Review #5 out of 6 by Liz Eichler, LCT Stage Insights Chair
Cincy Fringe 2023: See ALL Reviews From LCT
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Mothering and Mourning
by Megan Flynn & Teresa VanDenend Sorge
This is a beautiful, lyrical look at so many phases of mothering… and mourning. The numbers that hit the hardest (for me) are #3 it’s not so far once you’ve been there and #6 Excerpt from Evelyn and #8 Excerpt from Motherload: a very large amount of something valuable.
it’s not so far once you’ve been there features a couple (Teresa VanDenend Sorge and Rodney Veal) mournfully dancing together and apart, as they are processing some loss.
Powerful repetitive movements, sometimes in sync, sometimes not, focus on the relationship. Then “Fire and Rain” comes on and wow–empathy turns up to 11. Often grief is a solitary concept, but processing grief as a couple is expansive and complicated.
Evelyn, featuring Flynn, is a woman caught in a system, effectively using constrained then graceful movement, and a flashlight, to examine her body and (clothed) breast.
Motherload navigates the overwhelm of the sandwich and (new to me)–club sandwich generation (those who are caregivers to young kids, aging parents and grandparents). Featuring the cast including Lindsay Helock, Nadia Ureña, Flynn, Sorge and Veal.
In Belly of the Beast Flynn glides through, then stumbles and fights with all of the ways to carry the load–to balance, to bundle, a baby, a whip, a veil and a snare.
Must-see storytelling with the body. This is the show that has moved me the most–needing some recovery time after.
Performance Gallery and Brian Griffin
From mostly movement to mostly voice, plosiveis actually an historical composition. Written by German experimental artist in the late 1920’s, it “aims to engage the listener through sounds.”
Using three pieces, the seven performers (Michael Bath, Jodie Linver, Willemien Patterson, Andy Simpson, Mary Tensing an welcome to Cincy–Dane Rogers and Sarah Hobeck) demonstrate mastery and precision of elocution. The first is “PTKGBD!” which features plosives, “consonants that are produced by stopping the airflow using the lips, teeth, or palate, followed by a sudden release of air.”
“Usonate” is the second, and it also moves through a variety of sounds, evoking feeling, machines, animals and more. The third “Bii Bull Ree” is short and peppy. Conceived and Directed by Brian Griffin, there is a lightheartedness which masks how heroically the team presents this piece.
This show is not for everyone, but the right audience will value this rare performance. A young child was really getting into the sound patterns, as were the actors–clearly primed for audience interaction by the third piece (alas, there is none). Maybe next time…
Julie by Lisa deRoberts and coyote & co.
Julie is a silly romp through 17th century France. Approached as a historical farce, it has guaranteed laughs.
Conceived by and starring Lisa deRoberts, (part of coyote and co.) the creative team takes you through the French countryside and court with a variety of set pieces and clever video clips. Featuring Abi Esmena, Hannah Levin, Andrew Maloney, Dan Robertson, and R Deandre Smith.
Directed by Lauren Carr it moves at nice-pace, between a canter and a gallop. With references to Sponge Bob, Gossip Girl, garbage people, nuns, feminism, LGBTQ and everything in between, deRoberts will slash her way into your millennial heart.
by Penny Sterling
Penny Sterling is an honest and relaxed storyteller.
Many may have heard dating gets more difficult the older you are. Sterling explains the added complications dating as a trans woman. She explains “safe” topics for men to talk about (sports, sex, alcohol and yard work)and applies humor to the various scenarios she’s encountered. She’s resigned that it will be difficult, but still hopeful. Hopeful for “the one” and hopeful that her potential date doesn’t stand her up as she shares her story with us.
Schmilf Life is a clever monologue that anyone over 40 could relate to.
Spank Bank Time Machine
by John Michael
Spank Bank is an energetic and educational one-person show, divided into two parts. John Michael grieves the loss of his friends, and is angry that the way they died carries a stigma. The first half is wild, raw, filled with stories of the antics of he and his friends, including a Berlin Sex party.
The second half is a 180 on the first, and is quite moving. We meet his mom (or spirit mom, since she in now an angel). Clad in her Chico’s jacket, she loves John Michael and wants him to be happy–and alive.
Co-directed by Mike Marinaccio and Sammy Zeisel, with a great soundtrack and audience involvement. Not everyone attending Fringe may be ready for Spank Bank, but the message 100% needs to be heard. The non-profit Caracole is providing Narcan for anyone who wants it after the show, as well as being a place to find resources and support.
Rated R for “adult themes, adult activity, hard language, sexually oriented partial nudity, drug abuse or other elements.”
Cincy Fringe 2023: Get Tickets
Get your tickets at the Cincy Fringe Box Office Headquarters in Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. You can also call 513-300-KNOW (5669) or click HERE.
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