TingleTangle is an evening of personal storytelling, gender-bending songs and no-punches-pulled conversations about sexuality, gender, oppression, hate speech and compassion’s transgressive power. This cabaret-inspired performance responds to a conflicted, changing world, with love, empathy, humor and the desire to understand…not to mention some out-and-out desire! This provocative evening revels in the nuances of identity and how we all use performance to communicate our truest selves to the world. TingleTangle is a show about compassion and transformation. An avant-garde Muppet Show mixed with Weimar sex and danger. Come in! Enjoy yourself! Laugh!
Well I did come in. I did enjoy myself, and I laughed, a lot. TingleTangle is beautifully conceived by Ray Caspio, unabashedly directed by Jeremy Paul, and Eric M. C. Gonzalez provides original haunting composition and accompaniment to the entire proceedings. I enter the location, Guide To Kulchur, entrance greeted by Don, who is definitely a gender bend, and here we go. My ticket is taken by a young man in a trench coat, who casually opens up his coat to point where I should go, while flashing a little skin. At this point, I am not even at the theatre, and I had to spritz. As I moved downstairs, it certainly reminded me of entering a secret club, that usually would have a door with a slide window, which opens to a man who got punched too many times in the face asking for the password. Luckily, I am already in.
As i sit in my seat, i notice a German Groucho Marx( a versatile Ryan Lucas), working the crowd as a stand up comic. He does a great bit, by identifying people’s lives by giving them a T.V. show title. Ray Caspio enters and begins to take us on a journey of his own life. Identifying pivotal moments in his sexuality that are painful, explosive and heartwarming. Whether delivering slices of his life in dialogue or singing his emotional journey, the path of his sexual life is honest, beautiful, shocking, and inspiring. The rest of the cast is fierce and certainly have worked thought any emotional or physical barriers about performing, or are just so glad to have this opportunity to perform in an open and unconstrained environment. Katie Beck, Dan Rand are beautiful additions to the foray. Valerie C. Kilmer, once again transforms herself into a gorgeous creature of theatrical delight. After seeing her in Code at Theatre Ninjas, and then in Huck Finn at Lantern Theatre, I was amazed by her transformative talents. Her we find a more glammed up Kilmer, with a beautiful voice, physicality and comedic chops. And speaking of comedic chops, Amy Schwabauer takes the submersion cake. Her routine as a gym teacher answering questions about sex from her students, is one of the funniest things i have seen all year. Also, i will never look at a condom the same way again.DO NOT MISS THIS SCENE!
This is a fearless cast. They have all created this piece by slicing open parts of themselves, or literally exposing parts of themselves, to help tell a story. It’s a story, of a lovely lady, who had……….. well, not that story. But even in that house, there was a closet never opened. Too bad that people are shamed into not being who they are.
The Production team out tingles themselves. Jeremy Paul did a great job at using the space, and allowing for free movement, and sensing the form and presentation of the evening. Stage Manager Kaitlin Kelly called a great show. Costume Design was clever, sexy and fun. Lighting Design (Benjamin Gantose) was fierce. It was raw, sexual, haunting, and a visual tingletangle of emotions.
Ray Caspio opens his heart and his soul on this personal journey. you have one more weekend of performances to go underground to reach your destination. You will come back up with a challenge to free yourself to be who you are. As Caspio writes “Love and Truth are the most powerful weapons we have”. Indeed it is, indeed it is.
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$5-$20 General Admission
Guide to Kulchur
1386 W 65th Street
Cleveland, OH 44102