Year-in-Review: Performing Arts
Whether onstage or not, there is no "comfort zone" for the performing arts in Columbus. Here's an attempt to highlight the year (not to be confused with a "Best of 2016").
March at Opera Columbus
This update set the classic story of struggling artists in post-Katrina New Orleans, borrowing from the reality of that city's arts community while retaining Puccini's timeless music.
"PERFORMANCE ART DAY"
March at Wild Goose Creative
A solely conceptual version of performance art might not belong on a list with more traditional performing arts, but this event included spoken word, music and more, alongside performance as an extension of "fine art."
"SONG OF THE STARS"
April at Capitol Theatre
An original work conceived by OSU astrophysicist Paul Sutter used dance, music, projection and more to tell the stories of a variety of astronomical events in a well-executed pairing of science and the arts.
May at Franklinton Playhouse
This work by Samuel Beckett was staged by Columbus theater vet Michael Herring, a well-done and well-received production. But this gets added significance for being a foothold for performing arts in the thriving visual arts community in Franklinton.
WHISKEY BEAR COMEDY FESTIVAL
May at multiple venues
All the comediez. This inaugural local event celebrated the best in Columbus standup, a weekend-long galvanizing of the local scene.
June at Columbus Gay Men's Chorus
This stellar outfit built a program around the topic of bullying, using songs from "The Wizard of Oz," "The Wiz," "Wicked" and "The Boy from Oz," as well as songs from the catalog of Judy Garland.
"PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE"
June/July at Columbus Civic Theatre
Evidence that this house is home to quality, not-to-be-overlooked work in local theater is this zany-yet-challenging piece by Steve Martin.
"50 SHADES OF WEST"
August at AXIS
The outrageous drag-show community in Columbus is not to be trifled with in terms of production value. This show, Virginia West's 40th show at Axis, was about sexual fantasies and fetishes.
October at Wolf's Ridge Brewing
This third program in the first season for this emerging chamber music collective packed the house in Wolf's Ridge's Tap Room, giving added traction to the notion of these intimate concerts in non-traditional settings.
"KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN"
November at Short North Stage
Perhaps the only local stage on which you'd see this fantastical Kander/Ebb musical about a gay window dresser and Marxist revolutionary who share a cell as political prisoners in 1970s Argentina.