FRINGE 2018 Preview – Part One!

Hi Guys!  It’s almost the Cincinnati Theatre community’s best time of year . . . Cincinnati Fringe Festival time!  I wanted to spend a minute or two highlighting some of the shows that I think you should check out.  Truly, the Full Frontal Pass is the only way to be sure you don’t miss anything but if you have to choose, we’ll try to steer you in a direction that’ll be towards your liking.

Perhaps the best part about Fringe is that there’s usually something for everyone.  If you like good storytelling with a weird sense of humor, you’ve got a few choices.  If you like avant-garde dance, you can usually find it.  If you want an emotionally vulnerable solo performance, well, there’s tons of those, too.  And what’s also good?  Even if the show isn’t your cup of tea, it won’t last more than an hour.

Here’s some of what I’m looking forward to (and we’ll talk about more next week):

  • THE BLACKFACE PROJECT, the brainchild of young playwright (and actor), Isaiah Reaves, tells the story of Burt Williams.  Williams is a legendary figure in vaudeville and Broadway and it has been Reaves’ dream to bring his story to life.  I’m excited to see such this passion project come to life at Gabriel’s Corner, opening on May 31st.  Get tickets and more information here.
  • Another local playwright – and now actor – Trey Tatum will present his newest work, OF MONSTER DESCENT, under the umbrella of Queen City Flash.  This year the poetic Tatum, directed by his wife and creative partner, Bridget Leak, will present a solo play about “a family on the brink of collapse and the woodland beast that stalks just beyond their fence line. Set in a decaying Gulf Coast oasis, a young boy confronts family legacy and the untamed beyond in this otherworldly, lightning-lit, monster survival tale.”  Click here for more info and for tickets for this production located in First Lutheran Church’s Lounge starting on May 30th.
  • Last year, Gideon Productions show, GOD OF OBSIDIAN, was one of my favorite Fringe pieces for its taught relational tension, non-preachy political overtones, and all-around tight script. This year, Mac Rogers is back with MUSICAL CHAIRS, a show about a three-person marriage.  It sounds timely, relevant, and I cannot wait to see it.  It’ll be performed in the Memorial Hall Studio beginning on June 3rd.  Click here for information.
  • ONE MORE BAD THING from Ben Dudley, playwright, and Homegrown Theatre is directed by Jared D. Doren and stars Leah Strasser, Erin Ward, Simon Powell, and Dylan Shelton.  What more could you possibly need to know?  But really, Doren might be Cincinnati’s most underrated director (and yes, I’m biased – we worked together on the workshop of my play – but I’m also not wrong about his talent) and Dudley is consistently solid in all of his work.  I think Strasser and Ward together on stage will be magic, too.  I can’t wait to pull up a chair at the Art Academy’s Lecture Hall on June 1st to see the opening performance.  Click here for more information and tickets.

I’ll be back again later with more previews of some of shows I’m looking forward to the most.  There are so many great options!  You should at least consider getting a six-show Voyeur Pass.  You can read more about the Festival and all the special events this year in addition to the show offerings (like a really cool comic book tunnel tour from MeSsEd Comics) here.

I’ll see you in OTR!