The holidays have arrived in Cincinnati, and, after the year we’ve had, we are all in need of some extra holiday magic. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s annual holiday performance a much-loved tradition around here, and happily, the show goes on in 2020.
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s The Velveteen Rabbit reminds us what the holidays are all about. The show opened last weekend for in-person performances at TCT’s Redbank Road facility, and begins streaming via Broadway On Demand Nov. 19.
TCT has really thought about what’s going on in the world, and adjusted their approach to live theatre accordingly. For starters, in-person seating is limited to 30% (or 44 seats) per performance, and masks are required for all staff, patrons — and actors. In fact, TCT has done some really cool things work within the confines of COVID-19: they’ve created specially designed nose and mouth covering into the costumes, and pre-recorded vocal amplification used to reduce the amount of respiration created by actors in the theater during a performance. The only visible mask is The Boy’s — it’s a face shield — and maybe it’s just because I’ve gotten used to seeing people in masks, but it’s not distracting at all.
While 2020 has forced TCT to scale down their MainStage shows, rest assured that the spirit and exuberance of the troupe prevails. The show itself — The Velveteen Rabbit — is a classic, about the innocence and wonder of childhood. It always makes me think of Santa Claus and all the magic inherent in the holiday season, which is so needed this year.
Of course, what makes TCT so great is the way they reimagine the classics. There’s always an element of the unexpected, which keeps their shows fresh and exciting. The Velveteen Rabbit is no exception. It’s so 2020, set within the high-tech concept of virtual reality. (And even more virtual if you opt for the Broadway on Demand option). As we’ve all navigated our ways through this pandemic, technology has provided a way to stay connected. Today’s kids are resilient and amazing, and The Velveteen Rabbit celebrates children in a big way.
A family date to see The Velveteen Rabbit is a wonderful way to spend time together this season — whether that’s in person at TCT’s beautiful Red Bank Road location, or cuddled up on the family couch for an at-home movie night. 2020 has thrown so many changes our way, but the magic of theatre will never change, no matter how, exactly, we’re experiencing it.
Live performances of The Velveteen Rabbit at TCT’s Ralph and Patricia Corbett’s Showtime Stage on Red Bank Road will take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm, Saturdays at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm, and Sundays at 2pm and 5pm November 12 through December 13. (Please note: shows will not take place the week of November 23 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.)
Tickets and digital passes are on sale now. For details visit thechildrenstheatre.
With the help of Macy’s as Virtual Production Sponsor, digital performances begin on Broadway on Demand on November 19. The presale price for a digital pass is $15.95. This presale price is