Monthly Archives: May 2011

2011 Fringe Adventure: Day Five


Fringe performances on Sunday, June 5th begin at 2pm. I have three shows on my schedule for the day:

  • 4pm at Media Bridges
    THE BEASTS from The Great Ben Egerman Theatre Adventure
    A building secured for generations against what lies outside. A meeting is called to discuss whether it’s time to finally open the doors, to see whether the Beasts still wait outside, whether it is time to let us out, and perhaps, to let them in… Plus, there are weird puppets! A strange mixture of post-apocalyptic horror, solo performance, and puppetry results in this politically charged & extremely dark comedy.

Ben Egerman’s tagline for THE BEASTS is “ALIEN meets TWELVE ANGRY MEN meets the Muppets.” How can I not go? As I stated previously, I have not had positive experiences with puppets at the friends, so let’s see if this holds true for muppets as well…

  • 5:30pm at 1423 Vine
    Miss Magnolia Beaumont, Southern debutante, finds herself trapped in the body of Joe, a gay New Yorker visiting Provincetown, MA. This hilarious and touching tale of two souls struggling for balance and understanding celebrates the beauty and magic of P-town.

Reading the description immediately brought to mind ALL OF ME with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin, (and this if you are a FARSCAPE fan) you know, if Steve was gay and Lily was a Southern debutante from the Civil War era. A quick look as his preview video and a scanning of recent reviews reinforces that this should be an entertaining and insightful performance. Can’t wait.  Then it’s a no-time dash a few doors down.

  • 7pm at 1411 Vine
    THE BODY SPEAKS: SCRIPTED from Performance Gallery
    THE BODY SPEAKS roller-coaster plows through the brains of six playwrights and out pops a unique vision. A series of photos by Sean Dunn inspire our “scripted” response; concise vignettes creating a variety of worlds, characters and stories. They may enchant, they may enrage as they explore the body, brain and beyond. Come along on the ride. Continue your journey through the theme by seeing the “movement” and “captured” versions by our collaborating partners. Part of THE BODY SPEAKS: SEVEN PHOTOS INSPIRE DANCE, FILM AND THEATRE. Explore three independent interpretations and one unique collaboration. 

If there is one local performance organization that lives on the Fringe, it is Performance Gallery. TBS:S is their eighth consecutive entry in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival since 2004. Personal favorites include godsplay (’06) and fricative(’08). A host of faces familiar to local audiences perform in the 70 minutes show: Michael Bath, Aretta Baumgartner, Katie Eichler, Michael Hall, Mindy Heithaus, Marissa Holzman, Jodie Linver, Lauren Otte, Willemien Patterson, Hayley Powell, Simon Powell, Derek Snow, Khrys Styles & Valerie Witherspoon.

Heading out to a an audition after this performance. Look for reviews for these productions on Monday.

Official Cincy Fringe site | Plan your Fringe-ing with my daily show grid |


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WINTER WONDERETTES runs June 24-July 24

Presented by Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
June 24-July 24

That’s right, Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy return to ETC’s stage for a winter wonderland delight this summer. All four original cast members, Sara Mackie, Mia Gentile, Brooke Rucidlo, and Denise Devlin will rejoin ETC for this exciting regional premiere that celebrates some of the greatest ‘60s holiday hits, including “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Santa Baby,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and “The Man With the Bag”. Set in Harper’s Hardware on Christmas 1968, a few months after their ten-year high school reunion, WINTER WONDERETTES picks up where THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES left off.

