Orlando Fringe Festival 2018 – Prevue Day 2
Enter Pursued By A Whale – Blue Venue
A bit of surrealism floats into the fringe with this extremely nonlinear story of a man and the dissolution of his life. Hawal sell bibles but practices atheism. Call it Karma, but his boss fires him but not before he damages a small whale trinket. Now the whale haunts him, and his friends become increasing disconnected – once they leave the room, no one remembers them. Funny, thought provoking and circular, this is a good show to debate in the beer tent. I hope they open it soon,
Taurus Faeces – Red Venue
Poop stories are the best stories, and this one woman show has some good ones. The stories are really those of her mother, a woman of literary bent who wrote prolifically if not for publication. Her two daughters collected and curated these papers; one writes and one a performs. Children playing in tar, children getting poop on the ceiling, and children collecting a half gallon of cockroaches brighten the narrative. The stories are heartwarming, true to life and fascinating. Here’s a great show; but get here early as only front row seats allow a view of the actor.
Jack Kerouac: End of the Road – Purple Venue
Jack Kerouac hangs out back stage waiting for an interview by William Buckley. Kerouac discovers that white wine pairs nicely with his Benzedrine, and in a hallucinatory hour he reminisces, complains, explains and reads his poetry. A lifelong republican and “Good Catholic”, he represents the beginnings of the hippie movement that he hated with a passion, yet they all looked up to him as a God. Deity can be a bitch, and Kerouac explains why although I doubt I could explain it to you. I just don’t have the quality of drugs he had.
Wanzie’s Monorail Inferno – Silver Venue
Michael Wanzie continues to work on his obsessive-compulsive love affair with Disney. He’s reworked “Monorail” over the years and this one has some of the slickest music and lyrics of the series. The premise involves a stalled monorail at Disney, complete with a mad bomber, a drag tour guide, and all the regular misfits of the theme park universe. In some ways it’s “A Chorus Line” with personal back stories filling most of the action. But the highlight comes near the middle when Wanzie himself comes out to lead “The Ecclesiastical Tap.” He’s light on his feet and a decent tapper, and he looks very sporting in his miter and robes. It’s a big show by a big man in a big space, and it looks like its on its way to being a big hit.
Title and Deed – Yellow Venue
Surrealism seems the flavor of this festival, and that takes us to long time Fringe Alum David Lee and this one-man flight of fancy. He’s some interstellar traveler with an American accent and a British working class look. We learn a few odd facts about his home world, his journey through the customs line, and tales of a few home world customs that differ from our earthy rituals. Plus, you meet his lunch box, and how many times have you seen a lunch box on the deck of the enterprise?
-bm S#IT: An Unauthorized Parody of Stephen King’s It – Orange Venue
It’s so rare to get a lecture on “Fair Use” here at The Fringe, but this show takes aim at all the lawyers in the house as it parodies a famous author.. S#IT is one of the better parody shows, and while the writing is OK it’s the cast attacking the materiel like “Penny…'” excuse me, “Pound Foolish” the Evil Clown attacks the doomed teens. Great song parodies, great physical humor and a dirty streak that should keep your pastor and the morality police at bay. And don’t sit in the front row. Just…don’t.
F_Boys – Green Venue
Men are jerks here, and the women can’t project. The titular characters might be known more nicely as “Dude!” or “Hey, Douche Bag”, but here they get an asterisk inducing name. Four single women hang out at a karaoke bar and deal with the jerks in their life. One falls for the bartender, one fights alcoholism, one goes full 1967 hippie goddess, and one struggles with sperm gone awry. It’s a cute enough show and I like the characters, but the dialog spills out to fast to decode and all four really need to mike up before this becomes a great show.