Tag Archives: Cincinnati Fringe Festival

CFF22: My Fringe Show Rankings

CFF22_Rosegold logoUpdated for a little more context: The question I get asked most by people with limited time and resources is, which shows are a “must see.” And I give them my bias answer, based on how I reacted to the shows. That being said, it’s not like I’ve been disappointed by any of the performances I’ve attended this year. Please understand that differences between shows in the rankings can be infinitesimal. And I guarantee everyone’s list is different and just as valid.

And if you do decide to attend, I highly recommend you look at all the options. Aside from the fact that there are still plenty of shows I just haven’t seen yet. If a show sounds interesting to you, I highly encourage you to see it. Grab a friend, split a flex pass and hit three shows. You never know what you might discover. Happy Fringing.
-Rob

Updated 6/20/22

My Rankings

  1. ROSEGOLD
    Donna Kay Yarborough is all-in emotionally in her intense, extremely well-acted one-woman show.
  2. HEDY: The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr
    Heather Massie impresses as Lamarr (and the multiple characters she interacts with) in this engaging show exploring Hedy’s life.
  3. BE MY THIEF
  4. JINKIES!
    Jordan Trovillion & Trey Tatum return as the teen sleuth and her faithful dog companion. Imaginative, clever and funny, JINKIES is an enjoyable sequel completely accessible even if you missed the 2019 original production, ZOINKS!
  5. FIRE IN THE METH LAB
  6. THE SEX LIVES OF BUTTERFLIES
  7. BENT COMPASS
  8. EXPERI-MENTAL
  9. BANNED FROM HEAVEN, BARRED FROM HELL
  10. SOFT
  11. WHISKEY FLICKS LIVE!
  12. THE BARN IDENTITY
  13. A MORGUE OF THE FORGOTTEN
  14. SEXY SEXY MATTRESS TIME
  15. TEXAS ANNIE: The Legend of the Moan Ranger
  16. WUTHERING: A Musical on the Moors
  17. SADEC 1965: A Love Story
  18. UPLINE – It’s Not a Show, It’s an Opportunity
  19. FATHER, DAUGHTHER & HOLY TOAST
  20. DESTINY U.S.A
  21. MAKE A F*CKIN’ SHOW YOU P.O.S.
  22. MESSES
  23. JUNKMAIL ORACLE

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Performance Options for June 7-10 at Cincy Fringe

CFF2022 logoNew Fringers can be a bit intimidated by the overwhelming number of choices available on the Fringe Show Schedule.

This year performances are scheduled so that you have at least 15 minutes to travel between venues within the Art Academy and Know Theatre.

Below I have broken down your options in each time block for the opening weekend. You can choose one show in each block.

For a complete list of performance information, visit my Fringe page or the Cincy Fringe website.

TUESDAY, JUNE 7

CFF22_messes logoBlock 1 (6:45pm, 7pm or 7:15pm start times)

  • MESSES
  • BENT COMPASS
  • DESTINY, U.S.A
  • FATHER, DAUGHTHER & HOLY TOAST
  • JUNKMAIL ORACLE
  • MAKE A F*CKING SHOW YOU P.O.S.

Block 2 (8:30pm, 8:45pm or 9pm start times)

  • WHISKEY FLICKS LIVE!
  • A MORGUE OF THE FORGOTTEN
  • HEDY! The Live & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr
  • ROSEGOLD
  • SOFT
  • THE REAL BLACK SWANN: CONFESSIONS OF AMERICAN’S FIRST BLACK DRAG QUEEN

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8

CFF22_Mushrooms of Western Kentucky logoBlock 1 (6:45pm, 7pm or 7:15pm start times)

  • MUSHROOMS OF WESTERN KENTUCKY & FURTHER MEDITATIONS
  • CHARLOTTE VAN HELSING BEFRIENDS A VAMPIRE, A CROW AND (POSSIBLY) HER FATHER
  • HEDY! The Live & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr
  • EXPERI-MENTAL
  • HELP ME HELP YOU HELP YOURSELF
  • SADEC 1965: A Love Story

Block 2 (8:30pm, 8:45pm or 9pm start times)

  • SEXY, SEXY MATRESS TIME
  • BENT COMPASS
  • UPLINE – It’s Not a Show, It’s an Opportunity
  • ROSEGOLD
  • JUNKMAIL ORACLE

THURSDAY, JUNE 9

CFF22_messes logoBlock 1 (6:45pm, 7pm or 7:15pm start times)

  • MESSES
  • CHARLOTTE VAN HELSING BEFRIENDS A VAMPIRE, A CROW AND (POSSIBLY) HER FATHER
  • HEDY! The Live & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr
  • JINKIES!
  • HELP ME HELP YOU HELP YOURSELF
  • MAKE A F*CKING SHOW YOU P.O.S.

