Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Fringe 2019 Review: 'Are You Lovin' It?'

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2019 at 4:41 PM

click to enlarge areyoulovinit_1200x1200.png
I’ve never visited Tokyo Disneyland, nor have I ever ingested psychedelic mushrooms. However, I’m pretty sure that if I were to try doing both simultaneously, it would be remarkably similar to the experience of seeing Are You Lovin’ It?, the savagely surreal satire of fast-food capitalism from Japan’s Theater Gumbo.

A bowing business card-obsessed salaryman, a psychotic clown-faced corporate mascot, and a maid cafe escapee with an excreting infant, all inexplicably intersect in this eye-popping live-action anime, which both exploits and interrogates our Orientalist assumptions about Asian cultures. From a nominal storyline about selling WacDonalds burger franchises, Theater Gumbo cooks up a colorful stew of scatological slapstick, including seppuku skipping rope, sword fights with super-sized french fries, and an interpretive dance about shit. At the same time the audience is uproariously ROTFL’ing at the racially-tinged routines, the show is cheerfully reflecting our own ugliest stereotypes right back at us, explicitly accusing Americans of binging and gorging on fake news and pink slime.

Such a bizarro blend of bravura physical comedy and pointed political parody would ordinarily boost a show straight to the top of my ‘Best of the Fest,’ list. While I get what Theater Gumbo is going for, they have a bad tendency of repeating a bit past its breaking point, making the pacing strangely sluggish despite the non-stop action. A choreographed routine with flashing lights is fun the first time we see it, but not so much after the third, and an extended audience participation segment about casting away unnecessary sin seemed uncomfortably like an encounter group.

Even if some of the bits grow boring or bothersome, there’s always the hope of some fresh bizarreness right around the corner, and Theater Gumbo certainly sticks the landing with a ‘must see it to believe it’ climactic set-piece. I may not have wholeheartedly loved Are You Lovin’ It, but I am still thinkin’ about it days later.

Are You Lovin' It?
Theatre Group Gumbo
Osaka Osaka JAPAN
Black Venue
All Ages
Saturday, May 25th 3:00 PM
Sunday, May 26th 7:30 PM 

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

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.

Related Locations


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation