Editor’s Note: The 32nd Annual International Fringe Theatre Festival is being held now through May 29 at different venues in and around Loch Haven Park and downtown Orlando. Stay up to date on those Freeline Media reviews.
ORLANDO — Any veteran of Orlando Fringe knows what to expect: a sumptuous Food & Beer Tent, circling for a parking space, and an amazing list of shows to catch up with. Freeline Media caught up with two productions today, and you’ll definitely want to see both of them.
LET ME SEE YOUR BOOTY
Sarah Lockard is a sheer delight as a pirate’s mate who is ready to sail the seas and is faithful to her captain as they seek adventure, booty on mysterious island, and, of course, tall tales. SharkTooth Sam, played with a larger than life presence by playwright Thom Mesrobian, is probably everybody’s ideal pirate rogue, and Thom and Sarah — plus the audience — have an exceptionally grand old time in Let Me See Your Booty: The Return Of Sharktooth Sam, one of those family friendly Fringe shows that are as irresistible for the adults as they are for the kids.
Lockard plays first mate Barefoot Billie, and she and Sharktooth Sam keep things lively by having fun interactions with the audience, singing some clever and catchy songs, and telling some tales that are exceptionally tall – and engaging. Sarah has a whale of time (sorry, pun intended) as a lonely mermaid, and again as a crusty and irritable Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, who is especially fed up with all those plastic straws that keep entering his waters.
The audience gets to sing along with some sublime ditties and enjoy the often hilarious ( and fast paced) banter between Sharktooth and Billy.
Let Me See Your Booty may be most enjoyable for what it says about the kid in all of us, the desire to escape from life’s humdrum routines. Who among us wouldn’t love an occasional high seas adventure aboard a majestic pirate ship with a captain we admire and a first mate who knows how to charms us? Let Me See Your Booty is a pure joy for the entire family, courtesy of a smart script and two actors at their best.
Let Me See Your Booty is being performed at the Silver Venue (the Orlando Repertory Theater) and tickets are $15.
Upcoming show times are:
- Sunday, May 21 at 6:10 p.m.
- Monday., May 22 at 6 p.m.
- Thursday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m
- Friday, May 26 at 10:15 p.m.
- Sunday., May 28 at 5 p.m.
WHISKEYLAND: A Boston Fable
Even in an abbreviated 75 minute version (reduced for Orlando Fringe from two and a half hours, so the cast tells us), Whiskeyland is an outstanding musical set in a bar in Boston. The fabled bar has a group of regulars, but isn’t making money and is slated to close. A local conman, Jyrah Sweeney, sets out to save the bar, but his actions cause more chaos — quite a bit of it existential — rather than in a “Cheers”-style exercise in group heroics.
Over the course of 24 hours, Jyrah plots and schemes to save the bar from extinction, but he finds himself in an uphill battle, and one that draws the attention of Rowdy “Massholes,” a death angel, which complicates things considerably. A lot of alcohol is consumed, but Jyrah’s actions only seem to take him further from his goal of saving this bar that he loves and calls home.
Featuring some truly memorable songs, the show gets a dry run at Orlando Fringe and is currently in development for a New York run, with book and lyrics by Nik Walker and songs by Walker and Liam Nelligan. Even in a shortened version, this Fringe production has stunning moments of exceptional power, bolstered by superb performances by Shandon Vance as Jyrah, Briana Moten as Nia and Lizzie Wild as Ruthie. With some high-energy choreography by Lindsay Hose and spirited direction by Adam Hose, this condensed rendition of the show makes you long to see the full version.
Whiskeyland is being performed at the Silver Venue (Orlando Rep) and tickets are $15.
Upcoming show times are:
- Tuesday, May 23 at 9:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 27 at 9:55 p.m.
- Sunday, May 28 at 3 p.m.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.