  • Fri-Sat, June 24-25 at 8pm
  • Sun, June 26 at 2pm
  • Wed-Thu, June 29-30 at 7:30pm
  •  Fri-Sat, July 1-2 at 8pm
  • Sun, July 3 at 2pm
  • Wed-Thu, July 6-7 at 7:30pm
  • Fri-Sat, July 8-9 at 8pm
  • Sun, July 10 at 2pm
  • Wed-Thu, July 13-14 at 7:30pm
  • Fri-Sat, July 15-16 at 8pm
  • Sun, July 17 at 2pm
  • Tue-Thu, July 19-21 at 7:30pm
  • Fri-Sat, July 22-23 at 8pm
  • Sun, July 24 at 2pm

Official page | Online ticketing | Goldstar discount | Promotional photos | BTC review |

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2011 Fringe Adventure: Day Four

On Saturday Fringe-ing begins at 2pm. The five shows I’m catching on June 4th are:
  • 2pm at Hanke 1
    THE VINDLEVOSS FAMILY CIRCUS from Karim Muasher and Carrie Brown
    Professor VindleVoss and her adopted son Edvard the Zombie invite you to the rebirth of their once towering family circus! With only a few dusty artifacts and their quick wits, they make the magic of the big top live again!  Come eat the free popcorn, feel your belly rumble with laughter, and watch with amazement the death-defying thrills for children of all ages!

A circus fringe-style with a zombie assistant. Need I say more? After the circus it’s a two-plus block sprint (and hoping for a five minute late start) for

  • 3pm  at Artworks
    PEYOTE BUSINESS LUNCH from Artemis Exchange
    A job applicant meets the CFO of an Indian Casino Corporation and the CFO’s Secretary at the Olive Garden inside their casino for a final interview – which just so happens to be a peyote-fueled vision quest. With the help of Spirit Guides, the men explore their collective subconscious with cleansed perception and experience the pure sensations of the human soul on capitalism (with unlimited soup, salad, and bread sticks.) 

The third show about trying to find a job, is someone trying to tell me something? Local group Artemis Exchange was founded in 2008 by Christopher Karr and Chris Wesselman. In the 2009 Fringe Festival AE presented A PERFECTLY WONDERFUL EVENING (which I had a small part in helping to cast, heh) and last year’s Fringe entry, ABERRANT REFLECTIONS ON THE BARBARISM OF YOU AND I, which returned to the stage this past March at New Edgecliff Theatre.

  • 4:15pm at Hanke 1
    RIP IN THE ATMOSPHERE presented by Psophonia Dance Company
    Descend into the depths of Psophonia’s rabbit hole. Where weightlessness ensues, everyday reality ends. Such abandonment is natural at Earth’s highest atmospheric level. But what if the ability to control your body stopped working at ground level? If your sensory flow suddenly disappeared, how would you function in the world? RIP IN THE ATMOSPHERE, our sensory deprivation is your sensory overload. Experience every atmospheric level as Psophonia Dance Company dares to split your mind. So point yourself over to this mixed repertoire of the senses and upset your equilibrium. Let it rip!
  • 7pm at Media Bridges
    THE LYDIA ETUDES: ABOUT LOVING ANTON CHEKOV from Dawn Arnold – The Moving Dock Theatre Company
    Earthquakes happen when no one is looking. The controversial love between Anton Chekhov and a woman named Lydia comes alive on stage in THE LYDIA ETUDES. An intimate look at the master storyteller, Anton Chekhov, told through the eyes of the woman who might have been his one true love. Be transported into the world of Chekhov as Dawn Arnold portrays Lydia and Anton, and a host of other characters, in her original adaptation of Lydia Avilova’s memoir and Chekhov’s letters to Lydia. “A dynamic, compelling glimpse of a fascinating woman writer by an equally mesmerizing theatre artist.”  
An intriguing sounding solo work out of Chicago, Illinois. Following TLE, in probably the worst scheduling for myself,
  • 8:15pm at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
    MELANCHOLY PLAY by Sarah Ruhl featuring the ETC Intern Company
    Our not-so-sad-story begins with Tilly: a banker and melancholic. Tilly flits about town spreading her sweet sorrow to everyone she meets: her psychiatrist, Lorenzo; her boyfriend, Frank; and two lesbian lovers, Frances and Joan…. so of course they fall in love with her. This makes Tilly happy, very happy. But this is not the Tilly they fell in love with! Her suitors become dismayed and yes, melancholy by the transformation of their temptress. Havoc and mayhem ensue: a battle over her coveted vial of tears, a metamorphous catastrophe…and it is up to our heroine to make it right. 
The works of playwright Sarah Ruhl are familiar to Cincinnati audiences. Recent performances of her scripts include, THE CLEAN HOUSE at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, EURYDICE at Know Theatre of Cincinnati and DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE at ETC. Local actress Regina Pugh (who recently gave a emotionally strong performance as Arlene in ETC’s NEXT FALL) directs this farewell performance of the 2010-2011 Intern Company.

