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Shawn Toadvine, Rebecca Braun, Kara McLaughlin & Nathan Henegar.

Shawn Toadvine, Rebecca Braun, Kara McLaughlin & Nathan Henegar.

IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!?!? presented by GoodPeople Theatre Co. through July 11. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.

Locally we’ve always had a thriving theater community. In fact, we continue to add companies faster than we lose them. A growing trend over the last few years has been local playwrights having or making the opportunity to bring original works in front an audience.

Adding to that list is IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!?!?, a series of five vignettes. Three were written by Cincinnati-native Mollie Amburgey, who also directs. Will Bonfiglio supplies the script for the other two.

The strongest piece for me was “The Unlikely Philosopher” by Amburgey. Actors Shaun Toadvine and Becca Braun have a fun chemistry as two singles who meet after a mix-up in the laundry room. I would have liked to have seen a touch more charm, and a hint of swagger from Toadvine’s character. Also well-done was “Going in Blind,” featuring Nathan Henegar and Kara McLaughlin as two singles set up on a blind date by their mothers. A nice chemistry between the two, but the blocking was a bit stagnant.

Bonfiglio’s “Miss Connection” went in a direction I didn’t expect, which was fun, but the “punchline” got lost in the audience’s reaction to the guys’ entrance, in part due to that wig from the Donald Trump collection. 🙂 Just be sure to hold when the audience is having a good laugh. In “Love at First Swipe” I would have liked to have seen a characterization other than the gay stereotype. There is a broad diversity in the gay community, and having one, of the couple, be more of a “guy that likes guy” may have made for a stronger performance. After all, opposites attract.

Overall a nicely done undertaking. With a running time less than a hour, the show was light on content for the ticket price. Just something to bear in mind in any future endeavors.

My rating: 3.25 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.


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