Fringe Review: “Theodore’s Super Fun Adventure”

Theodore's Super Fun Adventure Orlando Fringe

There are plenty of laughs to be found watching “Theodore’s Super Fun Adventure” at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

ORLANDO – “Theodore’s Super Fun Adventure” starts off as a gay-meets-cute comedy, has a wonderfully engaging performance by lead actor Mike Van Dyke, tosses out plenty of funny quips … and then it takes a radical, startling change in tone at the end.

The very light beginning is almost a bit misleading at first, and as I thought about the play afterwards, I realized I had missed the initial clues about the direction it was heading in.
But they were there from the start.
“Theodore’s,” now playing at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, was written by local funnyman Bobby DeSormier and directed by veteran performer Rob Ward. It begins as a comedy about a nervous, socially awkward young gay man from the sticks, Theodore (Van Dyke), who just moved to the Big Apple, found himself an apartment above a local restaurant, and even has a gay bar right across the street. Continue reading

Fringe Review: “Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets”

bAKER's dozen orlando fringe

Adam Francis Proulx is performing his show “Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets” at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

ORLANDO – Adam Francis Proulx is a very funny performer, a comedic talent with an arsenal of voices that he switches back and forth to with a tremendous amount of skill. He has an ability to create a seemingly endless array of quirky, goofy personas.
That skill comes in handy during his show at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, as Proulx comes onto a bare stage, and then entertains by creating one hilarious character after another.
Oh, and he gets some help — from the puppet he carries, and the kit filled with eyes, mouths and wigs to help transform that solitary puppet into — well, the many jurors at the trial that makes up his show, “Baker’s Dozen: 12 Angry Puppets.”
Proulx’s show is about the ongoing trial following the shocking discover that the local Baker has been found dead in his bathtub. The Baker’s husband, the Butcher is the main suspect, and is now on trial for the crime.
But the jurors also need to decide what role the the mysterious Candlestick Maker — who also happened to be in the bathtub at the time — may have played in this case. And the Candlestick Maker is missing.
It’s all up to that 12-member jury to sort out the facts for us.
Proulx’s show is a lot of fun — think of it as a bit more risqué than “Sesame Street,” but not quite as outre as “Avenue Q.”
It follows the basic concept of the 1957 Hollywood movie “12 Angry Men,” only in this case there are several women on the jury, and they’re a diverse bunch, often more interested in one another — not always in a good way — than the case. Continue reading

Fringe Review: “Everything I Need To Know I Learned From Ethel Merman”

Ethel Merman Fringe

“Everything I Need to Know I Learned From… Ethel Merman” is a musical extravaganza coming to the Orlando Fringe Festival in May.


ORLANDO – Legendary Broadway performers, after years of building up a loyal audience, have often discovered that they can build a show around something else: themselves.
After years of entertaining crowds with their renditions of classic show tunes, they finally start to open up about the lives they’ve kept secret from fans. And as gifted performers, they know how to narrate their lives — the joys, the tragedies, the heartache that caused them to struggle behind the scenes, even moments before bursting on the stage, looking radiant and ready to entertain.
And, chances are, they also know there are fans out there who idolize them, their music, and their larger than life personality. In most instances, they probably never know just how powerfully they can inspire someone.
That was the role that legendary Broadway performer Ethel Merman served for Mickey Layman, the singer, actor and comedic performer at Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Shows and many other Orlando theater productions. With a passion for Merman’s music and career, Layman decided to pay tribute to her with his show at the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival.
“Everything I Need to Know I Learned From … Ethel Merman” honors the career of the star of “Gypsy” and “Annie Get Your Gun,” the woman that Layman calls “the wisest Diva of them all,” as he sings some of her classic songs, like “You’re The Top,” “I Got Lost In His Arms,” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” Continue reading

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