Freeline Media Review: “Assassinations and Other Macabre Tales”

Puppets help describe the bizarre tales in "Assassinations and Other macabre Tales."

Puppets help describe the bizarre tales in “Assassinations and Other macabre Tales.”


ORLANDO — “Assassinations and Other Macabre Tales” is a brilliant piece of mini-theater — and I say “mini” mainly because this show clocks in at a speedy 15 minutes.
But that doesn’t matter: this is still a wildly inventive attempt at dark political comedy.
The show is being performed at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, inside the “Jamie Mykins Theater” — which turns out to be a fairly spacious closet painted black. I’m guessing only about six people can fit in at one time (there were three of us in the audience on the evening I went to see the show), and you remain standing as the room goes pitch black.
Above you, at the top of a black curtain, are two puppets — one male, one female — who take us on a wild ride as they ponder one of the political world’s most bizarre mysteries: the so-called two-year death curse among our nation’s presidents. The curse, noted in Ripley’s Believe it or Not and also called the Curse of Tippecanoe, is used to describe the regular death in office of presidents elected in years evenly divisible by twenty, starting with William Henry Harrison’s death after his election in 1840, right up to John F. Kennedy, elected in 1960. Continue reading

Early reviews praise “Murder Sleep” at the Orlando Fringe Festival

"Murder Sleep" opens on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.

“Murder Sleep” opens on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.


ORLANDO — Early reviews are in for Freeline Productions’ original thriller “Murder Sleep,” which opens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival.
The play, written by Michael Freeman and directed by Laurel Clark and Jim Cundiff, features Steven Johnson, Mickey Layman and Sara Cutlip as three people staying at a strange historic hotel in Fort Lauderdale.
Orlando Sentinel critic Lania Berger praised the play’s updating of a Shakespeare classic, humor, and one of the performers in particular.
“In this re-imagining of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth,’ author Michael Freeman sets his scene for sex, blood and murder in a historic Fort Lauderdale hotel room in the 21st century,” she wrote.
Berger noted her appreciation for Cutlip’s performance as the mysterious and enigmatic Francesca, writing, “Sara Cutlip is convincing as an exotic hooker who uses her sexual prowess to persuade the unsuspecting and ecstasy-tripping Ryan (Steve Johnson) to murder the man in room 1238, thus making himself ‘rich as a king.’ ” Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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