Block 2 (8:30pm, 8:45pm or 9pm start times)

  • WUTHERING: A Musical on the Moors
  • BENT COMPASS
  • FIRE IN THE METH LAB
  • THE BARN IDENTITY
  • SOFT
  • SADEC 1965: A Love Story

FRIDAY, JUNE 10

CFF22_Silver Hammer logoBlock 1 (6:45pm, 7pm or 7:15pm start times)

  • SILVER HAMMER
  • CHARLOTTE VAN HELSING BEFRIENDS A VAMPIRE, A CROW AND (POSSIBLY) HER FATHER
  • DESTINY, U.S.A.
  • FATHER, DAUGHTHER & HOLY TOAST
  • HELP ME HELP YOU HELP YOURSELF
  • SADEC 1965: A Love Story

Block 2 (8:30pm, 8:45pm or 9pm start times)

  • MUSHROOMS OF WESTERN KENTUCKY & FURTHER MEDITATIONS
  • A MORGUE OF THE FORGOTTEN
  • UPLINE – It’s Not a Show, It’s an Opportunity
  • THE BARN IDENTITY
  • SOFT
  • MAKE A F*CKING SHOW YOU P.O.S.

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Performance Options for June 4 & 5 at Cincy Fringe

CFF2022 logoNew Fringers can be a bit intimidated by the overwhelming number of choices available on the Fringe Show Schedule.

This year performances are scheduled so that you have at least 15 minutes to travel between venues within the Art Academy and Know Theatre.

Below I have broken down your options in each time block for the opening weekend. You can choose one show in each block.

For a complete list of performance information, visit my Fringe page or the Cincy Fringe website.

SATURDAY JUNE 4

CFF22_The Barn Identity logoBlock I (2pm start time)

  • THE BARN IDENTITY

Block 2 (3:30pm or 3:45pm start times)

  • WUTHERING: A Musical on the Moors
  • SALEM SALLY AND THE SPOOKTACULAR BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA
  • DESTINY, U.S.A.
  • JINKIES

Block 3 (5:15pm or 5:30pm start times)

  • TEXAS ANNIE: The Legend of the Moan Ranger
  • A MORGUE OF THE FORGOTTEN
  • UPLINE – It’s Not a Show, It’s an Opportunity
  • FATHER, DAUGHTHER & HOLY TOAST
  • JUNKMAIL ORACLE

Block 4 (6:45pm, 7pm or 7:15pm start times)

  • SEXY SEXY MATTRESS TIME
  • BENT COMPASS
  • OUT OF CHARACTER
  • EXPERI-MENTAL
  • BANNED FROM HEAVEN, BARRED FROM HELL
  • MAKE A F*CKING SHOW YOU P.O.S.

Block 5 (8:30pm, 8:45pm or 9pm start times)

  • WHISKEY FLICKS LIVE!
  • THE SEX LIFE OF BUTTERFLIES
  • CHANGING MY MAJOR TO JOAN
  • ROSEGOLD
  • SOFT
  • THE REAL BLACK SWANN: CONFESSIONS OF AMERICAN’S FIRST BLACK DRAG QUEEN

SUNDAY, JUNE 5

CFF22_Sexy Sexy Mattress Time logoBlock 1 (3:30pm or 3:45pm start times)

  • SEXY SEXY MATTRESS TIME
  • FIRE IN THE METH LAB
  • FATHER, DAUGHTHER & HOLY TOAST

Block 2 (5pm, 5:15pm or 5:30pm start times)

  • WUTHERING: A Musical on the Moors
  • BENT COMPASS
  • HEDY! The Live & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr
  • JINKIES
  • BANNED FROM HEAVEN, BARRED FROM HELL
  • THE REAL BLACK SWANN: CONFESSIONS OF AMERICAN’S FIRST BLACK DRAG QUEEN

Block 3 (6:45pm, 7pm or 7:15pm start times)

  • WHISKEY FLICKS LIVE!
  • THE SEX LIFE OF BUTTERFLIES
  • CHANGING MY MAJOR TO JOAN
  • THE BARN IDENTITY
  • JUNKMAIL ORACLE

Block 4 (8:30pm, 8:45pm or 9pm start times)

  • TEXAS ANNIE: The Legend of the Moan Ranger
  • SALEM SALLY AND THE SPOOKTACULAR BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA
  • OUT OF CHARACTER
  • EXPERI-MENTAL
  • MAKE A F*CKING SHOW YOU P.O.S.

