The Fringe Report


by Dorothy Turay


THORN PRODUCTIONS: “Jeannette Rankin: Champion of Persistence”


Written and performed by J Emily Peabody, this one-woman show succinctly captures the life and times of America’s first congresswoman, Jeanette Rankin. Peabody performs the role with verve and dash, and is as at ease with the stage as she is in wearing the skin of her character. The actress portrays the tremendous Rankin with a casual deftness, making the audience believe they are witnessing the blossoming of a true American rebel.  


In order to guide the observer through a series of times, Peabody uses a quick-change wardrobe to reflect important touchstones in Rankin’s life-long career(s). This cannot be an easy feat. Somehow, Peabody manages to smoothly change her costumes in full view of the audience without missing a beat of dialogue. It’s a clever way to signal changing times.


With a few simple props and a slide projector, Peabody brings us the essence of a person whose great ethical and humanist arguments helped further the causes of the common people.  


Rankin’s astonishing accomplishments hold stories that must be told. She fought for women’s suffrage, took anti-war stances, called for election reform, and labor and union rights. Even at the age of 91, Rankin was still politically active. 


We oldsters may remember the days before most of the hippies sold out, and there was still a belief we could change the world. For a brief moment in the play, the video screen displays a photo from 1971, in which a law school drop-out, John Kirkley, decided that Rankin “might be his guru.” Then it hit me: I remembered that photo. It was a shock and a realization that time moves more quickly than we may imagine. 


The play runs for approximately 55 minutes, but it is a riveting performance that manages to pack nearly a century of history into each precious minute. Well done, Ms. Peabody. Rankin would be pleased.

Jacob Mayfield Mindreading and Mentalism, this show is very fun and family-friendly. Very Entertaining and uses lots of audience participation.

My favorite act was when he guessed the name of the street in London that I picked out (see it for yourself, NOT telling you more). This whole show was great, I would definitely see this show again!!!! Keep it up Jacob.

-Elementary Press       


The Fringe Report


by Dorothy Turay



Madeline O’Malley: “This is 40”


O’Malley’s comedy act is a humorous journey of thoughts on becoming middle-aged. She covers woman-centric issues of body image, online dating, parental (hers) challenges and more. Her relaxed delivery makes her seem like a good friend from high-school whom you haven’t seen for a while. 


O’Malley is a woman you’d want to go drinking with. Her down-to-earth musings on becoming a forty-something are laugh-out-loud jokes that most women and (hopefully) most men will find hilarious. Her brand of comedy is a sophisticated take on fart jokes and other “unmentionable” circumstances, situations we endure but are loathe to share, excepting the closest of friends. 


Although recommended for a “mature” audience, O’Malley’s self-effacing humor is anything but crude. The focus of her show is the way our perspectives change as we age. She’s like that big sister or cousin who shared confidential information with you when you were “too little” to know the truth of things.


O’Malley will return to the Loft with an opening act on Saturday at 9 pm and Sunday at 3pm. Friday’s show ran approximately 40 minutes, but subsequent shows may run longer. It’s the perfect show to see with your besties!

The Fringe Report


by Dorothy Turay




A crowd favorite, David Boyle doesn’t disappoint with his poignant, hilarious performance. By turns, he is bittersweet, riveting, sentimental, and truthful. Truthful: not a word to be taken lightly. Boyle expounds upon the emotions we all feel yet often keep hidden. 


At the onset, Boyle states this is his 6th year at the Elgin Fringe and admits he scrabbled to keep the material fresh. It seemed his crowd was a familiar one, and the atmosphere radiated loving support. 


He engages the audience by baring his soul with relatable stories. The setting, upstairs at the 217 Pub in the Elgin Public House, provides an intimate space that is perfect for the one-man show, which is part confessional, part revelatory. 


Between stories, Boyle peppers the audience with trivia questions. For the correct answer, an audience member receives a prize from another Fringe Festival that is not from Elgin. It’s a creative transition  to the next story that keeps the audience engaged. 


The show runs approximately 35 minutes. Boyle has two performances left for the weekend: Saturday at 3 pm and 10 pm. Go see the show and connect with your own feelings. Boyle is an expert at creating empathy. We could all use a little more of that.

Audacity Theatre Lab/ Brad McEntire


Sword play of laughter and a smooth swift swing of quick wit, with Cyrano de Bergerac being the sword.  Each landed blow filled with personal stories, history and observation told through the humorous, emotion-provoking, theatrical Brad McEntire.  Brad’s solo performance is an invitation to sit at family table with his memories, joys, sadness, insecurities and the roller coaster of being a “Theater Man.”  This lovable breathtaking show is a must to see and experience. 

-Fredd Wimms




Melanie Moseley

Sexology: The Musical 

A musical about sex, right?  Well, no.  It’s really a musical about the evolution of an uncertain girl to confident women.  Experiencing life's thrills, relationship failures, victories, sex, and love.  Piecing the puzzle of what is a healthy relationship togheter with her needs and wants.  She shares this journey through songs, stories, life lessons, and educational interludes.  I found myself connected to her and this taboo topic.  There is something about living life in someone's shoes.. especially when it’s accompanied by song. 

-Fredd Wimms

T.J. Regul, The Quad City Magician

Looking for relaxed, family-friendly, classic magic tricks? In that case, T.J. Regul has the show for you! T.J. Regul the Quad City Magician puts on a great performance, complete with slight of hand, card tricks, balloon animal resurrections, pulling coins out of the audiences ear's and much more! T.J. himself is a very enthusiastic, light hearted, relatable family man who wins over the audience and seems to love his work! This show is appropriate for all ages, although it is definitely geared toward a younger audience. Whatever you do, you won't be disappointed by the Quad City Magician!

-Graham Hunt

T.J. Regul, The Quad City Magician

T.J. Regul, the Quad City Magician is a very family-friendly show. Very entertaining and uses audience in pretty much every act. T.J. Regul uses sleight of hand, card tricks and popping balloon doggies. My favorite act is when they put ten cards in an envelope hid the envelope under someone, T.J. pretended to throw three cards in the envelope at the end they counted how many cards were in the envelope. there were thirteen cards in the envelope. Keep it up T.J.!!!!  

-Elementary Press 


Elgin Fringe Festival is a proud member of the United States Association of Fringe Festivals.

Elgin Fringe Festival is a proud member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals.

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