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Onstage: How? How? Why? Why? Why?

By Julie York Coppens · February 22nd, 2010 · CityBeat Recommends

If God really did create people so he’d have an endless supply of stories — to quote a line from the likable How? How? Why? Why? Why? now at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park — then the heavens must be smiling down on Kevin Kling. The playwright/performer well known to fans of National Public Radio seems to have been born, raised and divinely ordained to spin a tale.

A motorcycle crash in middle age rendered his right arm useless, among other injuries.

He writes using voice-recognition software, which once translated a nearby argument between his dog and cat as, “How? How? Why? Why? Why?” So that’s where this show gets its title.

Kling doesn’t explain how he came by his co-star, Simone Perrin, but her accordion accompaniment and old-timey vocal stylings prove just as serendipitous. Whether Perrin’s adorable presence softens or exaggerates Kling’s own strangeness will depend on the viewer, but it’s a tension in line with the humorist’s stated theme: “beauty embraced by the grotesque; light embraced by shadow.”

Through March 14 at the Playhouse in the Park. Get show details, buy tickets and read Julie York Coppens' full review here.



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