THE GOD BLOG presented by What If Play Shop Players as part of the 2011 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. You can read the show description here.
I am not familiar with WLW radio’s daily soap opera, “As Your Stomach Turns,” a Cincinnati staple of the late ’60s through 1981. What I expected from THE GOD BLOG was compelling voices, sound effects and melodramatic fun. My performance expectations are best met by playwright and actress Kathleen O’Neill.
Unfortunately, at the opening night performance, the show suffers from an obvious lack of rehearsal. Reading from a script is no excuse for a lack of preparation. Actors need to be intimately familiar with their individual parts as well as the script as a whole. And if this is a homage to radio melodrama, then voice acting and strong characterization should be front and foremost. Instead line delivery tends to be flat and several pregnant pauses occur as cast members miss their pick-ups lines. Also too much focus is spent talking to each other instead of performing to the audience, causing cast members to lose their place in their scripts. Finally, a few cast members could benefit from a lesson in how to use a stand microphone.
The good news is that cast members have time between shows to work on their material and I expect stronger, more fine-tuned performances as the festival continues. Remember, if you are having fun, the audience will respond in kind.
Four performances of THE GOD BLOG at the Art Academy of Cincinnati remain: Fri, June 3 at 8:15pm, Tue, June 7 at 8:45pm. Wed, June 8 at 7pm, and Sat, June 11 at 5pm