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Gideon Productions Presents BE MY THIEF World Premiere as Part of Cincy Fringe Festival

GP_logoWORLD PREMIERE AS PART OF THE CINCY FRINGE FESTIVAL
WRITTEN BY MAC ROGERS
DIRECTED BY JORDANA WILLIAMS

JUNE 14th – JUNE 17th @ ART ACADEMY ROOM 103

Gideon Productions, the company behind the Cincy Fringe hits God Of Obsidian (2017 Linda Bowen Full Frontal Pick) Musical Chairs (2018 Critic’s Pick Award), and This House Will Never Let Us Go (2019 Critic’s Pick Award) will present the World Premiere of playwright Mac Rogers’ (The Honeycomb Trilogy; the global hit podcasts The Message, LifeAfter and Steal The Stars) sci-fi-inflected psychological thriller BE MY THIEF, running from June 14th to June 17th at Art Academy Room 103 as part of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. The production will be directed by Jordana Williams (The Honeycomb Trilogy; Steal the Stars) and will feature Rebecca Comtois (Viral; Crystal Skillman’s Geek! with Vampire Cowboys), Mac Rogers (NYIT Outstanding Lead Actor Nominee for The Adventures of Nervous-Boy with Nosedive Productions), and Kristen Vaughan (Frankenstein Upstairs, The Honeycomb Trilogy, NYIT Outstanding Lead Actress Winner for Benefactors).

Mira just came home from her first day back at work in person… but her husband Sam doesn’t think she’s really Mira at all. Sam is convinced that she’s a duplicate, created for unknown and likely nefarious reasons. Unable to persuade Sam from his apparent delusion, Mira tracks down an unconventional (and unnerving) therapist, Latham, who takes the couple down a terrifying therapeutic rabbit-hole that unearths truths none of them could have imagined. BE MY THIEF is a twisty thriller about marriage, intimacy, identity, and the fear that society may be changing faster than we can ever prepare for.

BE MY THIEF will run June 14th at 7:00pm, June 15th at 7:00pm, June 16th at 8:45pm, and June 17th at 8:45pm, as part of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival at Art Academy Room 103 (1212 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45202). Tickets ($16) may be purchased online at www.cincyfringe.com. The show will run 60 minutes with no intermission.

MAC ROGERS (Playwright and Sam) is an award-winning playwright and audio dramatist. His sci-fi thriller podcasts THE MESSAGE, STEAL THE STARS, and LIFEAFTER were downloaded over 7 million times.  His plays God of Obsidian, Musical Chairs, and This House Will Never Let Us Go were all Cincy Fringe award-winners. His plays include THE HONEYCOMB TRILOGY (New York Times and Backstage Critic’s Picks and winner of the NYIT Award for Best Premiere Production), VIRAL (winner of Outstanding Play at FringeNYC 2009), and UNIVERSAL ROBOTS (nominated for four New York Innovative Theatre awards). Mac’s plays have earned acclaim from The New York Times, The Guardian, Time Out New York, The New York Post, and many others. 

JORDANA WILLIAMS (Director) has directed numerous plays by Mac Rogers, including the CityBeat Critic’s Picks This House Will Never Let Us Go, God Of Obsidian, Musical Chairs, and Ligature Marks, as well as The Honeycomb Trilogy (NY Times and Time Out NY Critics’ Picks), Universal Robots and Viral. She also directed Mac’s podcast thrillers Steal the Stars, a 2018 Audie Award finalist for Best Audio Drama, and Give Me Away. Other favorite directing work includes Kill Shakespeare at NY Comic Con, Vince Gatton’s Alexandria and The Particulars at FringeNYC.

