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2012 Fringe Festival review: "NOTHING"

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"NOTHING"

Rating:
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One of the most poignant and dramatic Fringe productions you'll ever see, "NOTHING" tells the story of a bullied high school boy with Asperger Syndrome, an autistic condition marked by difficulty in social interaction and oftentimes a pattern of repetitive behavior and interests.

Presented by Unity Productions, previous performances of "NOTHING" have all been in high schools at anti-bullying assemblies, but the artistry of the piece rises far above mere utility.

It is a multi-media one-man show, of sorts. That is, there are many characters and actors, but all but the lead role of Ben (recent Miami University graduate Jon Kovach) appear in projected videos as though they are being interviewed for a documentary.

While the faux documentary seems to be describing some incident, Ben's interruptions, much of it delivered obessively in rhyme, tells the story of meeting a girl named Barbie in an Internet chat room. They converse with each other in rhyme, both describing themselves as emotionally damaged outsiders, and eventually, she asks for a meeting.

"NOTHING" is an amazing multi-media tour-de-force, and Kovach (who discovered the play through a movie "Ben X" based on a play by Belgian writer Nic Balthazar, who based his play on the novel he wrote based on a true story) is nothing short of mesmerizing in his highly energetic performance.

Remaining show times are 8:30 p.m. Monday June 4 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday June 9 at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati on Jackson St.

For more information, visit www.cincyfringe.com on the Internet or call (513) 330-KNOW.

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