Wednesday, May 21, 2014
This Fringe show by Chase Padgett was absolute magic. Chase was originally from Orlando but he has since moved to Portland Oregon when he isn't on the Fringe circuit. The stage was set with a single chair and a lone guitar. A spotlight illuminated Chase as he opened with an incredibly dexterous guitar performance. He warmed up the crowd by asking innocent questions. One question he shouted out was, "Who is with the love of their life?" Hands shot up. He turned to the couple to his right. "I see a problem hear" he said. "Her hand shot up like a lightning bolt, but your hand sir didn't budge from your diet Coke." I felt a bit guilty that my sketching prevented my hand from going up. Chase also asked a few people what their one true passion is in life. It is surprising, funny, and a bit sad that some people have no clue.
Then Chase began to relate the story of a child prodigy. This kid could repair any electronic device and he was a natural on the guitar. The prodigy's story was related from the view points of three separate characters, his white trash mom, a conniving promoter and a kind low income southerner who was a recovering alcoholic. Chase would switch between characters or a dime propelling the plot forward. Although incredibly talented, the prodigy wasn't as he said, "A people person." His mind wandered in the intricacy's of stellar dust and sub-atomic particles. He was a nerd's nerd, unable to meet anyone's gaze.
The promoter prayed for a ticket to the big time. His prayers were answered when he saw the boy play guitar. He saw the boy as a gold mine and he managed to steal the him away from his dead beat mom. He put sun glasses on the him and promoted him as "The Nashville Hurricane". He bullied and forced the boy to perform, until the joy once found in playing guitar became a misery. A sunrise seen towards the end of the show made the boy realize that we are all a small part of a much bigger cosmic plan. There was no longer a need to fear the abuse and mistreatment by others. That glowing, life affirming message is what made the show resonate. Strength and inner peace replaced uncertainty and fear when the boy faced his life head on. This is my favorite show to date, but with so many talented story tellers and shows, I know there are other treasures to be mined at this year's Fringe. Chase's other show, Chase and Stacy Present: Joyride was a hilarious improve show that was hilarious I highly recommend show that as well.
The remaining shows for The All New Nashville Hurricane are...
Thursday May 22, 10pm to 11:15pm
Saturday May 24, 7pm to 8:15pm
Sunday May 25, 3:15pm to 4:30pm
Tickets are $11 and the show is in the Orange Venue in the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.)