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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Fringe 2018 review: In 'Moth,' Jeremiah J. Gibbons leaves it all, and we mean ALL, on the stage

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 11:35 AM

click to enlarge moth_4x4.png
Moth, embodied by creator-performer Jeremiah J. Gibbons, welcomes us into his charming (read: small) world with a hearty wave, inviting us to join a genderfluid adventure for which there are no refunds. This bearded Peter Pan is an All-American dreamer with immense talent who would be fabulously famous by now, if not for naysaying critics and Puritanical parents. Or at least that’s what Moth insists to the shell-shocked audience during this cray-cray campy cabaret.

Over the course of 45-odd minutes, Moth engages in armchair philosophizing about emotional rejection and superficial materialism, trades their blue overalls for a miniskirt and heels, and preaches the Pop-Culture Gospel from the Book of Beyoncé. But mostly, they aggressively sing their semi-original songs at (not to) the audience, and while Gibbons boasts a solid belt, Moth always seems to be a breathless beat behind the frantic backing tracks.



By the end of the show, Moth is mostly naked and weeping on the floor, being serenaded by a ukulele. I found it impossible to decipher whether Gibbons intended us to take this outrageous caricature at face value, or if the whole thing is an Andy Kaufman-esqe critique of self-indulgent therapy masquerading as theater. Either way, the experience eventually slides from initially engaging to exhaustingly off-putting, ultimately making me wish they’d put the broken fourth wall back up as a shield against all the shvitzing.

On the plus side, this is certainly the Fringiest show I’ve seen so far this year (just wait, the festival is still young) and with an appropriately inebriated audience this could become a cult classic. As much as I’d love to applaud Gibbons for leaving everything out on the stage, less is sometimes more, even at Fringe.

Moth
Jeremiah J Gibbons, Winter Garden FL
13 & Up – Some Language, Mature Themes
45 Minutes
Red Venue
Thursday, May 17th 7:15pm
Sunday, May 20th 5:15pm
Thursday, May 24th 7:30pm
Friday, May 25th 6:00pm
Sunday, May 27th 9:30pm


Check out ALL of our Fringe 2018 reviews at orlandoweekly.com/fringe2018

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