Pantomime is one of the most difficult theatrical skills to master. If you’re not well-versed in its delicate balance of physical comedy, tenderness and subtle storytelling, you probably shouldn’t attempt it. Unfortunately, the normally reliable PB&J Theatre Factory (Sport and Sleigh) apparently didn’t fully understand that before undertaking their latest Fringe adventure, Smooch, which, though well-intentioned, is a mostly tedious and unfunny spectacle not worthy of the group’s talent.
Brandon Roberts, Terrence Yip, Becky Eck, Todd Zimmerman and Ana Eligio play five Cupids tasked with creating love between a couple (Mike Carr and Julie Snyder) at various stages of their life, from the children’s playground to old age. In a broader sense, the couple represents all humanity, and the 55-minute play depicts the arc of existence, while offering a humorous peek at what the gods have to do behind the scenes to keep romance alive.
It’s a good premise and contains a touching scene near the end. But the moments of audience involvement are just plain awkward and drag the play’s pace to a crawl, while the inability of everyone except Roberts to grasp the nuances of silent comedy makes Smooch a painful experience at times. Clearly inspired by French actor-director Jacques Tati (Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday), Smooch has all of Tati’s tedium, some of his sweetness and too little of his talent.
PB&J Theatre Factory – Winter Park, FL
Length: 55 minutes
Price: $9 (+svc. charge)
Disc.: FA | FV | Anyone with a PB&J/Slastic Shirt
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.