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Love Knots

0 Comments · Saturday, June 2, 2012
Love Knots, this year’s Fringe submission from Cincinnati’s Essex Theatre Arts Studio, has good, even sweet, intentions: five 10-minute plays by Phil Paradis, each trying to untangle love. The production’s weak writing and flat, uninspired staging sours the experience of a piece that should have been frothy, warm, and kind of tingly — day-old coffee when you wanted a latte. But an obviously talented cast brings to life a few tender and endearing moments.   

Third Quarter Moon

0 Comments · Saturday, June 2, 2012
The Twilight Saga has already provided plenty of opportunities for parody, and the bare-bones performance outfit, Ornamental Messiah from Newport, adds another to the list with their 60-minute production of Third Quarter Moon.  

Project Activate (Recommended)

1 Comment · Saturday, June 2, 2012
A performance based on social activism isn’t in and of itself very fringy. Lots of artists till that field in their works. But when a performance ambitiously asks audiences to participate in social experiments and does so in a strangely uplifting way, well, that’s utterly Fringe.

The Mistakes Madeline Made (Recommended)

0 Comments · Saturday, June 2, 2012
The mistakes Madeline made, which give title to this 75-minute excursion into wanton lack of bathing and job despair, are exactly those our heroine Edna adopts as her personal route to coming of age and meeting life on its own terms. A how-do-we-get-grown-up story seems appropriate for the annual intern project at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (ETC), this year the work of five actors, directed by fellow intern Jenny Estill.   

Strange Dreamz

0 Comments · Saturday, June 2, 2012
Kevin J. Thornton tells stories from his life with great humor, constantly connecting with the audience and responding to their hilarity at his outlandish tales of gay life and adolescent sex. He breaks things up with musical interludes, playing his grandfather’s acoustic guitar with an electric pick-up and singing Pop tunes that illustrate or reflect some of his themes. (He opened the evening with Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.”)  

Radio Star (Recommended)

0 Comments · Saturday, June 2, 2012
Radio drama was a distinct art form in the middle of the 20th century, and Tanya O’Debra’s Fringe show, Radio Star, evokes that evocative mode of storytelling, complete with sound effects, with a distinctly modern filter.   

Dances For a Recession

0 Comments · Saturday, June 2, 2012
If you’re concerned about seeing modern dance and not “getting it,” fear not. Pas de Monkéy Dance Project from Akron wants to keep dance accessible — friendly, even. The young company affiliated with the University of Akron might be gaining the training and the chops for serious dance, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.  

Don’t Cross the Streams (Recommended)

0 Comments · Friday, June 1, 2012
A musical based on an iconic supernatural comedy from 1984 is the kind of show we’ve come to expect during the Cincinnati Fringe. But there’s nothing expectable about Don’t Cross the Streams, which begins with that notion and then processes and reprocesses the idea to a point of ridiculous hilarity.   

American Badass in Cincy

0 Comments · Friday, June 1, 2012
Tommy Nugent is a familiar Cincinnati Fringe performer: Starting in 2007, he’s been here with Tommy Nugent’s The Show and Tommy Nugent’s Burning Man Redux. He’s a monologist grounded in public speaking — not exactly a theater guy, but someone who’s totally comfortable in front of an audience. Although in the program for this year’s Fringe offering, American Badass in Cincy, he writes, “I’m no longer compelled to put my name in every show title,” his subject matter is focused completely on … Tommy Nugent.   

Where Is My Mind? (Recommended)

1 Comment · Friday, June 1, 2012
I’m not inclined to give you more detail than the program notes about what is “in” the show. Yes, indeed, there is mesmerizing mindreading, crazy karaoke, ventriloquist figures, a soulful song (oh my god, it is really, really soulful) and he does make out with a puppet. You also learn the secret trick as to how you too can get a one-man show in the Cincinnati Fringe.   

Latitude (Recommended)

0 Comments · Friday, June 1, 2012
Jeanne MamLuft is a brainy director and accomplished choreographer (and filmmaker), and it shows. Latitude, at the Hanke 1 performance space on Main Street, gives MamLuft & Co. Dance the latitude, or room for maneuver, if you will, to present modern dance in a fresh way.  

Trapped in a Box (Recommended)

1 Comment · Friday, June 1, 2012
The box Audrey is trapped in is a theater box office, and she is the voice on the phone. Audrey’s calling is indeed the theater, but her goal is the stage itself, not selling tickets to the audience. This funny exercise in frustration was written by Casey Pilkenton, who also plays Audrey and recorded all the various voices of those who call.  

Cecily and Gwendolyn’s Fantastical Anthropological Inquisitorial Probe

0 Comments · Friday, June 1, 2012
In an age when social media promotes the notion of conversation over professionally prepared content, this type of show is definitely in step with the times, but it fails to recognize that a strong guiding hand and ready wit are needed to pull off this kind of daring endeavor.   

The Storms Beneath Her Skin

0 Comments · Friday, June 1, 2012
Chicago-based artist and speaker Rebecca Kling, a transgender woman, delivers some factual and personal answers as she earnestly covers a range of trans- and sex-related topics in her one-woman Fringe show, The Storms Beneath Her Skin.   

The Screw You Revue (Recommended)

0 Comments · Friday, June 1, 2012
If you’re easily offended, this is not the show for you. If you aren’t, just park your PC-ness at the door. The opening-night audience members appeared to enjoy the improv comedy antics and colorful songs … and the quick-turn insults. I’m talking about the aptly titled The Screw You Revue, courtesy of Screw You Entertainment from Naples, Fla.