High Tea: Another British Comedy

By : Alex Storer
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From two multi-award winning, masterful British comedians, and creators of 2016’s hit 2 for Tea (Winner of Orlando Sentinel’s Best-of-Fest), comes the outrageously funny and brilliantly inventive journey of James & Jamesy in High Tea: Another British Comedy, on stage May 17 – 28, 2017 at the Orlando Repertory Theatre (Silver Venue) as part of the Orlando Fringe Festival. Transcending physical comedy and redefining immersive theatre, the 16-time Best-of-Fest winners sweep spectators out to sea in an aquatic escapade brimming with whimsy, action, and ingenuity.

When a catastrophic disaster floods the world in tea, caffeine connoisseurs James and Jamesy leap into action, finding innovative and hilarious solutions to keep them afloat. Evoking the spirit of well-known maritime adventures including Noah’s ArkJaws, and Titanic, audience members will ease into their roles as pivotal characters in the work, playing along with the unforgettable, witty antics.

High Tea is about the primal pleasure of playing in every sense of the word. I can’t think of a show that will make you more profoundly happy than this.” (Stage Door, Toronto)

Since 2012, James & Jamesy’s shows – 2 for TeaHigh Tea, In the Dark, and O Christmas Tea – have been performed 350 times, combined. More than 60,000 audience members have relished their cheeky, laugh-inducing theatrics celebrated among children and adults alike.

Hailed as “a child’s imagination on steroids” by the London Free Press and “complete and utter fun” by the CBC, critics rave for the charismatic James & Jamesy in High Tea: Another British Comedy. A must-see performance on the International Fringe circuit, the unstoppable duo regularly receives glowing praise, having been named Best of Fest (Orlando Sentinel), Most Outstanding Show (London), Best of Fest (Toronto), Pick of Fringe (Vancouver), Best Comedy (Victoria), Patrons’ Pick (London), and Best Script (Montreal), among many more.

Screened Out – Star Trek Beyond

By : Stephen Miller
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Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban

In the pantheon of science fiction, Star Trek is often the thinking person’s franchise. Even with its goofiness and cheesiness – tribbles – it still often asked mind-tickling questions.

Not this movie. It’s a solid, enjoyable popcorn flick, chock full of expensive effects and action. It fills your eyes with wonder. Just don’t bring your brain.

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Screened Out – Ice Age Collision Course

By : Stephen Miller
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Voices of Ray Romano, Dennis O’Leary, John Leguizamo, Simon Pegg, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Keke Palmer, Adam DeVine, Neil deGrasse Tyson

It feels as if the makers of Ice Age listened to the early criticism of the franchise: “None of this is realistic!” and “This is scientifically implausible!”

Then they decided that talking animals, friendly saber-tooth tigers, and the lot were all really ridiculous. They went the route of the Looney Tunes shows – making it all ridiculous and funny. They realized they had a comic goldmine in the world-changing rat-thing Scrat, and they ran with it. For five films, now, they have eschewed any logic whatsoever.

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Screened Out – Ghostbusters

By : Stephen Miller
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Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey

From the get-go, this reboot of the original Ghostbusters faced questions of legitimacy. The ‘80s classic – though not perfect – is so well loved. The other, uglier spirit haunting this relaunch was the sexist question as to whether female comics could carry the franchise as well as the males did in the first. (We’ll pretend the late-’80s sequel doesn’t exist…)

Well, fear not the unknown, people. The women are wonderful. (Apparently you don’t need a penis to be funny…). Also, the last 45 minutes of this film are excellent. The scenes leading up to the big finale, though, are wispy and dismissible.

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Screened Out – The Secret Life of Pets

By : Stephen Miller
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Voices of Louis CK, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jennie Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks

Pet lovers are often animation lovers, too, I know, looking to our animals for wildly, colorful entertainment – like living cartoons. We search online for videos of puppies who act like goofballs or kittens who don’t quite make the jump. The Secret Life of Pets taps into that great slapstick so many of us love.

It is a good thing the characters – as shallow as they are – and the shtick liven things up. The story in Pets is really a retelling of the first Toy Story, where the established dog/toy gets displaced by the new dog/toy. A rivalry ensues that takes both of these enemies far outside, far from their comfort zones, and then they must band together to survive the cruel out-of-doors and find their ways back home.

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2016 Orlando Fringe Review: Doro and Diega Explore Middle Class America

By : Danny Garcia
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doro and diega

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Sprocket Stage Company presents Doro and Diega Explore Middle Class America
Green venue, find showtimes

There’s something to be said about a Fringe show that can take a childhood memory and completely turn it upside down by adding adult themes and sexual innuendos.

I’m a little too old to have grown up on Dora the Explorer & the spin off Go Diego, Go! But as a Guncle to the kids of a few friends, I am quite familiar with the Nickelodeon cartoon shows meant to educate preschoolers.

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My View From A Broad: Hallmark Cards Should Thank Me

By : Jill Shargaa
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JillShargaaCapI love giving cards. I love receiving cards. I can spend 45 minutes standing in the card aisle at Walgreens, Publix or Target and open, read and search for just the right card to send to someone. Yes, I could go home and design one. I’ve done that too, but there’s something about the hunting, the gathering. All that.

When you receive a card in the mail, I’ll bet it’s the first thing you open. Be honest. It is for me. Someone took a pen and wrote my address on it, they put a stamp on it, and they mailed it. It’s the human touch that still makes us happy or connected and alive. Sometimes I keep the card; sometimes it goes in the trash after I’ve read it, or gets displayed on my kitchen counter for a few days. Maybe it’s a girl thing. Mom taught my sister and me to always send a thank you card to the person who gave you a gift or invited you to something. At the time, it felt like a chore, but I am so grateful now for the lesson. (Should I send Mom a thank you card?)

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Lean, Mean, Queen and no, she’s not in drag— she’s Lisa Lampanelli

By : Kirk Hartlage
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Let’s face it—we’re Lisa Lampanelli’s bitch. We’ve interviewed her just about as many times we’ve run stories on gay-hate-spewing conservative politicians getting caught having some clandestine man-on-man lovin’ in an inappropriate place, and at least as many times as the phrase “anal leakage” appears in small type in one of those pill-of-the-week ads printed in these very pages.

Shocking, yes. But that’s just how Lampanelli likes it.

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Watermark’s 2015 Orlando Fringe Reviews: Cootie Catcher

By : Jeremy Williams
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Lucas Brooks is back at Fringe after a successful run last year in “VGL 5’4″ Top,” with his new show “Cootie Catcher.”

For those who don’t remember their childhood, a cootie catcher is an origami fortune teller puzzle wherein colors and numbers determine your fate. They are also known as a chatterbox, salt cellar or whirlybird.

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Screened Out – Calvary

By : Stephen Miller
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Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Domhnall Gleeson

Calvary is ponderous, to be sure. It’s also lovely, bleak, troubling, witty, thought provoking, and finally, thoroughly Irish.

This is the plum role that fans of Brendan Gleeson (Braveheart, In Bruges, Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter) have been praying for him to have. Here, this lion of an actor ably inhabits a quiet Catholic priest, brimming with both stern judgment and a longing for mercy, for himself and the morally wobbly people around him.

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GayDays Comedy

By : Christal Hayes
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Nothing was off limits for Mimi Gonzalez and Sandra Valls in the side-splitting GayDayS Comedy Show June 6.

The pair started the show with some musical numbers and introductory comedy about Gay Days and some of the interesting things they’ve seen this year, including a sex swing through someone’s open window.

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