Add Songs, Stir
By Paul Strickland
Beth Marshall Presents
Orlando Shakespeare Center, Orlando FL
Storytelling is nothing more than cooperative hypnosis without that embarrassing “squawk like a chicken thing.” Strickland has made a name for himself on the Fringe circuit with a knack for extending the mundane into fascinating hour long journeys through his life. Tonight he creates a more abstract world where a small town attempts financial recovery by building a glass bottomed boat. When the boat proves to large to tow to the lake, they create a Potemkin village in the valley below and flood it, building the sort of underwater fantasy land that would have pulled tourists off the state highway a long time ago. Strickland sings plaintive acoustic numbers between tales, I’m guessing titles like “Never Any Closer” and “Together in a Dream” and a variant of “Twilight Time.” These buffer his stories, stories possibly about the mannequins floating under the lake, possibly about his friends, and possibly mirrors of his own insecurities and heart breaks. No matter which, the performance riveted, and even though the audience was packed with the Fringe Faithful, the response was well deserved. If all the schedules fall out right, and the water does not leak out of lake or the boat hit the rocks, we may see this show again in the near future.
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