OK, so my first show at the Orlando Fringe is at 11:15 on a Friday night. Pretty late for a bit of solo theatre, but the way it works is that each performer gets a selection of “on” and “off” times. My second show, which I just finished, was at 11:45 on Saturday night. Way “off,” perhaps, but it wasn’t a bad show, I thought.
The first show seemed a bit flat – I thought I was pretty good, but the overall energy seemed a little low, and many of my jokes were greeted with silence. It’s a pretty intense show, all about being in a religious cult and all, and even though it’s a comedy (or so I like to think) people can sometimes get into it in different ways. Ways that don’t involve laughing, for example.
My first review came from Elizabeth Maupin, the Orlando Sentinel theatre critic. She blogged the following:
Barry Smith is a true believer — to a point.
He’ll follow Jesus to Missoula, Montana, even though Jesus is really a retired chiropractor who wants people to call him Doc.
But Smith doesn’t hang on forever, and his story of how he found — and lost — Jesus makes for a cocky tale that points the finger mostly at himself.
In Jesus in Montana, Smith invents a gullible persona — a guy who drops out of college, drifts around Europe and is ripe for whatever new sensation comes down the pike. He decided early on, he says, that “God is kind of a jerk.” But when a passel of obscure clues points to the Messiah in Missoula, he signs on.
Smith’s story sails on his high energy and a wonderful set of oversimplified visuals, along with a voice-over purporting to be the voice of God.
The seriously religious will find all kinds of things to object to in this comical tale. (Did God really tell Smith to “take some acid”?)
But Jesus in Montana isn’t what it seems: The guy Smith is mocking is himself.
And this, from http://www.bloggingfringe.com:
Jesus in Montana(yellow venue) is a crazy journey into religious insanity but as Barry Smith starts to really spin his tale, I caught myself thinking “Wow, maybe he is onto something!” Could I be the next cult member???? If Barry were the one explaining it, I too might have been in the basement with Jesus. His style is relaxed and effortless. A great one man show, that keeps you entertained as well as intellectually engaged. Amen
As I make my way around the Fringe I am adding more and more Fringe crushes to my list. I’m up to 5….does that make me a Crush-ho?