Saturday, May 27, 2017

We Don't Play Fight at the Fringe.

I was surprised and pleased to see an entire wrestling ring set up inside the Orange Venue at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803) for We Don't Play Fight. Professional wrestling is a form of theater in itself with each character having a back story. A wrestling promoter introduced the show explaining that he was searching for new talent to bring to the wrestling ring so that he might earn his way back into the big leagues. A female wrestler built like a tank wanted to begin training. The trainer like a drill Sargent didn't allow her to training in half measures. She had to be all in or she should  get out. He yelled at her and berated her trying to get her to bring some anger into the ring. Her sister who never spoke a word, watched every move. These sisters had been in a car crash that killed both their parents. The shy sister watching the ring hadn't said a word since the accident.

After an extensive slow motion training sequence it was finally time for the brick house sister to have her first match. She was doing great against a low class hick when the referee blew his whistle to end the first bout. she was clearly winning. When her opponent fell to the mat, it made a loud drum like resonating thud. When she turned her back to her opponent to walk to her corner of the ring, he blindsided her and broke her arm in a clear act of unsportsmanlike conduct. The silent sister came roaring into the ring to save her sister. She whaled on the hick who specifically hurt her sister to end her career. He was helpless against the silent sisters fury. She jumped off the ropes to pin him down and then she held him in a menacingly long choke  hold. The promoter desperate for a new wrestler had found a Tasmanian devil the the silent sister. When he offered her the job, she shouted with delight.

People in the audience played along shouting, cheering and booing when needed. The spectacle verged on the edge of art imitating life. An evil clown, whose sloppy make up reminded me of the Joker from Batman,  wrestled against a gold masked Adonis. Story fell to the wayside as the wrest;ling bouts heated up. I had hoped for a solid linear story, but action usurped story structure. Still, it was fun to watch the wrestlers throw themselves at each other in the loud tympani of a ring. Wrestling is big in Orlando right now with Full Sail hosting the WWE. A large wrestling logo blocked views of Lake Eola last month and people were always shooting photos of themselves in front of the garish monolith. There is no accounting for taste. 

Tickets are $12
Remaining show times for WE DON'T PLAY FIGHT:
Sunday May 28, 2017 at  4:30pm

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