FRINGE ’22 REVIEWS: Be My Thief, The Sex Life of Butterflies, Take a Chance with Toybox
By Liz Eichler
This is a GREAT week to do the AIR CONDITIONED Cincinnati Fringe Festival–the sold out shows last night attest to that! Explore the full line-up HERE. NOTE: The outdoor Stage and Beer Garden are closed tonight due to the dangerously high temps, but you can stop into any of the very close local pubs and eateries between shows.
Be My Thief by Gideon Productions – Highly Recommended
“Be My Thief” had audiences at the edge of their seats. This is a gripping, amazingly well done sci-fi tale using post-Covid America as its launching point. The writing by Mac Rogers is sophisticated, clever and compelling, constantly resetting our viewpoint. The performances of Rogers, Rebecca Comtois and especially Kristin Vaughan as Dr. Latham are top-notch and the direction by Jordana Williams makes this a must see.
We first meet Mira coming home from her first day back in the office (where she works from home at work) and then Sam, who senses then insists that this is not his wife, but someone posing as her. They meet with Dr. Latham who guides them through exercises throughout the course of the play. Through multiple plot twists we get to the truth. The undercurrent however, is how they unravel how they feel in their shared space throughout Covid. Being holed up with someone for 15 months, no matter how much you love them, makes you see things a bit differently.
Sit up close if you can, as their style is more conversational.
The Sex Life of Butterflies by Martin Dockery – Highly Recommended
Moving and speaking a mile a minute we hear 3 stories from Dockery, a master storyteller. His energy is through the roof as he shares about his life with his wife who joins him in his quest to shield their toddler daughter from Covid. His second story concerns his goals at Burning Man and beyond. His third finally addresses his reasons for following monarch butterflies on their migration. All three stories knit beautifully together as he relates how the Universe has a plan. Yes, the Universe is brought in as a second character throughout–Dockery even tells us to blame the universe if it is a terrible show. Of course, it is not. It is a delightful full speed run at comedy and insights into life. Well done, Universe! Well done Dockery, during his closing performance.
LAST SHOW WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
Take A Chance with Toybox by Toybox Theatre
“Play an interactive online gameshow with America’s Favorite Cartoon Witch!”
Think “Whose Line is it Anyway?” meets The Munsters or Sesame Street. We played on Monday night and had a blast with this hilarious improvised online game show where the Toybox makes all the rules. Toybox, the witch, will select LIVE members of the audience to play in categories such as “Cats” or “Make Me Laugh.” You may be asked to name as many things in a category as you can. Of the three contestants, two were puppets and one was live (there were 2 contestants and 1 alternate when we played).
If you want to stay in the comfort of your own home tonight, have some fun with Toybox! (Make sure you have a working camera and microphone if you want to be a contestant.)
Two more shows I look forward to this week based on the buzz throughout the Fringe attendees, artists, and staff: Rosegold and Fire in the Meth Lab.