Cincy Fringe 2023: Liz’s Reviews #4

Read my reviews in the ALL IN ONE PLACE grid! You can get tickets to the Cincinnati Fringe, running through June 17, HERE.

Reviews by Liz Eichler, Stage Insights Chair

So many shows–so many more to see!


by Jane Carver

Jane Carver’s Anchorette is a beautiful poem written in the Romantic style, after Coleridge. Anchorette will conjure images of the ocean and sirens, and presents a dilemma–to explore the past or embrace the future. 

This original poem is read, accompanied by voice and concertina, which also evokes the sound of the wind. Spoken and written by Carver, it’s a relaxing journey of the imagination. 

The plot: A baby girl is found next to a ship by a ship captain. What should he do?  One one hand, all seafarers believe females on your ship mean instant disaster. On the other hand, it is quite possible he is the father.  He decides to bring the baby along, building her own raft, to bob behind the ship.  Sirens see this and protect the baby and the ship.  What happens next as she grows? You need to go to find out! 

Magic for Animals

by Los Angeles Performance Practice/ Liz Toonkel

Liz Toonkel in Magic for Animals--hold and wearing goldfish

Also performing in the 1316 Main Street space, is Liz Toonkel’s Magic for Animals.  After exchanging some banter with the audience, Toonkel tosses off “The world is a specious place.” Since specious means “having deceptive attraction or allure” that perfectly describes her show as a magician with a message. 

The magician wears her sequin camouflage, using misdirection to lure in the unsuspecting audience member. Her goal is to entertain and educate, not to make buildings disappear.

While practicing slight of hand she gets in a dig at David Blaine, and his obsession with swallowing and spitting out frogs (who are not as keen about the illusion). And magicians who injure doves. And people who eat animals. 

Toonkel is also great at promoting her show, showing up throughout the week dressed to impress and provide the intrigue to see her show. Once there, she’s got the dazzle and the patter. She is warm and welcoming, charming–and quick on her feet.


by Amica Hunter

Anatomica is a treat! A fun, casual exploration of what the best skeleton is–exoskeleton, endoskeleton (you have one of these!) or hydrostatic. Billed as: a comedy about meat, bones and the skin you’re in; part stand-up, part storytelling, part clowning.

Amica Hunter has fun with the audience of all ages and demonstrates (in props and costumes) the benefits and drawbacks of all of the types of skeletons. From Portland, Oregon,  Hunter is clearly comfortable in their own skin, and connects honestly with the audience.

Highlights include the curious beginning costume which delightfully sets the tone. Their relationship with a pet crawfish, audience interaction, and all of their clever costumes and props make this a top show.

This is a fun, educational exploration even a tween or grandma could love–with mild expletives. 

Runaway Princess

by Mary Coggin

Runaway Princess  is very brave storytelling. “A hopeful tale of heroin, hooking and happiness.” Mary Coggin tells her story of early emotional abuse and desire to escape her bitter Irish mother, “the Queen” in this story. Coggin found a life of drugs, then prostitution, domestic abuse, poverty, and more. Eventually she found her lifeline which allows her to keep driving forward, putting her past in the rearview mirror. 

This, like so many Fringe shows, raises your empathy level and awareness.  Addiction happens.  One decision leads to another. Rehab doesn’t always work. Support–at the right time and with the right motivation–can change your trajectory.  And give some perspective on old wounds as well. 

Coggins has a princess’ posture, regally regaling her past, framed as a fairytale.  “Once upon a time…” she begins.  She makes light and detaches–as if she is sharing someone else’s story. Other times she allows us to see her raw pain. Beginning to end, she owns her story. Recommended for an adult audience due to adult situations.  Trigger warnings listed above. 

Cincy Fringe Guinea Pig Pink

Cincy Fringe 2023: Liz’s Reviews All-in-One Place

AnatomicaFun exploration “What is the best skeleton?”
AnchoretteLight your imagination with hypnotic Romantic poem
BloodlineThree generations, amazing work. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Dad (Hates) JokesSo funny! Take Your Dad!
Gentrification:The MusicalWell done musical satire–not of OTR
Granny’s FixItA Warm Hug
Happy Go LuckyA Warm Hug with puppets
Heart Ripped Out Twice…Polished! Hysterical! High energy! Existential! Props! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Made in America“Sexy Dynamite” overcomes and conquers.
Magic for AnimalsAttractively deceptive animal lover
One Last Night with Mary MacLaneGood music, Obsessed with the concept
RUH RohGirl detective and her dog, guaranteed laughs.
Runaway Princess“Heroine, hooking, hope and happiness”
The Rembrandt JobCincinnati lore, truth is funnier than fiction!
Thread and BoneHonest look at grief–while sewing.
TodalvPoetic, How am I my Ancestors?
Who’s Afraid of Winnie the PoohClever, hysterical mashup and lots of honey. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Stay tuned for more!

Cincy Fringe 2023: Liz’s Reviews All-in-One Place

You can get tickets to the Cincinnati Fringe, running through June 17, HERE.

A new Calendar for everything onstage from LCT’s member theatres.

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