Archikulture Digest

Aphrodite’s Dungeon

Aphrodite’s Dungeon

By Judy Sheehan

Directed by Kris Khan

Green Venue, 2010 Orlando International Fringe Festival</strong>

What if the Greek Gods appeared on TV talk show? There’s enough sex and violence in Bullfinch’s Mythology to occupy Oprah or Tyra Banks, and that’s the clever concept behind this otherwise predictable show. Aphrodite (Sara lee Dobbs) struts around in heels and a vinyl mini, threatening the men with either indescribable lust or immediate and violent demise. Symbolically this works well, but I’d feel much safer with the mousy girl who only gets sexy when she ditches the glasses. Aphrodite’s crew lives in dread fear of her, and the Applause Boy (Jonny Miller) pumps the audience lest Aphrodite smite them all. She arrives, preens, explains the show, and we go to commercial for Poseidon Douche narrated by Lisa Sleeper. Our first guests are self-involved Narcissus (Ed Budd) and mousy Echo (Jodi Chase). They play the typical celebrity couple, speaking in sound bites and making an on air transformation that feels as natural as an Alan Bruun preshow speech. After another ad, we meet Couple Number 2: the nebbish ruler of the Universe Zeus (Louie Gravance) and his bitchy wife Juno (Krista Miller.) Aphrodite plans to punish one of the four for being a jerk, but none of them seem any better or worse than another. While the meta-show is fairly run of the mill, the commercials are great. How television is that?

There’s a lot of underused talent on this stage, although the 8 equity actors and their non-union fellows do the best they can with a pot boiler script even more banal that the material the parody. True, watching Ms. Dobbs isn’t the worst way to spend an hour, and the commercials are quite entertaining, but what humor lurks in this play can be seen from way across the parking lot.

This event is part of the 2010 Orlando International Fringe Festival. For schedule and ticket information, please visit

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