IS THAT ALL THERE IS? presented by Cincinnati LAB Theatre as part of the 2017 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. You can read the show description here.
“I have not plans to stop singing. What are you going to do when you love music? It’s a terrible disease. You can’t stop.” -Peggy Lee
Jaren Doren handles the role of Ronald/Rita well, but I think he could safely go bigger in personality without becoming a caricature. I would also encourage more stage drinking to better establish his issues with alcohol.
As Ronald’s sister Tess, Danielle Muething strikes a nice emotional balance between sibling and in a way, rival. Her relationship with childhood friend Chad also felt genuine and she handles his original song very well.
Sean Michael Flowers is fun as Chad, but he seemed more comfortable behind the piano. I thought his original song was a good fit for the show.
I did enjoy how the visit from his sister happened mid-transformation from Ronald to “Rita.” The half completed make-up added a surreal quality and really emphasized his/her facial expressions.
While I understand that the playwright was being purposefully vague, there were several instances where few more tidbits of information could have made the dialogue seem less repetitive. Overall though, a strong first effort from Sara Mackie.