Orlando Fringe 2017 review: 'Biblical Fan Fiction'

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From Mark Twain's Letters From the Earth to Monty Python's Life of Brian, the Holy Scriptures have inspired some of the world's greatest works of parody. Biblical Fan Fiction is not one of those works. Writer-producer Charlie Griffin has chosen three Testament tales — Elisha and the two bears, Salome and John the Baptist, and Noah and the Flood — to send up with semi-satirical sketches. Each of the segments starts with a child narrator reading the relevant verses, and is set apart from the others with some amateurishly produced video segments. The skits in between include a CNN news report from Bethel General Hospital, a crucifixion-themed game of Hangman with Herod, and (in the most promising scene) interviews with animals for a space on the ark.

While some of the premises have comedic potential, it's impossible to tell which scenes are scripted but under-rehearsed, and which are the result of poor improv techniques, since the four-member cast is constantly overlapping each other's lines and leaving possible punchlines unfulfilled. It's hard to say who the target audience is for this show; the jabs are all theologically toothless, like a church youth group talent show that doesn't want to scandalize the pastor, but the dialogue is peppered with F-bombs that the actors lob with the giddiness of prepubescents who just discovered four-letter words. After a nearly laugh-free hour, the show ends with a lukewarm folk song in an apparent effort to evoke unearned emotion, putting the final nail in the cross.



Biblical Fan Fiction
Purple Venue

Wednesday, May 17, 6:15 PM
Saturday, May 20, 1:30 PM
Monday, May 22, 8:45 PM
Friday, May 26, 7:00 PM
Saturday, May 27, 11:15 AM
tickets


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