The Perfect Gift
Written and Directed by Winnie Wenglewick
Dangerous Theatre or Orlando
Presenting at ME Theatre, Orlando FL
If you have an elephant’s memory, you may recall the storefront “Performance Space Orlando” that once existed in Mills just south of Princeton. It’s long gone; a medical building that does horrible thing to old people lives there now. But good news; PSO’s owner Winnie Wenglewick is back in town with a new company and perhaps a new space that will go under the name “Dangerous Theater.” While the building takes shape she operating out of the cavernous ME Theater space down south of Florida Mall.
“The Perfect Gift” is her first presentation; it’s an eerie holiday show that wanders about until it delivers a killer punch at the end. Frustrated Stacia (Wenglewick) takes lunch with a homeless guy; that how bad her work situation is. Winter (Thomas C Taffinder) bathes once a month, need it or not, and hangs with his invisible friend R. C. After some happy reminiscences, the pair retreats to Winter’s digs under a bridge. Here we meet the daffy Karma (Kim Stone). She, too has an invisible friend and we learn invisible friends are a form of guardian angel leading Stacia wonders why she hasn’t got one. Hang on, it’s gonna be bumpy sleigh ride from here.
Production values are minimal but ultimate unimportant but I did like the Christmas tree made of coat hangers. Taffinder is a great physical mimic, he seems to replicate every motion the other actors produce. Ms. Ellis also makes an impression, shes the sort of daft aunt many of us collect and treasure. Ms. Wenglewick is more serious and no nonsense, I’d likely side with her for most of the show. This is a rather odd holiday story; it begins by crossing the glurge valley then moves in for a dark kill. Yes, there are Christmas carols and ghosts, but ghosts without the explicit moralizing that says “If you’re not enjoying every minute of this extended holiday season you are pure evil.” This show gives suckers like me an even break.
For tickets and more information on Dangerous Theatre of Orlando please visit http://www.dangeroustheatre.com/orlando.html