Archikulture Digest

Escape From Baldwin Park

Escape From Baldwin Park

By Steve Schneider

Directed by Jay Hopkins

Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, Green Venue.</strong>

It helps if you know all the local references, but even if you don’t this is a damn funny show. The year is 2020 and Baldwin Park has been reduced to ruins. The city has surrounded it with a concrete wall (we LOVE our multibillion dollar civic improvements here) and inside those walls a mutant community survives: animals talk, gangs rule, and property values are in the flusher. But Commissioner Patty Sheehan’s (Maria Ragin) airplane has crashed and the Sherriff (Bill Warriner) needs to get here out, fast. Tough guy Gecko (Robert Wright) can clear his record AND get a fixer upper in College Park if he springs her within 24 hours and his story gets 24/7 coverage on Channel 13 (Matt Horohoe and Darby Ballard). This is every action move you ever made out to but with better choreography.

This show packs laughs and action into just about the right length of time. The props are cools (a cardboard cab made from recycled Dog Power Robots stuff) and the fight scenes are action packed and well-choreographed by Mr. Warriner. Daniel Cooksley shows up as the cowardly limping professor with the techno magic need to resolve the plot, and a ring girl (Katy Votapka) keeps the fights moving along. Out of towners may be a bit befuddled, but this as good an introduction to O-town and its politics as they will find.

This production is part of the 2014 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Information on tickets and show times may be found at

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