This was perhaps the most satisfying Cincy Fringe Festival yet, offering varied and diverse shows that kept audiences coming back for more. My personal top choices in addition to 'Miss Magnolia' were 'Missing: The Fantastical and True Story of My Father's Disappearance and What I Found When I Looked for Him,' 'Headscarf and the Angry Bitch,' 'Melancholy Play,' 'Peyote Business Lunch,' 'Curriculum Vitae,' 'I Love You (We're Fucked)' and 'You Only Live Once Forever.'
Despite recent chilly weather, I have received a sure sign of intense future warmth. It came in the form of the news release from Know Theatre listing the shows that will make up the eighth annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival, which opens its two-week run on May 31 at 6 p.m. with CityBeat’s official Fringe Kick-off Party. All in all, there will be 35 different productions to see, including three works from a new program, FringeNext, that’s powered by high school students.
Know Theatre of Cincinnati is known for its fearless work and for partnering with other artists and companies. But I wish more of their work engaged me. I looked forward to Know’s collaboration with Madcap Puppets for The Dragon, in hopes of more innovation. But what’s onstage, using a newly adapted script, struck me as lethargic and not inventive enough.
What the heck are theater critics good for? Few of us are actually curmudgeons who revel in badmouthing actors and shows. Most I know are theater fans. I typically attend a show full of optimism, expecting to be entertained. I love it when something unexpected happens and I only write negatively when I feel a production has failed to live up to its promise. I’m especially thrilled by fresh interpretations or revelatory performances.
Give Know Theatre credit for presenting plays with unexpected perspectives. Its current production is about a pair of clowns who have arrived in the U.S. as victims of an immigration scam, written by Saviana Stanescu, a playwright from Romania who lives and works in New York City.
Know Theatre's new concept, “The Jackson Street Market,” is intended to provide space and other forms of support for fledgling theatrical producers without space or resources of their own. It’s still in its infancy, but the concept is bearing fruit in several obvious ways.
Earlier this year John Glore's adaptation of 'A Wrinkle in Time' premiered at South Coast Rep, one of America's most respected theaters for new plays. The 1962 novel about precocious kids has been popular for a long time (especially with, well, precocious kids), so there's a built-in audience. That's certainly why Know Theatre is staging it for the 2010 holidays.
'Skin Tight' is as much a piece of lyrical poetry as it is a play, and it's likely to be the most physical performance — wonderfully staged and choreographed by director Drew Fracher — you'll see onstage this year. Know Theatre's season opener is brief, taking you on an emotional, passionate journey that's both a lifetime and the blink of an eye.
It's time again for the annual Cincy Fringe Festival, a 12-day celebration of theater, art, music, film and more. The seventh annual Fringe, again organized by Know Theatre of Cincinnati, offers 30 productions in multiple venues through June 12.
There aren't many stories that have been around longer than the tragedy of Oedipus, a man who tried to escape fate but ran directly into it, and it's fascinated and horrified audiences for millennia. A new version has been created by actress and writer Alison Vodnoy, a drama grad of UC's College-Conservatory of Music now working regularly at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, where her script is onstage for several performances through May 16.