Alright, it’s a little more complicated than that: set to music and acted out entirely through mime and dance, we watch Marino go through the most elaborate version of the baking process. She even wrestles with chickens, harvests grain for flour, and milks a cow as she realizes she’s run out of her store-bought ingredients.
And later when she gets restless waiting for the cookies to bake, she spins serving trays, juggles hats, and performs balancing acts, sometimes with a bit of audience assistance. There’s even a dramatic whirlwind romance with a coat rack.
And just as advertised, there are cookies at the end. A deceptively simple show, performed by the immensely talented Marino with wit, imagination, and skill. It’s a bright, colorful, and altogether adorable reminder that we could all do with a little more sweetness in the world.
After a sold out run at Rochester Fringe, “Muffin Theatre Presents: A Show With Cookies” will get two encore performances on Sunday, September 29 at 3 and 7 p.m. at The Avyarium. avyarium.com.
Drag queens and murders mysteries: two great tastes that taste great together. From Vivian Darling Productions, “Which Bitch Did It?” adds some drag fabulousness an Agatha Christie-style murder mystery. You know the basic idea: a number of guests with sordid backgrounds are invited to spend the weekend in a spooky old house by a mysterious benefactor. Then they immediately start getting picked off by a murderer one by one, leaving the survivors to deduce who exactly has it in for them and why.
This production is a revamped revival of a previous staging that took place at 140 Alex Bar and Grill back in 2017. Transferred this year to the Lyric Theatre, the show played to a packed house on Friday night. But the Lyric's main space is an unforgiving venue, and while this new production made great use of the concealed doors and curtains of the stage itself, as a whole, the show largely got swallowed up by the massive space.
There are plenty of fun performances and hilarious line deliveries, though it was difficult to hear much of the dialogue and many of the jokes ended up getting lost. If anyone can go big it’s drag performers, so those of us not in the front rows were able to get the gist of what was happening. But anytime characters started monologuing about their motivations, little made its way to the back of the house. And judging by the comments of those around me at the end of the show, I wasn’t the only one who had trouble. Still, the committed performers made the experience entertaining, and I enjoyed what I saw enough to hope I get another chance to see the production in a more intimate setting.
"Which Bitch Did It?" will not be performed again during Rochester Fringe 2019.