Bob B’s Buzz: Suspense and humor in “Murder Sleep” at the Orlando Fringe

"Murder Sleep" will premiere in May at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival on Wednesday night.

“Murder Sleep” will premiere in May at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival on Wednesday night.


Orlando’s own Bob Brandenburg is a man about town, giving readers a sense of what’s happening on the cultural scene in his “Bob B’s Buzz” columns. Today, Bob takes a look at the Fringe play “Murder Sleep,” which opens on Wednesday.

ORLANDO — “Murder Sleep” is produced by Freeline Productions and is a physiological suspenseful thriller that includes full frontal nudity in this sometimes humorous, nail-biting drama. It is one of the many great theatrical offerings at the 2016 Orlando Fringe Festival that is celebrating its 25th anniversary and opens this Wednesday May 18 and runs through May 30.
“Murder Sleep” takes place in a historic Fort Lauderdale hotel. A cast of three tell the edge of your seat tale, about a down and out drug addicted young man, his hard working but unemployed roommate and benefactor, as well as his muse, a siren who keeps us wondering what is real and what is not real — and who seems to haunt the young man’s every waking and sleeping thoughts.
The full frontal nudity required does put an added pressure on the actor, explains playwright Michael Freeman.
“It depends on the actor, really, and their personal level of comfort to be nude on stage,” he said. “The advertising for the auditions made it clear that nudity was required for these roles and yet there was a great turnout. We were just lucky to get the high quality performances from Sara (Cutlip) and Steve (Johnson) who were perfectly comfortable in the situation.“
Freeman admits that watching from the outside can be awkward for him but “I wrote the scenes so I guess I’m responsible. I’m just glad the actors were so at ease.”
This is the playwright’s third show produced at the Orlando Fringe as well as his third collaboration with Director Laurel Clark, who has staged 18 plays in total over the festivals history including three shows featured in this year’s Fringe. The show was co-directed by Jim Cundiff.
When asked what the audience should expect, Michael explains that the show is advertised as a sexy thriller and people might not expect the humor.
What makes the Fringe festival so popular? “Well” responds Freeman, “It’s an event that draws in everybody. Everything is here; music, drama, dance comedy, it’s the greatest theater party in the universe.”
“Expect the unexpected at Fringe!” exclaims Clark.
To participate as an audience member, you must buy a Fringe button and then go online to peruse the extensive schedule. The shows aren’t expensive, but it’s best to talk to people and find out which plays have a ‘buzz.’
“Murder Sleep” was written by Freeman, and directed by Clark and Cundiff, and stars Mickey Layman, Steve Johnson and Sara Cutlip.
It’s being performed in the Purple Venue and runs for 60 minutes.
Tickets are $10 and the show is rated for ages 18 and up.

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