Racism, sexism and blind dates are the subjects at hand in We Did It, Girl, a grim lineup for a funny play that exposes society’s easy coverups and failed acceptances. You might leave with new ideas on any or all of those subjects. Meanwhile, you will have been exposed to the differing takes of the couple that meet as blind dates and separate, one must assume, less blind. If it seems unlikely that they will meet again, the likelihood that each has experienced significant upheaval of old ideas is certainly implied. Meanwhile, their own thickheadedness provided instant laughs and possibly some wake-up calls to our own outlooks.
Kevin Crowley so perfectly inhabits his role as the clueless man that I found myself thinking it must have been written for him. In fact, he actually wrote the play. Crowley is a fixture in the Cincinnati theater scene as a founding member of Clifton Players and has appeared in films and stage productions elsewhere as well. Torie Wiggins, who swings onstage as this play begins, looking for a man who isn’t there, has a broad experience with other local theaters as well as movies and television. She is sharp and vulnerable by turns in this play, which recognizes that nothing is easy, but that most things have some funny aspect.
Director Reggie Willis, himself another veteran of the Cincinnati theater scene, keeps his actors moving in a play which could turn static: They are simply talking to each other from adjoining tables in what might be an outdoor cafe, but whose wait staff seems busy elsewhere. But that’s all right; they aren’t there for the coffee.
It’s pretty unlikely that these mismatched protagonists will ultimately find happiness in each other, especially given the shocking finale, which runs somewhat counter to the preceding hilarity. Surely neither will hew quite so firmly to previous givens in their outlooks.
One of the great pleasures of Fringe is how much can be done with a space that isn’t actually a stage (We Did It, Girl is performed in a studio at the Art Academy of Cincinnati) and with minimal props. In this show, the actors and material don’t need them.
The congratulatory title of the show seems to be, in fact, the author/actor speaking to his co-star. The piece claims to have a goal of eliminating racism in the 45 minutes at hand. One way or another, it’s over at least for these two. Nevertheless, for the show’s duration, they have their audience pretty firmly in hand and give them more than laughs to think about.