Kiss Around Pass Around (Critic's Pick)

Are you human? Are you kind? Are you smart? These are the kinds of questions you will need to consider when you take in the utterly delightful Kiss Around Pass Around.

Critic's Pick

Are you human? Are you kind? Are you smart?

These are the kinds of questions you will need to consider when you take in the utterly delightful Kiss Around Pass Around. Created and performed by Tokyo actress and Fringe circuit favorite, Yanomi, Kiss Around instantly draws you into the magical world of this anime-informed wood sprite.

Imagine Cincinnati artist Pam Kravetz and singer Bjork had a Japanese baby together. That will get you close to picturing the wigged, masked, sewn-together charm of Kiss Around. With her portable, wearable sleeping trunk and matching vest, she carries her world with her. It is no matter that she cannot read the words on the leaves her mother has written out a journey for her to take to the north, south, east and west. As long as she can find a few kind-enough and smart-enough humans, she manages just fine.

When the plot details include fishing for shoes and a book that sings a serious ballad called “Blah blah blah,” it is best to leave the discovery to you. What I can tell you is that Yanomi has created a distinctive vocabulary of movement and engagement that is equal parts child’s play and exquisite theatrical craft.

Kiss Around celebrates the wonder and awe of being a child, constructing a world through movement, imagination, boredom, fear and innovation. It made me wonder about our digitally enslaved youth. Will they sing a song at night? Will they be nice to the elderly? Will they create games with complicated, sensible rules?

The First Lutheran Church is a lovely venue with a few sound reverb issues. I missed a handful of lines but that might just be the excuse I need to go see this terrific show again.

Stacy Sims is a novelist, playwright and activist. Her work has been produced in Cincinnati, Los Angeles and New York. She also enjoys writing about art and theater.


Read the official 32-page FRINGE FESTIVAL GUIDE here and find the full performance lineup here.
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