Sunday, May 24, 2015

7(+1) Samurai is high energy fun at this year's Orlando Fringe.

Actor David Gaines thanked patrons standing in line for his solo show, 7(+1) Samurai. His show is in one of the largest venues which is a good thing because word of mouth will result in even larger lines. On his own, David acts out the movie 7 Samurai, playing all the parts himself. The result is at times mysterious, and often hilarious. His impression of a frightened farmer running through his field is worth the price of admission alone.

Sound effects play an integral part in every scene and he created them all with his voice from the flump of a falling body to the swipp, chunck, jigga jigga jigga of an arrow slicing through the air and hitting its target.  In many ways it felt like the movie was being projected quickly like in the silent film era. The masks were used to represent the villain and then the quiet and stoic hero samurai who helped the villagers learn how to defend themselves.

As an artist, I had to glance down at my sketch sometimes, and when I looked up, David had become another character. Fight sequences might find him changing character 7 times or more every minute. It was a non-stop fun whirlwind that didn't stop until his open hand with radiating fingers representing the setting sun,
lowered behind his extended arm and the lights faded to black.

This high energy romp is one of my top picks from this year's Fringe Festival. It is a show that must be seen to be believed.

7(+1) Samurai
Only one show remaining: Sunday 5/24 3:45pm to 4:45pm
Tickets are $10 (plus a service charge).
Rating: 7+
Run time: 60 minutes.
Venue: Orange (The Margison Theater inside the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center)

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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