REBECCA COMTOIS (Mira) previously worked with Mac Rogers and Jordana Williams on the Cincy Fringe award-winners This House Will Never Let Us Go, God Of Obsidian, Musical Chairs, and Ligature Marks, as well as Viral (Winner of FringeNYC’s Outstanding Production of a Play) and The Honeycomb Trilogy (NY Times and Time Out NY Critics’ Picks).  Other notable roles include Minnie the Minotaur in Cystal Skillman’s Geek! (Vampire Cowboys), Jenny in James Comtios’ Infectious Opportunity (Nosedive Productions) and Mag in Taylor Mac’s The Hot Month  (Boomerang’s Legacy Reading Series).

KRISTEN VAUGHAN (Latham) is a three-time NYIT Awards nominee for Lead Actress, winning for Jane in Benefactors (Retro Productions).  Among Kristen’s other roles; Amelia Cooke in The Honeycomb Trilogy and Victoria Frankenstein in Frankenstein Upstairs (Gideon Productions), and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (Bleecker Company).  www.kristenvaughan.com

Critical acclaim for Gideon Productions:

“Television is where you find complicated storytelling. Film is the home of epic sci-fi trilogies. Giant aliens are expensive. Mac Rogers’s “Honeycomb Trilogy,” a titanic story about humanity in crisis wedged into a small theater in Queens, laid waste to these truisms, and provided giddy, cerebral fun along the way.” The New York Times 

“With a minimal but imaginative set, two very talented actors, and a powerful passionate script, God Of Obsidian is not to be missed.”  The Sappy Critic

“A sexy, subtle, and startling exploration of apathy versis desire.” CityBeat on This House Will Never Let Us Go 

GIDEON PRODUCTIONS crafts gripping plays that explore what’s strange about being human and what’s human about being strange, using familiar genres and cultural touchstones as a springboard to something wholly unexpected.

www.gideonth.com
www.cincyfringe.com

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Satirical Clown Show Taking Aim at Multi-Level Marketing Debuts at Cincy Fringe

CFF22_Upline logo

Image by Jonny Woolley

UPLINE: It’s Not a Show, It’s an Opportunity makes its world premiere this week in Cincinnati. New York-based performer Megan Stern and Las Vegas-based director Shannan Calcutt invite you to a Varmon makeup party! Varmon is the multi-level marketing empire that has it all: beauty, skincare, diet shakes, oils. It’s also an irresistible business opportunity and your ticket to financial freedom. Think GOOP meets Mary Kay meets NXIVM. Just don’t call it a pyramid scheme. In this solo show, Megan Stern leads you up through the ranks of Varmon –  skewering the beauty industry, wellness culture, and girlboss feminism.

Performances are Saturday, June 4 at 5:30 PM; Wednesday, June 8 at 9:00 PM; Friday, June 10 at 9:00 PM; Wednesday, June 15 at 7:15 PM; and Saturday, June 11 at 7:15 PM at the Art Academy Room 204 (A204), 1212 Jackson St. Tickets are $16 and will be available at the door, Fringe Headquarters, https://cincyfringe.com/upline-opportunity/, or by calling 513.300.5669(KNOW).

Megan Stern, a New York-based performer and writer, has been called “excellent” (Los Angeles Times), “utterly delightful” (Broadway World), and “a complete original” (Chicago Theater Beat). Her work has been seen in such New York venues as The Public Theater, Ars Nova, Joe’s Pub, Dixon Place, Walkerspace, BAX, and HERE Arts Center, as well as the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, and the Kennedy Center.

A multi-award winning artist, Shannan Calcutt has played an eclectic range of venues worldwide. From the Sydney Opera House, to San Francisco’s Bimbo’s 365 Club, to Cirque du Soleil’s sensual sensation, Zumanity. She has designed comedy acts for Cirque du Soleil, Spiegelworld, the philanthropic event One Night for One Drop, and Berlin’s Friedrichstadt-Palast. Currently, Shannan is the Associate Resident Director of Spiegelworld’s Atomic Saloon Show in Las Vegas. 

THE CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL, Cincinnati’s most unpredictable theater festival is back and ready to save us from the scourge of online theater. Impulsive, spontaneous and often combustible, the Cincinnati Fringe Festival – this is the 19th – runs June 3-18. Unlike the past, when venues were scattered all over the place, this year’s venues are all within a couple of hundred yards of one another; six in the Art Academy, and one more in the Know Theatre. Here are the numbers; 2 weeks, 38 ticketed events, 177 performances. Most are live, but small handful are digital. Tickets are $16, with an optional “Love Your Artists” ticket for $20. Learn more at cincyfringe.com 

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