My lords and ladies, All’s Faire is at the Carnegie Theatre this weekend only (March 31st – April 1st) and thou shan’t want to miss out.
All’s Faire is written by Cincinnati playwrights Alexx Rouse & Zach Robinson with music and lyrics by James Allen. This new musical delivers a dash of whimsy, a spot of magic, and showcases the power of local theater at its best.
The production has been reimagined for the Carnegie stage (originally premiering at the Know Theater in 2021, after its success within their Series! Program in 2017). It’s part of the theatre’s Creative Disruption Series, a program which focuses on supporting new theatrical works created by local theater-makers. Initially designed as an outdoor experience to travel around the Greater Cincinnati area, the performance transitioned to the big stage without a hitch.
All’s Faire follows a dynamic private eye duo who have been asked to solve a crime at a local Renaissance festival. Johnson (played by Emily Borst – they/them) is a tightly wound and diligent detective who struggles with juggling the case and their…overly enthusiastic and wickedly talented side-kick Josh (played by Kyle Taylor – he/they).
With the threat of the Fellowship of Funding shutting down the fair looming, the pressure is on for the team to crack the case. But not before they have a few song and dance breaks with notable characters along the way.
One of those notable characters is Glenthien (played by Julie Gallaugher – she/her), an enchanting and beautifully belting elf and Johnson’s love interest. Another notable character is Captain Daniel (played by Matt Krieg – he/him) is an endearing pirate whose “Come As You Are” song is sure to be stuck in your head for weeks to come. Also, Robin Hood (played by Kaitlin McCulloch – she/her) and The Bard (played by Rachel Kazee – she/her) are the show’s prime suspects whose theatrical talents are perfectly showcased within their “villain-adjacent” roles.
All’s Faire Theme
While the show’s plot is relatively light, packed with slapstick comedy and clever lyrics, there is an overarching theme beyond the Fair. The theme of acceptance is woven throughout the performance and the “come as ye arrh” mindset is a lovely touch. Renaissance Festivals, while silly by nature, are an inviting environment where individuals are free to leave their lives behind and express themselves however they desire. Where doctors can slay dragons, lawyers can joust with lances, plumbers can be pirates and the lost can find a home. Much like local theater, participants are invited to take on a role for the day and simply play. Naysayers may turn their noses to the dreamers who dare to explore the unconventional, but those who do, experience a little magic.
This daring dreamer character is evident within the entire cast, especially in the show’s creators. They dared to be different, take a risk, and explore an unconventional side of the theater and it certainly pays off.