Award-Winning MO-TO-THE-ONCLE Solo Show Comes to the Charm City Fringe Festival

The New York City solo comedy Mo-to-the-oncle will appear as part of the sixth annual Charm City Fringe Festival (Thursday, November 2 - Sunday, November 12) on November 8 at 8:45 p.m., November 10 at 10:30 p.m., November 11 at 7 p.m. and November 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the 14K Cabaret at Maryland Art Place (218 West Saratoga St, Baltimore, MD 21201). Tickets are $10 at charmcityfringe.ticketleap.com, where more information is also available. The show's running time is 45 minutes.

Mo-to-the-oncle tells the story of Detroit, Jr., a teenager who must wear a monocle to school after his dad loses their vision insurance. Through a series of quick costume changes, Cole portrays eight different characters to chronicle Detroit's plight as a uniquely kind of bespectacled student. "Unless you were just a really cool person in high school, I think we've all experienced being embarrassed about something in school, but nothing quite like having to wear a monocle," says Melissa Cole, the show's writer and star. "As a writer, I felt the possibilities were endless, and I went of the rails."

Baltimore's Charm City Fringe Festival will be the fourth festival of its kind to feature Cole's independent production, which has previously played Fringe theater festivals in Pittsburgh, Providence and Rochester, NY. Mo-to-the-oncle debuted last November in New York City as part of SOLOCOM, a festival that features an eclectic roster of solo artists premiering new material.

Although a comedy, Mo-to-the-oncle broaches serious social issues like racism, bullying, gun violence and health care. "I'm not the first to say this but comedy comes from truth," Cole says. "The premise of the show is relatively silly, but at its core is an honest story, told with humor."

Mo-to-the-oncle also features singing and rapping throughout the show. "It was natural to express Detroit's anxiety about having to wear a monocle to school through hip hop music not only because he's a young person, but also because the show is set in the Bronx, the birthplace of rap," says Cole.

For her performance in Mo-to-the-oncle, Cole earned the Best Actress award at the 2017 Pittsburgh Fringe Festival-her very first fringe festival-earlier this year. In 2015, she was a finalist in the NBC & Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Diversity Scholarship Showcase, a showcase featuring up-and-coming comedians selected by talent executives from the Peacock Network.

More about Fringe: Charm City Fringe, Inc. is part of the worldwide network of fringe festivals and aims to connect and develop Baltimore's theater community, engage existing audiences, attract non-traditional theatre-goers, and reach out to communities not commonly represented. Through an annual theater festival and regular educational community workshops, CCF looks to cultivate Baltimore as a hub for theater and the performing arts and expand, strengthen, and enhance creative learning opportunities for Baltimore's youth. The 2017 festival theme is "theatre without boundaries." For more information, visit charmcityfringe.com for a complete schedule, tickets and more information.


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