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2012 Fringe Festival review: "Tainted Love"

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"Tainted Love"

Rating:
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Star
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Plus One and I disagreed on "Tainted Love: A Zombie-Human Love Story" by Living Dead Productions. She said that the acting was good but the script is terrible. I told her the script is serviceable but the acting horrible.

That's Fringe for you.

So we agree to disagree, but in any case, I don't think that two negatives necessarily add up to a positive in this case.

"Tainted Love" takes place in the not-too-distant future, when terrorists attack major American cities with V-86, a virus that turns people into zombies. And it's contagious. So when our narrator Steve's girlfriend Cassie gets bitten by a zombie, he turns to get help from his friend Tyler, who happens to be a scientist working on a cure for the zombie infection.

Let the camp begin. Alan Jozwiak's script provides plenty of silly humor to go with the wild social satire that lies under the bad zombie movie plot (which the script totally recognizes itself for what it is). Plus One thought it was just silly. I laughed out loud, even at some of the cheesy running gags. It reminded me of "Airplane!"

To be fair, we saw the first Fringe performance, and as a former Fringe performer I know that shows don't typically get a full rehearsal in the performance space, which may account for some of the sloppy direction. But that doesn't excuse the mush-mouth performances of Christopher Dooley and Emily Fightmaster as Steve and Cassie, who tend to rush through their lines at the expense of good articulation. The energy is right, but their demeanor has no nuance and from the back of the packed house, it's often difficult to hear what they're saying. Slow down and ar-tic-u-late, guys. Derek Evans, however, shows a much higher level of acting skill and hence a more professional presence.

Remaining performances are 3:45 p.m. Sunday June 3, 8:15 p.m., Monday June 4, 9:15 p.m. Thursday June 7 and 6 p.m.. Saturday June 9 at 1425 Main.

For more information about how to get tickets to Cincinnati Fringe Festival productions, visit www.cincyfringe.com or call (513) 300-5669.

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