You’ve heard of Gulliver’s Travels? This show might be labeled “Gullible’s” Travels. Out of the mind and mouth of storyteller, author and recording artist Bil Lepp flows Totally Untrue Stories, well-written, side-splitting ruminations about growing up in 1980s rural West Virginia in the town of Half Dollar. This is storytelling at its finest.
Lepp is a five-time winner of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest and a favorite at the National Storytelling Festival. His Lepp Fabrications production specializes in “alternative facts.”
“I reinvented my early life,” Lepp claims, “so I can lie to my kids about what I did when I was their age.”
Totally Untrue Stories is a solo show with three parts. First, you’ll go to high school with Lepp and meet his not-so-social social studies teacher and a scooter-riding gym teacher who barks orders through a bullhorn. You’ll also meet a town game warden/dog catcher who was so bad at hunting, “he had to change his name, quit his job, and move to Ohio.” Next you’ll hear about the antics of a “smokin’” (literally) health teacher who has a unique recipe for teaching her students about the facts of life. Let’s just say the mixture of eggs and flour is a recipe for disaster. It’s why, Lepp says, “Some of you decided to home school.”
His final story describes two country boys’ adventures in the Big Apple. You’ll keep laughing out loud when you hear what happens when Lepp and his buddy, two smart alecks who appear to be wet behind the ears, pony up to a NYC water bar. Totally Untrue Stories — Totally Unlike Any Nocturnal Flying Insect is an imaginative, engaging hour of nonstop entertainment. He might be a liar, but Bil Lepp is the real deal.
The CINCINNATI FRINGE FESTIVAL continues through June 11. Find CityBeat reviews of 41 early performances here. For a full schedule and more info about Fringe, visit cincyfringe.com.