Stories on Sunset Fringe Review

ORLANDO — If there’s one thing that’s truly unique about the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, it’s the ability of individual artists to secure a platform where they can meet with an audience and demonstrate what they can do artistically. Solo shows are popular at Fringe, and they can run the gamut from comedy monologues to magic shows to dance performances.

And so it was with performer Sareth Ney, who used this year’s Fringe Festival to present his solo show Stories on Sunset, which can perhaps be best described as indescribable. Any show that mixes Clive Barker gossip, horror movie reviews, an insider look at rock clubs and raunchy humor about glory holes meets the definition of weird, unpredictable, and eclectic.

What Is Stories On Sunset?

Ney is the journalist for A Quarter and Dream Pictures, which specializes in concert reviews and content. A Mass Communications graduate from Colorado State University-Pueblo, his Stories On Sunset show starts as an autobiographical monologue, as he describes for the audience his passion as a teen for horror movies, especially Candyman, and how he developed a love for the work of horror writer Barker. That love for all things Barker prompted him to write to the author to see if he could arrange to meet him.
It worked, and he not only got to meet Barker, but became his apprentice for a while.
The hour-long show is divided into three parts. The first is “City of Angels & Demons,” featuring Ney reminiscing about horror movies and his work with the acclaimed master of horror, including Barker’s decision to give the departing Ney one of his cherished paintings.
 The 2nd act is “Stories On Sunset,” which details how Ney became a journalist, with a focus on his work as a concert reviewer and what he saw backstage at the clubs. He also talks about making short films, and becoming the co-host of Pueblo’s Independent Multimedia Podcast and the festival director at Sareth-Fest Music and Comedy Festival.
In the final segment,   “Sex, Jokes and Rock & Roll,” Ney talks about his love for stand-up comedy, and then warns the audience that if they’re easily offended, they might want to cover their ears. He was right to warn them. His humor goes beyond the concept of X-rated and puts a Capital R in Raunchy and a Capital G in gross-out.

Did The Show Work?

Ney got his share of laughs during the performance, indicating he had discovered audience members who shared his love for sexually-explicit, gross out humor. It’s not a show for everybody, and how the audience reacts to his discussions about working with Clive Barker or the kind of humor he appreciates will depend on your individual taste.
But there’s one thing for sure about Stories On Sunset: It’s pure Fringe.  The glory of the Orlando Fringe Festival is it’s typically off the wall, scattershot and experimental; you don’t show up for a revival of West Side Story or Death Of A Salesman.  Ney’s play is a reminder that at Fringe, it’s always best to expect the unexpected.

Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Of Cats And Wolves.” Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.

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