Fringe Review: '21 Chump Street'


21 Chump Street at the Orlando Fringe
  • 21 Chump Street at the Orlando Fringe
Based on a true story originally broadcast on public radio's This American Life, 21 Chump Street tells the tale of Justin (Matthew Roman), a straight-A high-school senior entrapped into dealing weed by Naomi (Alexia Correa), an attractive undercover cop. This mini-musical by Broadway's current golden boy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, packs more memorable hooks into its 15 brief minutes than all two hours of the composer's Tony-winning In the Heights. And the youthful ensemble of Boone High School students assembled by director Nadine Love and producer Scott Browning is not only more believable than the professional cast, they deliver the lyrical hip-hop (laid over a well-produced pre-recorded backing track) with exuberant aplomb.
21 Chump Street: The Musical
Caliban Productions — Orlando FL
Venue: Purple
Length: 15 Min
Price: $7 (Disc: FA)
Rating: 13 & Up – Language
Buy tickets here
The energetic choreography threatens to burst the seams of the small circular venue, and the emotional heat provided by the leads – particularly Roman, who gives a soulful performance far beyond his years – nearly burns down whatever's left. My only constructive criticism would be to provide more context, perhaps by playing excerpts from the original news report during preshow. Fringe may be overloaded with rap musicals this year, but at least on a pure entertainment-per-minute basis, 21 Chump Street will be tough to top.

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

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.