If you have never been to a Renaissance Festival, then let me paint the picture for you. The food is hot and greasy, the beer is foamy and cold, the people are dressed to the nines in everything from jeans and Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings t-shirts to full on bespoke plate armor. Above all else, people are laughing and having a fantastic time together, often with strangers who become friends for that one day. That last bit, the strangers becoming friends-thing? That is All’s Faire.
All’s Faire is an over the top, Monty Python-esque romp that has laughs from start to finish. The show, presented March 31 and April 1 at the Carnegie, has everything from a wise and worldly pirate captain to a slow-motion Matrix inspired broomstick horse joust, and even a Jimmy Buffet tribute piece.
The Plot of All’s Faire
Two private investigators Johnson (a stuffy business only detective played by Emily Borst) and Josh (an overly eager assistant played by Kyle Taylor) have been hired to investigate a string of robberies at the local renaissance faire (or ren faire, for those in the ren faire biz). While at the faire, the duo encounter a colorful cast of characters who range from Captain Daniel, played by Matt Krieg, a philosophical pirate who shows Josh the true meaning of being who you AARRRrrreee (this show is full of puns and quips like that) to the colorful and spastic Bard, played by Rachel Kazee, who proves that even ren faires have a hard time hiring help. All of this is framed with a subplot of lost love, and nostalgia for faires gone by. To go into much more detail would give too much away with this clever mystery!
Performed initially through the Know Theatre during the summer of 2021, during the height of the COVID pandemic, this show is a revamp, with added songs. It is performed as part of The Carnegie’s ‘Creative Disruption’ series.
The Performances in All’s Faire
There are two stand out performers, from a cast of six that are a joy to watch. One is Kaitlin McCulloch, who plays many background characters, but primarily stars as Robin Hood. McCulloch has one of the most energetic roles in the show, including a chase through the audience to try and hide from the detectives and an entire musical number dedicated to the ‘island life’ that only Mr. James Buffet can provide for a parrot-head like herself. The other standout role came from Julie Gallaugher who plays the beautifully mystical Glethien, a vendor at the ren faire, who has a storied past with one of the detectives in the cast. Her humor and timing was impeccable and left me laughing with all of her witty sarcasm.
The Creative Production Team
Performed initially through the Know Theatre outside during the summer of 2021, during the COVID pandemic, this show is a revamp with two new songs. This production is presented as part of The Carnegie’s ‘Creative Disruption’ series. Alexx Rouse and Zach Robinson wrote the show, with music and lyrics by James Allen. Allen’s songs are thoroughly enjoyable and a blast to listen to. Admittedly, a few of the songs may be a bit repetitive, but never to the point of me wanting to check my watch. The humor he weaves into every song is top-notch, and even his non-comedic songs are some of the best in the show. One song in particular, which I am calling “Hero in my Time” is an absolute stand out.
The show is a fun time with some admitted twists and turns. Having attended ren faire myself, I cannot quite tell if Rouse and Robinson love them or despise them to the point of wanting to parody them so accurately. At times the humor of ren faire bordered on satire, more than comedy, particularly when it came to the discussion of how expensive it is to attend one.
All’s Faire is only running for one more night (the evening of the day of this being published) and I highly recommend seeing it. Supporting local theater and the arts is always important and these performers clearly put their all into this show. If you or a friend or loved one or even distant relative have ever attended a renaissance faire, then this show will make you laugh like a king watching their finest court jester.