Wit & Wrath Fringe preview

Editor’s Note: The 32nd Annual International Fringe Theatre Festival  will be held May 16-29, 2023 at different venues in and around Loch Haven Park and downtown Orlando. Freeline Media will be previewing the shows right up to the festival date.

By Paul Castaneda

ORLANDO — Step into the fascinating world of the legendary Dorothy Parker as Claudia Baumgarten takes center stage in her biting, hilarious, and charming one-woman show, Wit & Wrath: The Life & Times of Dorothy Parker.

Set to captivate audiences at the Orlando Fringe in the Blue Venue, this solo performance, written and performed by Baumgarten and directed by Diana E.H. Shortes, offers a unique glimpse into the extraordinary life of one of the most influential women of the 1920s.

What Can Dorothy Fans Expect From Wit & Wrath?

Baumgarten channels the spirit of Dorothy Parker while sipping on a martini as she discusses Parker’s turbulent love life, her friendships with the other members of the renowned Algonquin Round Table, her observations of the Jazz Age, and her scathing critique of Hollywood’s cultural wasteland. Known for her wit and razor-sharp tongue, Parker was a feminist who spoke her mind without fear and fought for the rights of the underprivileged. A provocative and cutting-edge homage to this literary legend is Wit & Wrath.

The inspiration for this outstanding performance comes from Dorothy Parker’s remarkable life and accomplishments. She broke down barriers as the nation’s first female drama critic and made an enduring impact on journalism and literature. In the politically charged 1950s, Parker, who did not back down from a fight, stood up to the FBI, McCarthy, and the House Un-American Activities Committee.

The brilliant artist behind this show, Claudia Baumgarten, has spent a decade exploring her fascination with Dorothy Parker. Baumgarten has created a compelling and immersive solo performance that perfectly encapsulates Parker’s spirit after spending a great deal of time reading and studying Parker’s works. Wit & Wrath has received praise from critics, selling out performances at the Tennessee Williams Festival, and winning the prestigious BEST of SHOW award at the DC Capital Fringe in 2017. The Jewish Review called it a “tour-de-force performance.”

Audiences are transported to Parker’s affluent era by Baumgarten’s vocal prowess. Her modulation and elocution, which exude the sophistication and style of the 1920s, were praised by The Washington Post. Director of Theatre at the Tennessee Williams Festival Brooke Swire refers to Claudia as a “Festival hit,” which is more evidence of how compellingly she embodies Dorothy Parker.

Get ready to see Dorothy Parker’s wit, charm, and intellectual prowess brought to life on stage. Discover the world of the Algonquin Round Table, the Jazz Age, and the unwavering spirit of a woman who defied social conventions. The theatrical performance promises to enthrall and inspire you.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to see Claudia Baumgarten’s outstanding performance. Let her story draw you into the world of a literary legend. Here is a preview of Dorothy in action!

Where Can We See Dorothy Parker Up Close?

Wit & Wrath: The Life & Times of Dorothy Parker will be performed at the Orlando Fringe Festival in the Blue Venue inside Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

Show times are:

  • Press Preview on Tuesday, May 16 at 5:40 p.m. 
  • Friday May 19 at 9:05 p.m.
  • Sunday May 21 at 12:10 p.m.
  • Monday May 22 at 8:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday May 23 at 6:45 p.m.
  • Thursday May 25 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday May 26 at 8:50 p.m.
  • Saturday May 27 at 10:05 p.m.

Paul Castaneda is an Orlando actor, stage director, playwright and sales professional, and the co-founder of the Greater Orlando Actors Theatre (GOAT)

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