Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Fringe 2018 review: 'Beneath the Bikini' is a quirky, heartfelt cabaret

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2018 at 7:14 PM

click to enlarge beneaththebikini_4x4.png

Body-painted advert and beloved Orlando Fringe mascot Katie Thayer is ready to take you Beneath the Bikini in her first ever show. If you’ve spotted “Bikini Katie” at festivals past and wondered about the woman with the weird job, Thayer’s quirky, heartfelt cabaret will draw you in.

With moxie, presence and an clearly evident background in musical theater, Thayer tells us what it’s like to run a “Bikini Advertising Service,” but her story goes deeper. Between songs, she talks of binge eating, body image and finding acceptance within. Moving through the different marks that family, lovers and auditions have left on her self-image, she write words like “fat,” “weird” and “-10 pounds” on her body. For this hour, as she cleverly puns, her body is “nobody’s business but [her] own.”

There’s something incredibly liberating about watching a woman in a bikini with the word “FOOD” written across her stomach belt rapturously about snacks to the tune of “My Favorite Things.” It’s just one of many Broadway standards cleverly rewritten by Thayer. She has an improviser’s command of the stage, and effectively uses movement, songs and visual jokes to break up the monologues.

Though her singing doesn’t always live up to the challenge of Broadway songs, the ebullient Thayer carries the tunes and tone of her show handily. Rather than present herself as the body-confident bikini-clad superhero, Katie is honest that she doesn’t have all the answers. The story is well-realized, with a good balance of laughter and serious moments. Many of Katie’s observations will resonate with women, but her theme of self-acceptance is universal.

Beneath the Bikini
Bikini Katie Productions, Orlando, FL
13 & Up - Mature Themes, Some Language
Blue Venue
Wednesday, May 23, 2018 11:59 PM
Friday, May 25, 2018 9:00 PM
Sunday, May 27, 2018 7:30 PM
Location Details Fringe Festival Blue Venue
Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Studio B
Mills 50
Orlando, FL
(407) 648-0077
Performance Space

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

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