This is my second year attending the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. I decided to attend their preview show on Wednesday May 14,2014 @ 6:30 PM, which kicked off the festival for the next week and a half. I didn't attend it last year and I am glad I decided to this year. I'll have to remember to do it every year.
At the preview show, we were entertained with a sample of the shows for the next couple of weeks. About 30 acts gave us about 2 minutes of their time, to present what their shows were about. If they went over 2 minutes, they were gracefully taken off the stage by a voluptuous girl wearing just her underwear.
We all received a rating sheet, with a thumbs up and thumbs down for us to circle, plus a blank line to write a few words. Selecting just 2 ratings wasn't enough for me, so I drew a squiggle in the middle if I thought it was OK. Sometimes I put a star there if I thought it looked really good. With that, I'll expand my ratings from 1 to 5 stars, with 1 being least desirable and 5 being exceptional.
Remember that these acts only had about 2 minutes to explain what their show is about, while their show could last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. What I thought was an exceptional act, might have been just what they presented and the rest of their show could be a thumbs down, and vice versa.
Without further ado, here is how I rated each act, and some brief notes for a few of them:
Chase Padgett: All New Nashville Hurricane
3 - It was OK. I could see it being funny and maybe I wasn't in the mood for the southern humor at the time.
TJ Dawe: Marathon
4 - I am planning to see this because I have run a marathon before and part of his act is on the subject matter. I wasn't that impressed with what he presented though, probably because a lot of it was out of context, but I'm going on faith with this one.
Pee My pants Productions: Taking Out The White Trash
5 - Very funny. There are a few southern oriented comedians and this was probably the best.
Ibex Puppetry: FLIGHT: A Crane's Story
4 - This group had some nice visuals. One of the more interesting acts.
Atlantic Coast Theatre (A.C.T.) For Youth: Alice Rocks Wonderland
2 - The singing just wasn't drawn me into this one. It's described as a family friendly Rock Musical and that's really not something I'm in to. I'd say it's akin to High School Musical, so if you're into that, you'd probably like this.
Pack of Others: Tap Me on the Shoulder
2 - Nerdy white girl singing hip hop. OK, I actually like Nerd Core, so I thought I'd like this, but her 2 minute preview didn't draw me in. Maybe her full act is better.
Ain't True and Uncle False's Hood: Papa Squat's Store of Sorts
3 - I can't really remember why I rated this a 3.
Cosmic Jello/Laura Force Scruggs: Punk Grandpa
4 - Funnyish. Inappropriate humor from the performers grandfather.
Martin Dockery: The Surprise
4 - Funny
Dangerous Theatre: Black Stockings
3 - My notes said "Too British, OK, somewhat funny"
David Abrams: Which Side Are You On?
2 - This could be an interesting history lesson between organized labor and big business. I wasn't drawn into it during the preview. Perhaps the full show is better.
RUSH Theatrical Productions: MONEY$HOT!
3 - Musical Dance. Seemed kind of corny to me. I don't know.
Stacey Hallal: Chase & Stacey present: Joyride
5 - LOL funny!
Wish Experience: Brief History of Beer
4 - This is a history lesson on beer. I didn't feel like it was presented well, but I want to see it, because I like craft beer and they were bashing the big beer corporations in this one.
Lucas Brooks: VGL 5'4" Top
2 - I just couldn't get into it. It seemed to be about a short gay 20 something who tries to find his place among others.
Randy Ross: Chronic Single's Handbook
4 - Seemed interesting
EGADS Productions!!!: Genie and Audrey's Dream Show
5 - I wrote down "Fun! Very nice" for this one. It looks like a variety show from acrobatics to poetry. I happened to run into these fine young girls before the preview outside the theater. They were standing next to some desserts and I asked them if they were free (the desserts, not them). They introduced themselves and explained their show. They were nice. I didn't end up having any dessert because I already had birthday cake at work a couple hours before.
theater simple: DEATH OF BRIAN: A Zombie Odyssey
2 - Well...I wrote down "WTF!" for this one. If you like zombie stuff, you will probably like this. Sorry, I'm just not into zombies like some people, so is why I gave it a 2. It's a 1 man show, where he acts his parts to scenes previously recorded on a soundtrack. I'm not sure I'm explaining this well.
Big Word Performance Poetry: Jem Rolls Off The Tongue
4 - "Britishly Funny". I'd like to see this one, but I can't remember exactly why at the moment.
Windwhistle Theatre: Sarah and Oscar
2 - I was somewhat confused about this one. I described it as "Confusingly Captivating".
Stewart Huff: Donating Sperm to My Sister's Wife
5 - I was hoping I wouldn't like this because the title was disturbing. But he was really funny. I wrote "Funny - LOL".
White Rabbit: Going On: An inspiring true story about loss and finding the love inside yourself
3 - "Strangely Funny?". I'm not really sure what to say about this one. I drew a cross face on my paper :-\
Keith Brown: Exchange
4 - Magic show!
Doctor Keir Co.: Mark Twain's 'Is Shakespeare Dead?'
3.5 - I guess it seemed interesting
Brenda Adelman: My Brooklyn Hamlet: A Meshugenah True Story
5 - I'm not sure. Somewhat disturbing. I might end up seeing it. -- I Updated my rating of this after I saw it. This is a top notch performance by Brenda. She told an intriguing story about her life that was very interesting and captivating.
Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre: Shakespeare's Histories: Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace!
3.5 - Gasp...I suppose. Some humor
RibbitrePublic Theatre: HOUSE
4 - ADD'ishly entertaining
Bob Brader: Spitting In The Face Of The Devil
5 - Funny!
Kirchmann Productions: Deranged Dating
4 - British, with American Humor
John Montgomery Theatre Company: BITE
3 - What you'd expect from a dominatrix, sex themed play.
Random Samples Collective: Sperm Wars
2 - Too many sexual innuendos for me. Kind of reminded me of that sperm scene in Woody Allen's movie "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask"
Haste Theatre: Oyster Boy
2 - British Girls Acting French at a French restaurant. Seriously, that's all I could make of this skit. I hope their play is better than what they showed us.
Unseen Images Theatre: Sharknami: The Musical?
2 - They put the question mark in their title...not me. It's what you might this it is. I guess it's ok, if you like Sharknado and musicals.
So I realized something while reviewing all of these. They all seem to be out of town acts. I remember last year someone saying that most people saw mostly local acts. I felt like I saw mostly local acts too. I wonder if they were trying to draw people to the out of town performers with these previews. Maybe that's what the title implied and I could have missed the MC say this too.
I hope I get to write reviews, or at least 1 review, for everything I see the next couple of weeks. I'm sure to be super busy, since I do work during the day, so we'll see what happens....