Friday, May 18, 2012

The Eighties Strike Back

Imagine if the original Star Wars trilogy took place in the 1980′s – and it was a musical! That’s what this Fringe stage production is all about. The lyric from some of the most memorable songs from the eighties were changed up to re-tell, in detail, one of the most known and beloved stories of modern times. I first learned of this production when I took a required course at Full Sail called "Using Improve in the Classroom." Simon MacDonald was one of the instructors and the class was a blast. Simon is directing "The Eighties Strike Back."

A dress rehearsal was held at Lake Howell High School. It poured on the drive over. I ran under awnings and started searching the hallways for the auditorium.  A student finally lead me there. A band concert was going on and the audience was full of adoring parents. Trumpet solos blasted notes off tune but still the audience went wild. I started to think I was in the wrong place but then the concert ended. I watched the mad shuffle to move orchestra chairs and music stands. Then the stage stood empty with only a few students still posing for photos in the isles. Cody Donaldson stepped out on the stage dressed all in gold with a golden Frisbee on his chest. There could be no denying that he was an 80's version of C3PO. Kelly Dunn Lowenberg skated on stage as a roller derby version of R2D2.

The cast assembled and then they did a full run through of the show. The production certainly pulled out the Star Wars geek in me. Richard Barados rendition of Chewie in one of the musical numbers had me laughing out loud. Emily Cutting added some new dance moves to one of the numbers and as Leia, she will earn any fan boy's attention. Matthew Mendel as Luke was dressed as Marty McFly from "Back to the Future." He wanted to be sure I captured his hair wave accurately in the sketch. Adam Bellas had a fun rebel punk attitude as Vader and Simon was particularly hilarious as Yoda. I was bobbing my head and ended up singing along as I sketched. They get my vote for a super awesome, fun, Fringe show!

Show times are:
Saturday, May 19th, 11:15 am
Sunday, May 20th, 3:00 pm
Wednesday, May 23rd, 7:30 pm
Friday, May 25th, 5:00 pm
Saturday, May 26th, 7:45 pm
Sunday, May 27th, 1:45 pm

Tickets are available on the Orlando Fringe website. Prices are $10 per show and there is a $1 handling cost. (If you are a card carrying member of the 501st or Rebel Legion you get a $1 discount.) It is also required that in order to see a Fringe performance that you have a Fringe button which is $8. All information is available on the Orlando Fringe Website.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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