FRINGE 2021 CRITIC'S PICK: The Butterfly Heist

Krohn Conservatory made headlines in 2018 when a rare butterfly was stolen during the popular annual butterfly show. For this 2021 Cincy Fringe outdoor production, history is revisited in "The Butterfly Heist," a "Dateline" parody.

click to enlarge Poster for "The Butterfly Heist" - Photo: Provided by Cincy Fringe
Photo: Provided by Cincy Fringe
Poster for "The Butterfly Heist"


Cincinnati’s Krohn Conservatory made headlines in the spring of 2018 when a rare butterfly was stolen during the popular annual butterfly show. For this 2021 Cincy Fringe outdoor production, history is revisited in The Butterfly Heist, a Dateline parody. Written by Kelly Morton and directed by Caroline Steine, the play is a knee-slapping comedy that will leave audiences wanting more. Morton takes viewers behind the scenes of the incident to uncover the person responsible for the theft of the blue morpho butterfly.

The play kicked off with an ensemble of seven gifted and energetic actors. While some of the cast could be a bit more rehearsed, their blunders did not distract from the overall flow of the production. Alisha Chapmann was the breakout star with her quirkiness as the conservatory curator. However, Morton’s double duty as the newscaster/advertisers came in a close second with comedic punch lines that had audiences doubled over in laughter.

The occasional moments when the cast broke the fourth wall brought more to the show as the audience ate up the exchange. The set wasn’t extravagant and didn’t need to be. Butterfly Heist was perfect for an outdoor production, allowing the cast to move about freely.

If you are looking for an opportunity to laugh, look no further than this hilarious take on an unfortunate incident that resulted in the tragic loss of a rare insect. The sweet surprise of the play is the revelation of the culprit, someone who the audience would least expect. But then again, isn’t that always the case? 

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival takes place June 4-19. For more information, show descriptions, a schedule and tickets, visit cincyfringe.com.

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