Fringe 2019 Reviews: 'The Agony and the Ivories' & 'Junnk'


The Agony and the Ivories
Bill Larkin is (according to his catchy personal TV theme song) a “gay balding asthmatic making dreams come true.” That pretty much sums up this hilarious singing stand-up comic and 1990s-era SAK performer, whose gently manic musical monologues play like a marvelously misanthropic mashup of Larry David and Tom Lehrer. Larkin’s loony lyrics loop in loquacious Uber drivers, celebrity obituaries, and pre-internet pornography. He’s so good, he’s even able to spin comedy gold out of the simple act of wearing a hat. Bill’s delivers his side-splitting story-songs about “nothing” with a deliciously off-beat sense of timing, so I’m hoping it doesn’t take him another 19 years to make his next Orlando Fringe appearance.
Brown Venue
Friday, May 24th 5:30 PM
Saturday, May 25th 7:00 PM

This high-energy quartet of comic percussionists brings to mind Stomp, Blast, and the Blue Man Group, but they’ve got a goofy flair all their own. The mostly non-verbal performance mixes familiar pop tunes played on makeshift instruments, with a healthy helping of audience interaction and a hint of acrobatic clowning. The well-paced skits each have their only little arc, and the charismatic cast does a great job of engaging the crowd. Junnk, which has been seen on the Disney Cruise Line, is like an all-ages theme park production that you don’t need a $100+ ticket to enjoy. It makes an ideal antidote if you’ve overdosed on depressing Fringe shows and just want to hear some joyful noise.
Gold Venue
Saturday, May 25th 7:15 PM
Sunday, May 26th 1:30 PM

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