FRINGE REVIEW: Naked Strangers

imageThis particular production had no script when the cast first met.  Together, with their director (and professor at CCM) Richard Hess they created NAKED STRANGERS from scratch.  Taking the concept of nakedness – physical and emotional – and creating vignettes and monologues mixed with light choreography and this maybe the most “Fringey” show I’ve seen this year.

The cast – Annie Grove, Graham Rogers, Lauren Carter, Carter LaCava, Jabari Carter (there sure are a lot of unrelated Carters in CCM Acting), Mafer Del Real, Landon Hawkins, and Katie McDonald – work together as an ensemble on stage to bring us a unique and creative exploration of man’s relationship with himself, others, and politeness.  I enjoyed it.

Be advised there is some rear male nudity and some very raw language in case you like to know what you’re getting yourself into before you go.  It all fits within the context of the play.

Highlights are Hawkins sardonic responses to table manners, various cultural customs regarding kissing and handshakes, but mostly some touching, though provoking, and well written monologues delivered by various members of the cast.

NAKED STRANGERS is forty-five minutes of creative expression and an example of true ensemble work.  I recommend it.

NAKED STRANGERS continues Sat, June 4 at 7:45pm, Mon, June 6 at 6:30pm and Wed, June 8 at 9:15pm at the E 17th Court Street venue as part of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  Tickets and more information can be found here.

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