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CockTales & Conversations – Orlando Fringe Festival

CockTales & Conversations
Inside Voices – Orlando, FL
45 min.
Purple venue
Remaining showtimes: 5/20, 10:00 p.m.; 5/23, 9:45 p.m.; 5/24, 6:00 p.m.
Purchase Tickets Here


By Kimberly A. Brown

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I just didn’t get it.

I’m a big fan of improvisational comedy, and for anyone who’s ever watched more than one episode of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” you’d know it’s easily hit or miss—even for the most seasoned of pros.

So perhaps I just showed up on an off night.

Part of this year’s Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, CockTales & Conversations consists of three comediennes (Ginny Anthony, Lauren Morris and Camille Dixon) dreaming up skits on the spot based upon an initial inquiry to an audience member. On this night, it’s a recently read book about golf (zzz…perhaps that was the issue right there), leading the ladies somehow to the idea of relaxation, then even further down the conceptual rabbit hole of ha-has.

Unfortunately, the theme is mostly lost in translation, and, for me anyway, there’s more WTF than LOL in the scenes that follow. (The obnoxiously loud and strangely timed guffaws from a dude in the row directly in front of me would beg to differ.)

We witness the ladies break the no-pooping policy at their place of work; invite two customers from coach into first class, shortly thereafter made pilots (our trust in their abilities stems from their astrological signs); get vaginal transplants; and send patients to “a better place” via their laid-back, party-hearty style of surgery.

From time to time, the women abandon the skits and sit together stage left, chatting almost talk-show style (and again quite loosely) about the relaxation theme. I suppose this was the “Conversations” part? No cocktails, or cocktales, to speak of.

There’s something to be said for the originality of the content. As out there as some of the bits got, I must admit I am always rather envious of a mind that can conjure such things. And it’s to their credit that despite the frequent outlandish nature of the material, their skills making with the funny managed to shine through. In particular Anthony, and the banter with between one of her characters and Morris’, easily rose above all subject-matter handicaps.

These ladies have talent—it may just be a matter of tweaking the structure of the show to better play to their strengths. My recommendation would be to lose the “conversations” piece altogether; it does more harm than good to the show’s vibe.

But, like I said, it’s always hit and miss. To paraphrase from the Hustle & Flow soundtrack: It’s hard out there for an improvisational comedian.

Inside Voices Improv

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