Fringe review: Celebrity Squares

by

comment

celebrity_1x1jpg

Seeing a Fringe show is always risky business. The only thing you can be sure of is that you’re going to give up about an hour of your life. Michael Wanzie’s Celebrity Squares adds an extra note of certainty: Somebody in the audience is going home $89 richer rather than $11 poorer.

Yes, a genuine $100 cash prize awaits the winning volunteer contestant in Wanzie’s gay-bar sendup of The Hollywood Squares. As for the rest of us

well, we’re winners too, since we get to watch and listen to the antics of nine wickedly impersonated celebrity panelists. Rebecca Fisher’s Sarah Palin is a particular, pageant-walkin’ hoot, but the show is stolen by Mark Baratelli’s Judy Garland, who alternates between issuing surreal, stream-of-consciousness answers to the most mundane of questions and attempting to maim herself on the show’s multilevel set.

Meanwhile, Wanzie -- who is Orlando’s Peter Marshall, to a degree almost no one fully comprehends -- sits in the host’s chair, valiantly struggling to remember which answer gets credited to which player.

There’s real unpredictability here. In the performance I attended, a strong showing was made by a contestant who not only displayed near-total ignorance of the rules of tic tac toe, but spoke not a word of English to boot. (Hand to God.)

Celebrity Squares is old-school Fringe silliness by performers who have been slinging the drag gags and dick jokes for longer than they or I would care to admit. As Abe Lincoln said, people who like this sort of thing will find that this is the sort of thing they like. And as Wanzie might cheerfully add, people who don’t like this sort of thing can go fuck themselves.

 

Celebrity Squares

Wanzie Presents - Orlando, FL

 

Show Schedule:

Friday 18 May; at 9:30pm in the Orange

Saturday 19 May; at 11:30pm in the Orange

Sunday 20 May; at 7:15pm in the Orange

Tuesday 22 May; at 10:30pm in the Orange

Thursday 24 May; at 9:30pm in the Orange

Friday 25 May; at 11:30pm in the Orange

Saturday 26 May; at 5:30pm in the Orange

Price: $11 + Fringe Button (good for entire Fringe)

Discount(s): None

Rating: Mature, Language

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.