Reviews for these performances will be available on Sunday.

Official Cincy Fringe site | Plan your Fringe-ing with my daily show grid |

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Southern Comforts runs June 10-12

Presented by Young at Heart Players
June 10-12

Some people need continuous change in order to feel alive. Others are terrified of unsettling the peace that they have established. In a sprawling New Jersey Victorian, a taciturn Yankee widower and a vivacious grandmother from Tennessee find a second chance at love. Their funny and enchanting romance is filled with surprise and unpredictable tribulation. this off-Broadway success is an affecting, late-in-life journey of compromise and rejuvenation, of personal risk and the rewards of change.

  • Fri-Sat, June 10-11 at 8pm
  • Sun, June 12 at 3pm

Official page with cast and crew | Online ticketing |

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2011 Fringe Adventure: Day Three


Start your weekend on the Fringe. Performances I’ll be attending on Friday, June 3rd:

  • 7pm at Know Theater
     DENALI from Working Group Theatre
    Who owns the story of survival? One summer, three childhood friends attempt to summit Mt. McKinley in Alaska’s Denali National Park — and only two come back. DENALI, by Austin Bunn, explores the line between fact and fiction, and the tests of friendship on the world’s coldest mountain. Imagine Jon Krakauer’s INTO THIN AIR with a James Frey scandal of legitimacy and you have the newest work from Pushcart Prize winning author Austin Bunn. 

The description for this show immediately reminded me of a half-hour cutting of K2 (the story of two friends’ ascent of the second-highest mountain on Earth) presented years ago by Falcon Theater. I’m very interested to see this on unfold.

  • 8pm at ArtWorks
    This beef ain’t halal! Join Zed “The Muslim Weird Al” Headscarf on an irreverent romp through the American Muslim experience. This musically comic solo-show explores religion, growing up in a Pakistani immigrant family, and coming to terms with sex and love—all in one hilarious, energy-packed hour of story and song parody from powerhouse performer Zehra Fazal.

Best show title this season, religion themed and the “Muslim Weird Al?” I’m so there. Thankfully the two venues for D & HATAB are right next door to each other. Cutting this one close as well.

  • 9:30pm at ArtWorks
    I LOVE YOU (WE’RE FUCKED) from Kevin J. Thornton
    “I was going through an intense break up in Los Angeles. I moved out of our West Hollywood apartment and came to Indiana to hibernate for the winter and clear my head. Instead, I ended up drinking a lot and writing folk/country songs. I decided to take all this heartbreak and music and smash it together with my stand up.” This unique hybrid of styles is displayed in Thornton’s hilariously show about a gay man looking back over the greatest loves (and sex) of his life written by and starring Kevin J Thornton. Includes original music from Thornton’s 2011 release JANUARY DREAMS.

Based on his 2009 Fringe appearance with SEX, DREAMS AND SELF CONTROL (he also revisited Know last October for two performances), Kevin’s new show was definitely at the top of my must see this list this Fringe. Following the format of his previous show, ILY(WF) is “a mix of stand-up, storytelling and original music.” Reviews of this new show from the Orlando Fringe have been very positive. A great place to start your Friday night before you hit the bars (you know who you are).

Check back for reviews on Saturday.

Official Cincy Fringe site | Plan your Fringe-ing with my daily show grid |

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