Saturday, June 2nd, 2012...2:20 pm
‘The Mistakes Madeline Made’ smells up something funny at Cincy Fringe
The idea of not showering is sometimes tempting. I mean, with all the grown-up responsibilities we have every day… going to the bank, vacuuming, dishes, laundry, work, UGH! It can be downright exhausting. Add some seriously more emotionally disturbing elements, like the trauma of loss, grief, and feeling helpless and meaningless in this ridiculously excessive American culture, and you’ve got a recipe for Ablutophobia, The Fear of Bathing, which is exactly what Edna is suffering from.
This production had me wandering around a little in the very beginning, perhaps a little too long of a road to get to the meat of the story, but the over-the-top interaction between the characters certainly kept me laughing during that journey.
Trapped in an office with someone as cheery and enthusiastic as the rosy-cheeked, impeccably dressed, obsessive employee Beth would send me running for the copy room as often as possible. Maybe even to suffer the equally entertaining Wilson with his constant copy machine sounds, airplane noises, and adorably nerdy disposition. When he finally does utter words instead of sound effects, he begins to speak about Monads (tiny bubbles of soul) and asks the questions: “What do we choose to forget? By ignoring things, do we destroy them?”
This intense, touching, and quite humorous story raises the idea of forgetting, of letting go, and, in turn, committing those we have lost to memory……. and also torturing your annoying co-workers, like the always-a-bow-in-her-hair Beth, perfectly played by Sara Kenny.
Some of the most heart-wrenching moments in this production are delivered by the brother, played by Michael Carr. Christopher Ziegler of Cincinnati is the red-headed, buttoned-up Wilson… and he nails it. Wilson really grows on you throughout the performance, like a weed you realize is actually a flower. It becomes apparent that he is on his own journey in this story as well, evolving alongside Edna, as he attempts to reach into her broken, stinky heart. Edna, played so incredibly by Rachel Berger, all the while insists on having incessant relations with a host of bad writers, all of whom are played with great poetic angst by Andrew Maloney.
This show will keep you laughing while addressing the real dilemma: When we are faced with devastating loss and pain, how do we return to a “normal” life? And honestly, how does one even shower?
Directed by Jenny Estill.
Catch this great local production The Mistakes Madeline Made at the Ensemble Theatre! Only two more shows! Saturday, June 2 @ 7:45pm & Sunday, June 3 @ 2:00pm. Call (513) 300-KNOW for tickets.
~Written by Lizz Godfroy