Watermark’s 2015 Orlando Fringe Reviews: Lay, Ms.

By : Danny Garcia
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Only at Fringe will you see a show that revolves around the Stonewall Riots that prompted the Gay Rights movement in 1969, include a lot of gender bending, simulated gay and hetero sex, nudity and a 6-foot plus tall drag queen with a mean right hook all played out to the music and plot of Les Miserables, the musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel.

The show is a spoof of the Broadway musical and that was apparent from the opening number “Face Down”, yes instead of “Look Down”. This number took place in, where else, a prison and this is where you meet your protagonist Johnny Val Johnson (Jake Mullen) and the cubby cop doing his dutiful job JaBear (Jamaal Solomon).

Johnny, was arrested and sent to prison for breaking indecency laws, that seemed to be an easy excuse to arrest gays, lesbians and the transgendered.

After he’s paroled his adventure begins, while continuously chased by JaBear.

The ensemble numbers were very strong and always added the right amount of comedy, both lyrically & visually. It was a literal circus of kink, bound and gagged in musical harmony that made up the hysterical and slightly uncomfortable “Masters’ of the House”. Even the solo numbers that may sound very familiar were well delivered.

Watermark previewed this show during one of the few dress rehearsals the cast would have, which explains some minor pacing issues and flopping mics, nothing major that you don’t expect from some Fringe shows.

Lay, Ms. is playing at the Silver Venue at the Orlando Repertory Theatre.

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