Orlando Fringe 2017 review: 'Stardust After Dark'


Are you a Pirate or a Fairy? Stardust After Dark is an "immersive audio drama" that asks you to pick between those two paths, as your smartphone becomes a portal into an outdoor audience participation adventure across the lawns of Loch Haven Park. Using a QR code reader (download one for free in advance from your app store) and a pair of headphones (provided free), you'll stream an online soundtrack and follow your chosen guide across Princeton Street to the Mennello Museum while listening to the tale unfold.

I was told that the Fairy path involved more dancing, so I picked Pirates and found myself searching for bottles of rum beneath the Mayor Tree, making nonalcoholic toasts and singing sea chanties, all while we learned of a legendary revelry where Sirens grant mortals eternal life. The actors mime the overwrought pre-recorded dialogue without moving their mouths, which looks a bit odd, but is understandable given the impossibility of getting everyone's audio exactly in synch. Spoiler alert: Things get slightly naughty, then seriously nasty, and there's dancing and hugging with strangers involved.

Stardust After Dark is a worthwhile experiment whose future potential outweighs its flaws as a fantasy drama. At about 30 minutes, it's just long enough to get the point without getting eaten too badly by the bugs. There's a family-friendly daytime version, but beware the sun; wear a hat, or the only Sirens you hear will be from the ambulance treating your heatstroke.

Stardust After Dark
Phoenix Tears Productions Presents
The Rocket Thrower Statue in Loch Haven Park

Friday, May 19, 11:00 PM
Saturday, May 20, 10:00 PM
Sunday, May 21, 10:00 PM
Friday, May 26, 11:00 PM
Sunday, May 28, 10:00 PM

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