Mark Baratelli Tries Two Hard

Mark Baratelli Tries Two Hard

Mark Baratelli Tries Two Hard
With Mark Baratelli and John DeHaas
Sleuths’ Mystery Dinner Theatre
Orlando, FL

On a rainy Wednesday the day after school started I found myself heading to Sleuths’ for comedy night. As I drove the thought occurred: “Wednesday is the least funny day of the week.” But Fringe veteran Mark Baratelli was enough of a draw to get 20 people out tonight. He worked hard and it took a while to get the crowd on his side, but he did get the room laughing as he did shortened version of two successful Fringe shows “How Do You Feel?” and “Improve Cabaret”. Both shows depend on audience interaction, but it’s more “are they laughing in the right spots?” than the “name a non specific location” stuff you might be more familiar with. My contribution was a fairly violent sneeze, and he ran with it.

“How Do You Feel?” riff off the dreaded mega self help improvement seminar. I’m no Tony Robbins fan, but Baratelli’s “SPIC” (you’re Special, Patience, Intelligence, Control) model is really no worse than what otherwise sane people pay hundreds of dollars to hear. He skates off into dangerous territory by blacking his face and renaming depression as “The Blacks”, the leading us into a diatribe against The Blacks. It’s uncomfortably funny, and a direct challenge to what we like to believe about ourselves.

After a short intermission and the loss of a few out-of-towners, John DeHaas joined Mr. Baratelli onstage and we took a shot at some of the best excesses of the lounge revival. In a natty he hat borrowed from the gift shop (Sleuths’ has one of the best collection of tourist trinkets on I-drive) he sang vaguely familiar songs about New York and San Tropez, regaled us with his attempt to add a song to Brigadoon, and ran through the story line of his production “Parts! The Musical.” This segment flowed batter than the self help stuff, the music seems a more natural way to make you feel better than a lecture on feeling good about yourself. If a rainy Wednesday can be fun, think of how a few drinks on Saturday will work.

For more information on Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Shows, please visit

For more information on Mark Baratelli, check out

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