2021 Orlando Fringe Festival – Episode 2

2021 Orlando Fringe Festival – Episode 2

2021 Orlando Fringe Festival – Episode 2

2021 Orlando Fringe Festival – Episode 2

This commentary is based on press prevues.

“Miss Bliss’ Titanic Adventure” in the Green Venue comes to us courtesy of a lesser known attraction on the I-Drive stretch of Orlando. Miss Bliss is a long term employee of the “Titanic Adventure” and unlike employees of the larger attractions she seems completly enthralled with her job. We get the inside skinny on the most famous maritime disaster in history and while you may know most of the story, she’s a charmer. Miss Bliss plays an upper deck maid, full of gossip from all the decks and all the classes. Miss Bliss might be your favorite aunt, if only you were English. Either way, she cleans and keeps things neat for the swells on the boat. The swells on the ocean are a different thing.

Confessions of a Flint (Pink Venue) explores The Civil War, or “War Between the States” if you prefer. This war provides an endless source of drama and intrigue, not all of which relates to the actual conflict. This rather formal look at how the battles affected the locals has a certain Waiting for Guffman feel to it. Sets are projected, costumes elaborate, yet the dialog is as stiff and wooden as the politics on either side. Everyone speaks in declarative sentences. There’s the romance between a young lady and any number of soon-to-be doomed or at least mutilated young men. The older women give advice on subservience to their daughters, the fields are populated happy and healthy slaves, and we see a storybook take on the subtleties of this nation-ripping event.

Local favorites Voci Dance tales a look at the rituals of doing your yoga as age begins to gnaw away at your edges in Visibility. (Green Venue.) A seasoned dancer looks to spread her yoga mat somewhere quiet, but all the newbies march in spreading their mats on hers and gleefully stretching without pain. The conflict chases here up stage and down. Off in a corner a dancer collects bits of sticky tape and places them on her arms, then she collect more as the stage crosses with dancers bouncing around on exercise balls. There’s an ebb and a flow to the stress, and eventual the caged dancer frees herself as the choreographer struggles with failing muscles. Eventually all dancers fade, and as in so many trades, once you “can’t” anymore, you move on to teaching.

The Wizard of Loch Haven Park occurring at “The White Wall by Shakespeare” is an outdoor performance that introduces two kids hanging out after school and about to head home. Do they go back to school first, then take a proven path home? Or do they strike out cross country on a riskier but shorter path? While the debate rages, over-sized stilt-walking monsters attack, and black robed spirits split them and us up into groups, each with a different mission. My group went to the library under the big oak and looked for a key word. The other group? Well, at least they all survived. I might not be the target audience here, but most of the viewers seemed entertained. Your mileage may vary.

Ain’t Done Bad in the Silver Venue begins with a man in worn overalls and a soiled T-shirt. Then he and his cohorts blossom into the best dance show I’ve seen in ages. There are five guys and two gals dancing to Elvis and Hank and Reba and few other one-name county idols. The clothing and music create a tension with the costumes and motion, and it explores all the emotions from love to hate to adultery to generalize malaise of the underemployed. The troupe is lead by Jakob Karr and sets are limited to some mirrors which hide costume changes. This isn’t the only great dance show in the fest, but it’s the most gripping and surprising. Sit close to the stage, this spectacle works best up close.


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