Fringe Review: ‘Decades Rewind’

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Decades Rewind is part concert, part musical, part multimedia presentation and, unfortunately, only partly successful.
Decades Rewind
Decades Rewind – Riverview, FL
7 DATES THROUGH MAY 29, 2016
Venue: Orange
Length: 75 Min
Price: $11 (Disc: FA | FV | MIL | STU | SR)
Rating: 7 & Up
Buy Tickets
Musically, the production is fairly solid and features a competent eight-piece live band and six singers performing multiple medleys of songs from the 1980s, ’70s and ’60s. But the production also features a muddled attempt at storytelling, a lackluster ending, forced theatrics and bad sound mixing that, at least during the preview performance, sapped the energy and pacing.
There’s not much the cast and crew can do now to improve the lame theatricality, but if and when some technical kinks are ironed out – and with a large, participatory audience – the show could come to life.

Noteworthy are singers J.K. Miller III, who does a nice imitation of Stevie Wonder with “Superstition,” and Ashley Renee, who dominates the second half of the 1980s segment thanks to her role as Jenny, a fictional up-and-coming rock star whose story plays out, in film form, on a small screen behind the band. Yet that gimmick is the show’s greatest failure, as the short movie is projected in the wrong aspect ratio and is almost impossible to follow while also concentrating on the live music.

Also memorable are Frank J. Edmondson III, who is here to “funk you up” with such classics as “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” and guitarist Al Owen, who briefly steals the spotlight during the 1960s segment with his convulsive imitation of Joe Cocker.

“Hop on our musical time machine,” we’re instructed. Well, if you’re like me and enjoy the musical destinations, you could certainly do worse at this year’s Fringe. Just don’t expect a shiny DeLorean to take you there. It’s more of a Yugo.

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