Archikulture Digest
Orlando Fringe Festival 2018 – Final Day

Orlando Fringe Festival 2018 – Final Day

Orlando, Florida

He’s a detective with a fedora, a trench coat and a fake cigarette; and that was my first clue he might not be on the up and up. But Mr. Dirk Darrow can fool an audience with his sardonic exposition of card tricks, broken glass, and an uncanny ability to identify the dog you had as a child. The highlight is a musical dance contest that leads to his big finish complete with old guys smash shing folding chairs. Something about this Fringe show just makes middle aged guys want to take of their shirts and dance.

This show leaned heavily on the cute and is more a kid show aimed at adults. A small community of insects unites to fight a hurricane and a land scam from the waspy Time Share sales an while helping an uncertain and confused young monarch butterfly find his place in this community. Minimal but effective costumes, a sweet story and easy songs show what can be done an a minimal Fringe budget.

An elegant and diaphanous dance troupe brings 8 vignettes to stage, each more stunning than the last and all looking at how we relate to each other, all gems on their own.

Cancer hasn’t stopped tis trouper. Joe is best known for his Ghost Stories at Fringe and other Central Florida locations, but his health has shifted. When a tumor was found on the back of his neck he fought back with chemotherapy and storytelling. Hear his story of dealing with cancer and the medical system in this last-minute entry into this year’s Festival.

I’m sitting next to a UCF kid who has never been to The Orlando Fringe. A man in his underwear appears playing a beautiful violin sonata, and a woman dances on representing his inner daemon. They rise and fall together into the depth of drug abuse, recovery and re-establishment as artists, a story told without words. As we left I told him: “And there you have it. A man in his underwear playing violin. It only gets weirder…”

Opera tends to look back to the past, but this pair of stories are set right here in the 21st century. These two stands alone; “Companion” explores a woman’s relation with her expensive but infinitely programable male companion. He does what she wants and passive-aggressively drives her nuts. The service tech comes up to fix Digital Lover Boy but ends up putting in a plea to offer his semi-imperfect love. In “Safe Word” we see something rarely witnessed in opera: A bondage dungeon and its patrons sung in operatic style. There’s a switcheroo here, but the funniest part came when one of the singers get tied to an X shaped machine that threatens to fall over and really hurt someone. Opera and kinky sex – what more could you want?

It’s sexy ghost story time as we follow the adventures of a witch born in 1621 England. Ms. Titus takes us on a revealing journey to the hills of Ireland and on to the salons of Louis the 15th, where she escapes the French revolution to end up in Spanish Florida and then the Ringling circus. Old age is no problem, timelines a bit fluid, and her spells keep her eternally young and out of the hangman’s noose, most of the time. An unexpected delight, and a little too risqué for the underage set.

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