Orlando Fringe Review: The Ride-Along



The Ride-Along at 2014 Orlando Fringe
  • The Ride-Along at 2014 Orlando Fringe

The Ride-Along at 2014 Orlando Fringe

Taking the Fringe's "bring your own venue" concept to an exciting new extreme, The Ride-Along invites two (or three) audience members into the back seat of a beater car for an interactive spy spoof with the whole Ivanhoe neighborhood as its stage. Viewer's volunteer to become new recruits in a super-secret law enforcement outfit that operates out of the local Wendy's, observing as Agents Lopez (writer/director Jose Perez IV on my ride-along) and Agent D (Clare Ghezzi during my training) engage in fisticuffs with nefarious thugs in negliges (Virgil Rodriguez, Manuel Graves) and commit the occasional drive-by complimenting. 

The production's parodic tone -- complete with an exposition-dishing Sergeant (Hastings Henderson), absurd McGuffin plot, and oddball musical interludes -- owes a nod to the Police Squad/The Naked Gun series, with all the performers doing a good job staying in character and staying on script (especially our driver Ghezzi, who did a remarkable job reciting dialog while driving public streets). The fight scenes, all expertly choreographed by Perez and slickly synchronized to sound effects over the in-car speaker, were satisfyingly brutal in chop-sockey style. 

Ride-Along's story, involving the theft of secret files and an agent's unusual phobia, isn't especially compelling, but as a long-time proponent of site-specific theater I was thrilled by the experience. I'd love to see Ride-Along evolve and return with a more complex, serious script, but until then this is a ride well worth taking. The only problem is that the rest of the run is sold out, so show up in front of the Shakes before a show and ask if the ticket-holders will allow you to sit it the middle seat. It's a tight squeeze but you won't regret it...unless you're susceptible to car sickness; in that case, skip it for your fellow passenger



Fight Theatre - Orlando, FL

Length: 55 Venue: Byov Price: $10 (+svc. Charge) 

Disc.: FA | FV | STU | SR | MIL | Police & Fire department members

Rating: 13+ -

[youtube 6NRSAXic-JU]

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.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.