CincyFringe Review: Aberrant Reflections on the Barbarism of You & I

T-shirts alone are not funny.  T-Shirts on and off the bodies of three talented actors are hilariously sharp.  Artemis Exchange's production of Aberrant Reflections on the Barbarism of You & I premiered on Wednesday and quickly has become one of my must see recommendations of the Festival.

This view is not a conspiracy.  I don't have any connection to the Masons.  The script, an adaptation of a work by Christopher Karr, has a wonderful pace that doesn't get bogged down on anything, but sticks to the outline it creates.    I've never actually seen the TV series Lost, but if you are a fan, I'm not sure if you will find this production to a bit of parody of the TV show or not.  I see an influence from the series as the back drop for the limited narrative.  That adds the framework of the work that has three "captives" (Chris Dooley, Emma Robertson, and Chris Wesselman) forced to act out scenes from an unseen captor.  Each scene pokes holes in some of the most well known conspiracy theories.  Those holes come on both sides of the theories.  They don't disprove them. They do mock some of them, but demonstrate how they can make some sense, when you're isolated.

The set was trashy.  It was full of trash and worked perfectly with the loose narrative, giving the actors a play pen to move around and get dirty.  The action on stage gets just a little bit dirty, but you laugh.  You laugh a lot.  The jokes are heady, but the actors make the material accessible on a physical level. The use of the T-Shirts as identifying costumes is not new, but it really works with the material.

This type of production isn't everyone's style, but try this one out.  It is smart and will bring you along if you let it.

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