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Quake: A Closet Love Story (Recommended)

0 Comments · Thursday, May 31, 2012
There’s a rift between Joe and Hannah, the couple at the epicenter of New Edgecliff Theatre’s Fringe piece, Quake: A Closet Love Story, by Tyler Olson. Once upon a time, the two were married and in love. But recently, they’ve split.   

Fire … and Lots of It

There’s a ton of fine Cincy Fringe shows still to be seen

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The 2011 Cincinnati Fringe Festival will wrap up this weekend. It’s been another year of oddball acts and powerful performances. CityBeat’s Fringe review team has been out and about on your behalf, catching the first performances of most shows and posting those reviews on a special Fringe page at citybeat.com for you to read about.  

The Masculinity Index

1 Comment · Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I suspect that the word “dude” has never been uttered so many times in so few minutes. John Ware and William Brown, both drama students at UC’s College-Conservatory of Music, invite you to hang out in the cluttered dorm room that is the 40-minute play The Masculinity Index. This snapshot shows us two aimless, barely post-adolescent, middle-class white males waxing and whining introspective about the “space between boyhood and manhood” and pledging to be each other’s bros/wingmen, a la Top Gun.  

101 Rules for Dating (Review)

1 Comment · Tuesday, June 7, 2011
101 Rules for Dating (of which you will hear 20 or so…), a relationship seminar from the crack comedy team Megan Venzin and Emily Althaus, will make you laugh. An Art Academy lecture hall, complete with flip-up desks for note-taking, is the perfect setting for this informative yet cozy confessional led by a couple of love experts whose credentials seem dubious, despite the fact that they’re both wearing lab coats.  

You Only Live Forever Once

2 Comments · Monday, June 6, 2011
Humor involving puppets and live action, spies and parody can be dicey. It’s easy to slip right off the edge and down the slippery slope of silliness. But the creative talents who comprise Four Humors Theater in Minneapolis (back for their fourth consecutive year at the Cincinnati Fringe) have solid footing when it comes to knowing how far to push things.  

The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular! (Review)

0 Comments · Monday, June 6, 2011
Not so fast with that exclamation point. The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular!, a charming two-hander from Cincy Fringe favorite Karim Muasher (of Giant Bird fame) and partner Carrie Brown, has all the makings of a great show: An original concept. Memorable characters. Comedy. Pathos. Puppets. Live tigers (sort of). The most inventive use of props you’ll see on any festival stage this year.  

Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown (Review)

1 Comment · Sunday, June 5, 2011
The art of the improbable premise is a standard at any Fringe Festival. What counts is not the unlikely starting point, but how one develops and delivers from the unreasonable setup. Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown (presented at the 1423 Vine venue), written and performed by Joe Hutcheson and directed by Cheryl King, shows that style, imagination, intelligence, heart, talent and daring are what make such productions worth the gamble.  

The Lydia Études: About Loving Anton Chekhov (Review)

0 Comments · Sunday, June 5, 2011
Lydia Avilova was a serious, earnest woman, an aspiring writer, who crossed paths in the 1890s with renowned playwright and fiction writer Anton Chekhov. Dawn Arnold is a serious, earnest performer who has translated this intersection into a 70-minute, one-woman show, The Lydia Etudes: About Loving Anton Chekhov, onstage at Media Bridges (E. Central Parkway, enter on Race St.) during the eighth annual Cincinnati Fringe.  

Recurrence Plot (Review)

1 Comment · Sunday, June 5, 2011
Contemporary dance can be mysterious. It’s perhaps both a blessing and a hurdle of the form. One reason why audiences sometimes find modern dance challenging is because they’re afraid they won’t “get it.” By nature, it’s an abstract form, so sometimes just sitting back and letting what you see and feel wash over you works best.  

The Beasts (Review)

0 Comments · Saturday, June 4, 2011
I had just paid a thrifty $1.60 at the Coffee Emporium, and for that I got a paper cup of plain coffee and use of the restroom. Billed as a politically charged and extremely dark comedy, The Beasts seemed like something I could enjoy as well as review: one-man show, post-apocalyptic horror, and puppetry — what’s not to like? I couldn’t wait.  

OTR in 2081 (Review)

0 Comments · Saturday, June 4, 2011
Let’s start with what OTR 2081 is not. It’s not a cool walking tour of Over the Rhine as imagined by future generations. What would they say about how we lived? What insightful commentary would they offer about this moment in human history, with the benefit of time and historical perspective?  

Melancholy Play (Review)

1 Comment · Saturday, June 4, 2011
Tilly (Jennifer Roehm) is feeling a little blue — and she’s wallowing in her melancholy. Her employer, a bank, has sent her to a shrink, the self-proclaimed Lorenzo the Unfeeling (William Selnick), who falls in love with her. As does Frank (Peter York), her tailor, and Frances (Lisa DeRoberts), her hairdresser. And when Frances’s lover, Joan (Nina Yarbrough), a nurse from England, meets Tilly — she’s overwhelmed, too.  

To and Fro and Up and Down (Review)

1 Comment · Saturday, June 4, 2011
A Fringe Festival without at least three Biblical satires? Blasphemy! But the little devils have come through again this year, thank heaven, so there’s no shortage of sacrilege on display. In a crowded field, Kleesattel Productions’ To and Fro and Up and Down — the show’s title comes from an actual Bible passage describing Satan as a kind of Rick Steves to the damned — stands out as a thinking person’s travesty.  

Memoir of a Mythomaniac: The True Story of a Compulsive Liar (or Tallulah Dies) (Review)

0 Comments · Saturday, June 4, 2011
“My name is Tallulah, and I’m a compulsive liar.” So begins Memoir of a Mythomaniac, a Fringe offering from East Tennessee State University Patchwork Players. The story of Tallulah, whose actual name is Jane, is told as a fractured narrative, combining traditional dramatic scenes of exposition with break-out scenes of movement and dance. And it works, mostly, thanks to the energy of the six, young, able-bodied and game performers in the troupe.  

Darker (Review)

1 Comment · Saturday, June 4, 2011
New Edgecliff Theatre’s contribution to the 2011 Fringe Festival, Catie O’Keefe’s Darker, has an enticing ambiance (at Know Theatre). The sparse set features a number of bare light bulbs that at times are blindingly bright and at others pulsing or dim. The effect is garish and mesmerizing, appropriate for a play with themes like anger, unrequited love and lost memory.