Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine


fabulation footlighters theatre february 2023

If you haven’t seen a Lynn Nottage play yet, you are seriously missing out. Several of her plays have been done around Cincinnati the past year or so, and you do not want to miss your chance to see this latest one that is showing with Footlighters at Stained Glass Theatre in Newport through February 26, 2023! Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine is a tale of riches to rags with an hilarious 90s-sitcom-type vibe to it.

LOCAL12, FOX19, and WCPO all featured parts of the cast recently to share more about the show. We embedded those segments over in our February 2023 Events Guide, so click over there to watch.

“Undine has it all – success, love, and a fabulous wardrobe. When her life begins to unravel in one hilarious reversal after another, she is forced to return to a life she had long left behind. In this satirical comedy, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage asks Undine – and all of us – whether you can really ever go home again.”

Local legend, Derek J. Snow, directed Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at Mariemont Players in January of 2022 and had an award-winning run. He returns to direct again with lead Jasimine Bouldin playing Undine in Fabulation this time.

We went to see the show on opening weekend and loved seeing such a packed house after all the press coverage leading up to it. The Stained Glass Theatre is an historic gem. In 1986, a tornado struck the Salem Methodist Church, and the damage was too much for the congregation. The church was built in 1882 and designed by Samuel Hannaford who also designed Cincinnati’s Music Hall (one of my absolute favorite landmarks in our city!).

The stained glass is still preserved in the theatre, and so much of the original history is still preserved as well. If you dine at York Street Café across the street before the show, you’ll see more panels and lighting from the original church showcased in the restaurant. Just make sure to get reservations ahead of time if you want to eat there!

Footlighters moved in during 1987, and the Stained Glass Theatre had its first season in 1988. A new lighting system was put in during 2004, and so many other improvements have been made to the theatre since then. Snow’s vision for Fabulation was truly brought to life with the state-of-the-art sound design, the incredible set design and high ceilings, that updated lighting of course, the spot-on costuming, and the absolutely stunning and brilliantly-talented cast he put together.

This cast has worked tirelessly for months, rehearsing and prepping for the greatest show you’ll see all year. Jasimine is a superstar and commands any stage I’ve ever seen her on. Her performance in Fabulation is no exception. The range of emotions she portrays blows me away. During the childbirth scene at the end, she evoked memories in me of when I had my daughter over 13 years ago, and she almost brought me to tears. Colette Flowers in the ensemble also gave a riveting monologue in the show that was really impressive.

A beautiful thing about Lynn Nottage’s writing is that she gives you real life in a raw and non-sugarcoated way. Fabulation is one of her most raw shows I’ve seen to date. Some older teens were there, and the parents said afterwards that they were glad they got to see a look at real life that they may not be exposed to in their everyday lives. They did point out to their teens, “I better not catch you using that language at home!” 🙂 It’s definitely written for a mature audience, so use your own parental discretion if you choose to bring any of your big kids.

Longtime theatre lover, Kathy O’Brien, joined us on Saturday, and she and her partner John were in love with the whole performance. She went up to Derek afterwards and said, “You should be directing for Broadway!!!” It’s true, and she’s seen enough Broadway shows to know! Come support a local theatre, local artists, and some of the best BIPOC actors you’ll ever see on stage. Fabulation does not disappoint.


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