The Garden Theater, Winter Garden FL
by Carl F. Gauze
Book by John Weidman
Music by David Shirestaffstaff
Lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr.
Directed by Joseph C. Walsh
Starring Chase Williams, Olga Intriago, Michael Morman
When you’re a kid, you sweat the kid’s stuff. You deal with pop quizzes in arithmetic, you try to be as cool as mom will let you be, and maybe, just maybe you might start noticing girls. Josh (Camden Robinett) just begins to feel the magnet of puberty, and when his mom (Intriago) takes Josh to a carnival, he and his buddy stand two inches too short to ride the rickety roller-coaster. What’s left to do with their last quarter? Maybe a session with Zoltar, the mechanical fortune teller. Zoltar asked what Josh wants, and next moringin, Josh is big. And he’s also played by a taller actor (Williams). Now he’s an 11 year old with body hair, a deep voice, and a lot of confusion about the Port Authority bus terminal. He knows nothing about getting a job, but he still lands one quick (thanks to the authors) and soon he’s dealing with professional woman like coworker Susan (Intragio). Josh met her when he lucks into an adult job as a toy designer. A hook up is a distinct possibility, except for Josh having zero idea of what’s going on, and that pesky Statutory Rape law.
Despite that little “ick” factor, the show is enormous fun. As a child, Josh has no filter, and that is a doubled edged sword in the corporate world. The Big Boss thinks Josh is brilliant, his older, more battles hardened are literally ready to bring out the long knives. Mr. Williamson bubbles with onstage energy, and I think he really did love this gig. Ms. Intriago oozes that “Woman in a business suit” sexy drag, and the boss man played by Mr. Morman felt like he had lost control of his own shop. The set had an early German Expressionist look with struts at odd angles and harsh lighting, emphasizing the disorientation that Josh felt. It’s a surreal set for a surreal story, and a cautionary tales of not letting your customer base drift out you field of view. It’s not just kid’s stuff, but it IS fun.