Cincy Fringe LCT Preview 2023

Preview of Cincinnati Fringe Festival 2023 by Liz Eichler

Cincinnati Fringe’s 20th season opens this weekend and WOW are we really looking forward to them all!

Cincinnati’s two-week festival of creativity and storytelling connects Cincinnati arts communities and introduces artists from around the country and the world. It is billed as Cincinnati’s Summer Theatre Party, and it is quite the party! This past year “Fringe Festival” was actually a Jeopardy answer, to show its national impact.

Answer: What is a Fringe Festival?

LCT has five reviewers dedicated to seeing as many shows as possible and sharing video and online reviews to make it easier for patrons to select from the over 170 performances and art galleries, screenings, concerts, workshops, classes, and nightly parties.  Katrina Reynolds, Christy Carson, Ariel Mary Ann, Alan Jozwiak and myself will be “Fringing it” come rain or shine June 3-17. 

So whether you are new to Fringe or a seasoned Fringe Fan, refer to our blogs on this website for insights on the shows. Set a goal to experience something NEW and to meet some of the new faces at this creative celebration of arts, writing, dance and theatre–and the practitioners of these crafts. 

How Does One Fringe? 

Read the Full Fringe Guide at to explore the schedule of shows and other offerings, and then get either a “See Everything” pass, a 6-show Pass, or Individual Tickets. A whopping 50% of ticket proceeds go to the artists!

Eating and Drinking

There are plenty of great quick dining venues within walking distance of Know Theatre aka Fringe Headquarters. You’re most likely to see Fringe volunteers or performers at Gomez, Taglio, and Coffee Emporium, or grabbing a bite from the OTR Kroger. Make time for the Know Underground Bar for Happy Hour or After Hours with a variety of evening entertainment. Bring a refillable water bottle and fill up for no fee at the Art Academy!

Performance Locations

Performances will be in the Art Academy (across the street), Know Theatre, and Gabriel’s Corner at Salem United Church of Christ (1425 Sycamore Street, a block from the Woodward Theatre).


Parking options abound (but they may be tight for the FCC game Saturday night, June 3). There are garages and paid street parking. Read the signage and pay the fee using your credit card.


Performances and galleries go on rain or shine, since they are indoors. Some of the outdoor entertainment may be moved due to rain.


As of today the Fringe website reads:

Masks are not required for audience members at performances, but are encouraged! If you feel sick, please stay home! Please note that we will re-evaluate this policy if infection rates rise significantly during the Festival, in the interest of keeping the festival accessible to our most vulnerable artists, patrons, and staff.”

Best Value for a Weekend: 

The Fringe Flex Pass gives you 6 shows for the price of 5. 

LCT is Anticipating Great Things From Returning Artists

Our LCT Reviewers quickly signed up for shows of returning and beloved artists from past Fringe Festivals, and included a couple of new names that sound promising. However, we plan to catch ‘em all–and will share our new favorites in daily blog and social posts. These are some of the most anticipated so we advise you to secure your tickets ASAP:

Gentrification: The Musical! by Doin’ Too Much Productions

If you’ve caught any local improvised musicals through ComedySportz or Improv Cincinnati, you’ve probably seen Dan Zimmer at the keyboard. By day, Zimmer teaches ESL at Cincinnati State. He and Tatiana Godfrey poke a bit of fun at Cincinnati, holding a fictitiousBig Pitch Event whose winner decides what occupies a recently vacated lots. 

RUH-Roh! by Queen City Flash

After the wildly successful “Jinkies” and “Zoinks”, Bridget Leak and Trey Tatum are declaring this a final installment.  We can’t wait for more of the story of a detective and her dog with fast paced dialogue, audience involvement, clever puns, and maybe some cool props, too. 

The Rembrandt Job by Clifton Players

We signed up quickly to see Kevin Crowley’s take on the “Historically accurate, hysterically funny botched robbery of Rembrandt paintings from Taft in 1973.” Crowley is a local favorite, appearing in and writing multiple Fringe Shows over the years, as well as full productions, and major motion pictures. Written by Kevin Crowley, Directed by Carol Brammer and Featuring: Paul Morris (pictured), Clint Bramkamp, Jack Kremer, Grant Zentmeyer, Evan Beckmeyer, and Michael G. Bath as Al Schottlekotte.

Jon Bennett: Dad Hates Jokes by 2Hoots Productions

We all look forward to more amazing storytelling from this Australian. He shared candidly about his brother last year, in “Fire in the Meth Lab,” in which he mines their childhood and his brother’s drug addiction for humor. Clearly Dad is involved this year.  Jon is constantly performing across the globe, winning awards and making people laugh through exceptional comedic storytelling.

The Highway Woman by Hannah Gregory

Hannah Gregory is now a Cincinnati brand. This is the fourth of her dramatic award winning Fringe shows, including last year’s Wuthering: a Musical on the Moors. Written by Gregory and Directed by A.J. Baldwin. She describes this as “a silly romp that celebrates platonic love, the absurdity of physical comedy, and the ridiculousness that accompanies legends. There is no deep meaning here, but there is an invitation to laugh.” We can’t wait!

A Few New Titles Also Caught Our Eyes

One Last Night with Mary MacLane by Nora Bonner and James Cargill

A new musical out of Detroit, a middle aged woman celebrates her last night before “she meets the Devil.” Sounds intriguing, and a first collaboration from new artists. It gets e4ven more intriguing as you google more and more about this real woman from Butte, Montana who rose to fame in the 1920’s with her book “” and died in obscuring in Chicago.

Who’s Afraid of Winnie the Pooh? by Clevername Theatre

We love the premise! A mashup of “Who’s Afraid of Viginia Woolf ” and “Winnie the Pooh,” making the Hundred Acre Woods residents a bit more complicated. A hit of the Minneapolis Fringe.

More Shows We’re Excited About

And then there are the Special Events (Dearly Departed by Karim Muasher & Animal Engine–who has a great track record of movement-centric performances) and Fringe Development shows (so excited to see process in all three). Every Fringe show provides a new angle of storytelling, dance, and/or design.  

There are many more main lineup shows that have intrigued our reviewers. From Thread and Bone by Lisa Egan Woods is storytelling while the performer deconstructs and reconstructs a dress, to puppetry from Japan (Happy Go Lucky), to Magic for Animals from LA Performance Practice/Liz Toonkel.

Whether it is a ghost story, puppetry, clowning, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Appalachian Stories or magic, I encourage all to come to Fringe and reset your creative energies.

Bottom Line

Whether it is a ghost story, puppetry, clowning, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Appalachian Stories or magic, I encourage all to come to Fringe and reset your creative energies.


Contact the Fringe Headquarters for tickets or questions at 513-300-5669 (KNOW).

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

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