Kat’s Fringe Reviews: June 4-6

Cancel This Musical is “an absurdist romp regarding politics, social media, declining individualism, and the urgency with which we need to feel seen”. With biting truth and a whole lot of laughs, director Kristin McCarthy Parker guides a top-notch cast into our hearts with relative ease.

By Katrina “Kat” Reynolds

Here are Kat’s Fringe Reviews: June 4-6–a summary of the shows I had the pleasure of experiencing at Cincinnati Fringe 2024 this week.

Meet Me At The Bathtub: The Short Life & Tumultuous Times of Charlotte Corday by Samantha Joy Luhn

FULL DISCLOSURE: I assisted behind-the-scenes on this production.

Featuring the acting talents of the playwright, Samantha Joy Luhn, as well as Kenny Rayborn, Bathtub tells us the story of a politically-minded young woman during the time of the French Revolution who decides to take matters into her own hands – literally. Ms. Luhn is a tour-de-force as our doomed titular character. Her movements are both fluid and precise and she perfectly encompasses the edgy emotions surrounding an assassination plot. You will not be able to take your eyes off her. Under the smart direction of Becca Howell with choreography by Grace Wagner, this mixed-media show will keep you on the edge of your seat. Not an easy task for a story where you already know the ending. 

Remaining Performances in Rm S361 at the Art Academy: June 8 at 4:15pm; June 9 at 8:45pm; June 13 at 7pm; and June 14 at 8:45pm. (I recommend getting your tickets in advance.)

Cincy Fringe 2024

The F-Files by Solasta Theatre Lab

Coming back with its fifth Fringe show in a row, Solasta Theatre Lab takes us on an extraterrestrial adventure. Featuring E. Carr, Daniela Nenova, with stage manager Grace Wagner, the audience is immersed into the world of two agents from The Bureau of Intergalactic Evaluation who are sent to study Terra 3.0 and report back their findings. Per usual, Solasta implores the use of acting, movement, and expert puppetry to heighten the senses. In a fun twist, this is a choose-your-own-adventure piece – so seeing the show more than once is a great idea. Both Ms. Carr and Mx. Nenova have such a dynamic energy into which you can not help but be drawn. A hypnotic and enthusiastic tale of the complicated species known as humans. 

Remaining Performances in Rm 404 at the Art Academy: June 8 at 8:45pm; June 9 at 8:45pm; June 11 at 7pm; and June 14 at 8:45pm.

No Passengers by Gideon Productions

Finally, Gideon Productions has come back to Cincinnati! The group has collected many Cincy Fringe awards. They bring us a story of Alan and Diane, a couple whose relationship is shaken by the sudden death of Alan’s ex-wife. How can this be remedied, you might ask? By Diane returning to her studies of spiritualism to conjure the ex’s ghost, of course! Playwright Mac Rogers also stars along with Rebecca Comtois and Kristen Vaughan in this real-yet-unreal tale directed beautifully by Jordana Williams. As usual, GP’s Fringe contribution offers superior dialogue along with solid acting performances. Mr. Rogers’ skills with a pen are matched by very few. He somehow makes each of these three very different characters universally relatable. When I grow up, I want to perform in every single one of his projects. Not to be missed! 

Remaining Performances at Know Theatre: June 8 at 2:15pm; and June 9 at 4pm.

Cancel This Musical by Wesley Zurick

In this fast-moving time of the digital age, it can be difficult to keep up – and gawd help you if you can’t. Cancel This Musical is “an absurdist romp regarding politics, social media, declining individualism, and the urgency with which we need to feel seen”. With biting truth and a whole lot of laughs, director Kristin McCarthy Parker guides a top-notch cast into our hearts with relative ease. Performing artists Maki Borden, Aja Downing, Monica Ho, Christian Jimenez, Ben Schrager, and playwright Wesley Zurick (all actors appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association) along with musicians Richard Lowenburg and Connor O’Sullivan show us a world all-too-familiar where you can be made – or broken – in a mere moment. With catchy tunes by Mr. Zurick (under the Music Direction of Mr. Lowenburg) and smart choreography by Matt Bovee, this Fringe-y tale will have you both laughing and cringing in all the best ways.  

Remaining Performances at Know Theatre: June 9 at 6:45pm; June 11 at 6:45pm; and June 14 at 8:30pm.

The Stork Files: True Stories of Adoption, Abortion, and Having No Choice by Julie Coppens (A Fringe Special Event)

After a successful go as one of last year’s Fringe Development pieces, The Stork Files is back for a short run! Creator Julie Coppens has been actively been developing her script further and this 2.0 version is still “in gestation” as she so lovingly puts it. Kevin Reynolds directs, and the show features Ms. Coppens (who plays herself) along with Ted Lavender in the role of The Stork (a role originated by Ms. Coppens’ son, Seth). The audience is taken into the world of reproductive health. Our playwright indicates she is eager to use the piece in educational settings, especially after performing it at a birth parents’ conference. As a birth mama twice over myself, I approve of this trajectory. For updates on her progress and for other resources, please visit the thestorkfiles.org

Remaining Performance at Gabriel’s Corner: June 9 at 4:15pm.

I’m Finally Going to Ask Elizabeth Hopkins to the Homecoming Dance and Nothing’s Going to Stop Me, Not Even the Ghost of My Dead Grandmother Who Watches Me Masturbate by Queen City Flash

And finally, leave it to Queen City Flash to have the longest title of a Fringe show – one that can be shortened any number of fun ways. (Chat up marketing manager Liz Carman for more details.) Dubbed as “a ‘choose your own adventure’ romantic comedy about second chances,” playwright and star Trey Tatum’s incredible writing and energetic presentation will dazzle you from start to finish. And the way it finishes is all up to the audience! QCF partner-in-crime, the ever-talented Jordan Trovillion, lights up the stage right along with Mr. Tatum as they take us all on an adventure to 1998. (Having lived through the late 1900s is not a requirement, but it certainly makes it a lot more fun.)

With so many options on how this story can play out, this is another show you might consider seeing more than once – and I can guarantee you will not regret it. A nostalgic and heart-warming trip which will take you back and make you laugh – a LOT. Be sure to get your tickets now as QCF always boasts large audiences.

Remaining Performances at Gabriel’s Corner: June 7 at 8:45pm; June 12 at 8:45pm; and June 14 at 7pm.

Kat’s Fringe Reviews: June 4-6: The Sweet and Lowdown

There is still an entire week left of Fringe with plenty of chances to catch several shows. In addition, the Audience Pick of the Fringe voting is live: submit your vote for the best Fringe show you’ve seen. But no cheating: one vote per patron, please.

With beautiful weather rolling in this weekend, consider spending time in OTR and soaking in some fantastic live theatre. Individual tickets and flex passes are still available HERE. Don’t sleep on it! Purchase in advance. Hope to see you there – and thank you, as always, for supporting live theatre.

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

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