Harry & The Thief by Sigrid Gilmer is a wonderfully ridiculous, history-twisting, large cast mash-up of a play about Harriet Tubman (Harry), slavery and time travel. It is also the first play in Know Theatre’s 17th season, with Andrew Hungerford now at the artistic helm. This bodes well.
The Underground (Know’s bar and lobby theater) has gotten a pleasant makeover as has the energy of Know. With free Wednesday night shows during every run as part of their new “Welcome Experiment,” now is definitely the time to visit or revisit Cincinnati’s artistic playground. And Harry is the perfect play for just such a playground.
So here’s what happens: Mad quantum scientist Jeremy (Rico Reid) concocts a plan to send his thieving, in-trouble-with-her-crew cousin Mimi (Torie Wiggins) back in time to deliver arms to Harriet Tubman (Keisha Kemper/Piper N. Davis) to help change the course of history during the 1863 Tubman-led armed assault in the Civil War. Not surprisingly, the high-tech awesomeness of the control device — a “Mammy” doll — doesn’t work quite right and Mimi goes back to the earlier past, when Tubman is still on her slave-freeing mission, suffering from seizure visions and having a crisis of faith in her divine purpose.
Harry & The Thief , presented by Know Theatre, continues through Aug. 30. More: knowtheatre.com.