble stays busy playing multiple roles, while delivering delightful acrobatic and dancing chops — including an unexpectedly delightful tap dance number that is the true hero of the show. Another unexpected joy was the performance of Kristi Rose Mills with her adorable delivery of “Possibilities” and a touch of girl power as she challenges both Clark Kent and Max Mencken to be better.
Clever wordplay and costumes keep us effectively immersed in the comic book world, but it is Evan Koons as Superman who predictably “saves the day.” Beyond looking the part (WOW!), his deep voice and self-deprecating sense of humor convince us that superheroes are even better because of their flaws and that wanting to do good is something we need more of every day. However, my absolute favorite part of the show was TCT playing a real-world hero by supporting the breast cancer fundraiser “Real Men Wear Pink,” encouraging the audience to raise enough funds during the show to see Superman dressed completely in a pink superhero outfit. I did not realize that seeing a pink Superman was on my mental list of “never miss” sights, but it certainly was and it should absolutely be on yours!
With showings available through October 15, “SUPERMAN™” is a fun-filled comic book adventure that everyone should take some time to enjoy and get into the spirit of being a hero for someone. And if you have not already, you should absolutely join The Children’s Theater of Cincinnati’s Crown Club. This extraordinary opportunity is an amazing value and will absolutely make YOU the hero to your kids. With an exclusive behind-the-scenes season kick-off that offered special classes and a chance to meet the actors, each and every production is made special through show-themed giveaways for kids lucky enough to be part of the TCT Crown Club — this show provided an authentic and beautiful Superman cape that made me jealous! From classes to experiences to exceptional productions, TCT continues to take us to new heights as we fly into a season filled with hero-themed shows, including “Santa Claus: The Musical,” Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” “Sleeping Beauty” and all of their TCT Showtime Series, ranging from a one-man “Christmas Carol” to “Rosa Parks.”
Christi Geary is the proud mom of two girls (8 and 11), best friend and wife of her husband Brian, and an Associate Director at the Procter & Gamble Company focused on shopper innovation insights and analytics. She enjoys and participates in art of every kind, feeds an insatiable curiosity for learning every day through books and connecting with others, pursues different forms of exercise when she can find the time to balance out her foodie predilection (highly recommend DanceFix and Pilates Reformer), and delights in spending time with family and friends. Writing reviews for the arts is an absolute privilege and one she cherishes every day, with the hope that sharing her perspective will inspire others to embrace the arts.