Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fringe Review: Theme Park Diva

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM


Do you dream of the chance to shine six days a week, wearing an itchy green lamé costume while dancing in click-track shows filled with dignity and class? Then come audition for a role performing at America's most-awarded theme park, GalaxyWorld USA -- it's awesome!

Street sweeper Sal Shoestring sets up the story, which should sound familiar to anyone who has seen A Star Is Born or Showgirls. An opening "I want" song introduces the cliché crew of "cast members": the drag queen director and her autocratic Eastern European choreographer; Amber Crystal, an aging superstar with a surgically attached tiara; and Suzie, the hometown ingenue aching for her big break. The pressure is on for the park's entertainment department to snag the elusive "Silver Stubbie" award, but diva drama threatens to sink the show.

John deHaas, who originally created this past Fringe hit over 15 years ago, has put in time playing piano at nearly every theme park south of Williamsburg. That backstage knowledge shows in the script, which is sprinkled with pretty boys who can't pirouette, annoying annual pass-holding groupies, and urine-scamming stoner stagehands. The chintzy costumes and cheesy choreography are equally pitch-perfect. Scenes skip past at a snappy pace, though the comic timing of the dialogue is somewhat stiff. The cast contains solid voices that sound fine in ensemble, but some soloists could stand to use a mic in the large venue. DeHaas' songs are intentionally as inoffensively bland as the park pageants they mock, in a pastiche style that makes country, pop, and Broadway numbers all sound the same.

Theme Park Diva is a little too good-natured to be a truly biting satire. Everything is played so archly tongue-in-cheek that no emotional connections with the characters (except for Amber, who gets a great late-show spotlight) really develop, and the conflict resolves too quickly. And if you've never been employed by a "family" attraction, a lot of the humor will go over your head. But for those who understand what "pass the penny" and "last show/fast show" mean, there are plenty of laughs to be found among these "cruise ship rejects and community theater understudies."


Theme Park Diva: The Musical

D Squared Productions - Orlando, FL


Show Schedule:

Thursday 17 May; at 9:15pm in the Orange

Friday 18 May; at 5:30pm in the Orange

Sunday 20 May; at 3:15pm in the Orange

Monday 21 May; at 8:30pm in the Orange

Thursday 24 May; at 5:30pm in the Orange

Saturday 26 May; at 9:15pm in the Orange

Sunday 27 May; at 11:00am in the Orange


Price: $11 + Fringe Button (good for entire Fringe)

Discount(s): Theme park Employees

Rating: G-14

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation