Orlando Fringe Festival 2018 – Day 5

Orlando Fringe Festival 2018 – Day 5

Orlando Fringe Festival 2018 – Day 5

Orlando, Florida

There’s confusion, and then there’s Fringe confusion. We have a dark stage occupied by a man and a woman and a few miscellaneous props. There may be a plot, but I’d be stressed to summarize it. Coolest element: Juggling a piece of plywood. Confounding elements include squeaky voiced actors, oddly wadded paper, and animated clothing. Very fringy in a Fringe-like manner that will appeal to a certain segment of the Fringe audience.

A one-man cop drama filed with stripping, dancing and high energy acrobatics propels this physical comedy. Magic mike is deservedly kicked off the force but goes forth seeking revenge. He gets it in spades, along with about $17 in singles stuffed in his undies. Part cop show, part strip routine, mostly fun.

Catch this one late at night, and drink heavily. In this hard to fathom game show, musicians play themed pop songs for audience applause, but there’s a complicated system of who gets points for what, and how they get killed. A smarmy host guide us along, and the music tends toward hard rock bar levels. I suspect a good reality program lurks here, but this one is played for heartlessness and murder.

Here’s the game for the Fringe regulars. Based on hundreds of interviews over the past year, Jay Hopkins asked theater goers probing questions like “What is hot that starts with the letter ‘S’?” and “Name a letter in ‘Orlando’.” Then a motley collection of actors from this year’s festival and a few audience volunteers play Family Feud against these crack teams for big prizes and there 300 seconds of fame. Hint: there is no “S” in “Orlando”. Not everyone knows that, it seems.

We seem to get a Vincent Van Gogh show every few years, but this one shines. Six audience members are put on stage, given art supplies, and set to work rendering each other as Van Gogh tells his story of empathy, poverty and misery. It’s tragic tale, and one most of us know, but here it breather life and love and elevates us in our art appreciation skills. And one lucky audience member got a free portrait.

Not only does this show offer the best costume in the fringe, but it tackles some deep issues in interpersonal relations. Where, exactly does the line of infidelity lie? Is it physical action, or just imagining someone other than your betrothed? We all face this dilemma, and here the audience is forced to confront and discuss it, often while sitting next to their spouse or date. It may look like a comedy from outside but inside it’s a tough yet challenging evening.


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