No swindle here: a professional cast, a polished design, an 11-player orchestra, a hot show just a few seasons removed from Broadway, a reasonable ticket price, all in comfortably posh surroundings at Covington's Carnegie Center. For a musical about con artists, 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' is surprisingly on the level.
Three agile, committed performers defy convention, if not always gravity, in this self-described "multi-media, aerial art masterpiece," done in an "avant garde style" — in other words, no clear story, an off-putting score of atonal Electronica, random (but strangely mesmerizing) projected video and a colorful costuming scheme pitched somewhere between circus and sadomasochism.
You might have seen similar artworks while strolling around Summerfair this weekend: a creative idea, an appealing palette, an artful frame. But an unfinished composition. In 'Painted,' six talented and likeable performers (most CCM students or recent grads) color one another, literally, with the experiences of a lifetime.
Gliding on the smooth, cool surfaces of what must be the 2009 festival’s most elaborate set — a hand-me-down from a past Ensemble Theatre production, but never mind, it works — 'The Edge' is a beautifully measured, well-polished character study that should enrich the whole fabric of the this year's Fringe.
Of all the virtues taught by this classic Native American tale (bravery, humility, cooperation, respect for nature) the greatest might be patience. Three of the story's four Abenaki adventurers learn that lesson the hard way: bound for home, carrying blessings from the great Gluskabe, they open their pouches too soon, with disastrous results. We get the message.
How many birds come out the egg ready to fly? This gleefully low-budget epic adventure by a London-based stage trio called Giant Bird looks like something newly hatched: even by Fringe standards, the show is cute in a scraggly, spindly way, the performers appealingly hungry and eager to test their wings.
It's a bummer growing up. "We get to an age where we think we have to become adults and put the toys away," says Karim Muasher of Giant Bird, an internationally touring three-man troupe whose members ignored that impulse.
In this Native American fable retold by Gunstwork Puppet Mask Theatre of Boulder, Colo., four Abenaki tribesmen journey to the island of the great Gluskabe, who grants one wish to each. "It has to do with human desire," says Michael Gunst, the show's creator and solo performer. "We can all relate to that."
What's one day you'll never forget? A person who changed everything? A color you'll carry forever? Cincinnati-based White Beard Productions blends those thoughts via interviews and fiction, text and movement, theater and visual art.
A mother (Amy Warner) and daughter (Karen Wissel) meet on a Mediterranean cliff and struggle to connect. "The daughter won't speak to the mother. She dances," Warner explains, which means that CCM choreographer Judith Mikita had to create half the play's poetic "dialogue" from scratch.