Sunday, January 7, 2018

Native Gardens at the Shakes.

Native Gardens written by Karen Zacarias is being performed at the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803) .  A young couple, Tania (Alea Figueroa) and Pablo (Fredy Ruiz) move into a quiet Washington D.C. suburban home.  The place is a bit run down, but Tania has big dreams for the back yard, with it's big old oak tree, planning to turn it into a Native Garden with all native plants.  Pablo is working at a law firm putting in long hours.  Their neighbors, Virginia (Kate Ingram) and Frank Butley (Michael Edwards) are an older couple on the verge of retirement.  Frank shares Tania's love of gardening.  Each year he plants a gorgeous perennial flower bed with hopes of winning the neighborhood's best garden award.  

An old chain link fence separated the back yards of the two properties.  The butlers welcomed the young couple bringing them wine and chocolates.  Tania is allergic to chocolates but liked the gesture.  The four of them chatted amicably and agreed that a nice wooden fence would be nice to replace the old chain link fence now overgrown with ivy.  Pablo in a move to impress his boss, decided to host an office BBQ in his backyard.  With the yard a mess, the couple had to rush to get ready for the party.  As the couple made plans to install the fence, they discovered that their property actually extended two feet beyond the fence, essentially the full width of their neighbors flower bed. 

When they informed their neighbors that they planned to place the fence right on their property line tempers began to flair.   Being a lawyer, Pablo stated the case with blunt force and with no notion of compromise.  Frank is crushed since the flower bed was his labor of love.  First the men bickered and then the woman bickered and postured.  What had been a friendly welcome shifted into a brawl.  To top it all off the older couple were Republicans and they suspected their neighbors were Democrats.  The escalating tension was treated with hilarious results.  Both side felt they were the victims and polite manners melted away into crude name calling.  

Native Gardens is a fun and highly entertaining show.  The show runs through February 4th.  Start your year off with a good laugh.  Go and see native Gardens. 

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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