Date Night

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Take advantage of theatre season and plan a sophisticated date night for mom and dad. The Cincinnati area's filled with opportunities to see a good play.

A night out for parents often means Grandma takes the baby or you’re watching your child sing, dance or play sports. This month, why not honor Valentine’s Day? Go on a real date! And go beyond dinner and a movie by stepping it up with live theater.

My husband and I recently took lots of steps from our street parking, on a date at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. While garage parking is available with an advanced reservation, the Playhouse is truly “in the park,” so we enjoyed our leisurely walk along the tree-lined street, and our spectacular view when we reached the top of our climb. As Playhouse PR manager Connie Yeager notes, “The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is perched atop Mt. Adams in scenic Eden Park, taking full advantage of superb views of Mt. Adams, downtown Cincinnati, Over-the-Rhine and Eden Park.”

After our climb of three or four flights of stairs, we felt little guilt about indulging our appetites before the show. Vonderhaar’s Catering Casual Fare offers salads, sandwiches, homemade soups, a Chef Special of the Day, and sampler hors d’oeuvres platters on weekends. I ordered a chicken salad croissant, and my husband had a barbecue sandwich. Both were good, but we especially enjoyed the Saratoga chips that we shared.

Other food options abound for Playhouse goers. “Mt. Adams offers an array of popular dining options nearby,” Yeager says, “from The Celestial’s four-star dining with a city view, to the historic Rookwood Bar & Restaurant, authentic Asian fare at Teak Thai Cuisine and the cozy, casual Mt. Adams Bar & Grill.”

Flashing lights signal show time, and, during February, the Playhouse has two options for audiences. Through Feb. 15, the larger Robert S. Marx Theater presents Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. The tribute is not just for fans of the country music legend. “The musical genius of Johnny Cash transcends genre,” Yeager states. “The crowd-pleasing celebration of the Man in Black encompasses all of his musical accomplishments through more than 30 classic songs, from folk and gospel to rock and country. The show appeals to anyone who appreciates good tunes and extraordinary musicians.”

Meanwhile, the smaller, more intimate Shelterhouse Theater features the quirky romance, Chapatti, Feb. 7 – March 8. Yeager describes Chapatti as “a sweet, offbeat and funny Irish love story that tells the story of Dan and Betty who bond over their shared affection for animals and rediscover the joys of human companionship. It’s a compelling new play that earned raves during its 2014 world premiere co-production in Chicago and Ireland.”

To add a romantic touch to the evening, Yeager suggests pre-ordering a champagne split “so that it’s waiting for you to be enjoyed at intermission.”

Theatre Dates

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park
962 Mount Adams Circle
513 421-3888 | cincyplay.com
Ring of Fire runs through February 15; Chapatti runs February 7 – March 8

Aronoff Center
650 Walnut St. | 800-294-1816 | cincinnatiarts.org
Anything Goes runs February 17 – 22

Cincinnati Conservatory Of Music
513-556-4183 | ccm.uc.edu
College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati Campus, Jefferson and Corry Streets
The Heidi Chronicles runs February 11 – February 15

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
719 Race St. | 513-381-BARD (2273) | cincyshakes.com
Little Women runs February 20 – March 21

Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati
1127 Vine St. | 513-421-3555 | ensemblecincinnati.org
The Other Place runs through February 15

Barbara David, mother of five and an award-winning columnist for Cincinnati Family Magazine, enjoys travel, writing, and restoring her century-old, west-side home.

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