Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Bugs Bunny walks into a gay bar on New Year’s Eve, looking for a hard carrot to gnaw on. Welcome to the Rabbit Hole, where forest creatures’ darkest fantasies come to life. Harvey the bartender serves the horny hares a steady stream of orange liquor and NC-17 rabbit puns, while Thumper, the resident porn star with an impenetrable Hispanic accent, teaches Bugs how to work a runway, and newcomer Jack searches for love in the club’s back room orgy.
The script throws an ACME crate full of crazy crap at the walls — from wacky sound effects and inside jokes about Mel Blanc’s multiple voice roles, to self-aware shoutouts to Michael Wanzie — and a little of it (such as a phallic parody of a classic Chorus Line number) manages to stick. Unfortunately, although Bugs is portrayed authentically as Jewish and non-binary, the rest of the characters are slapdash collections of poses and stereotypes without actual personalities. The cast includes a couple solid singers, and they deliver the smutty gags with gusto, but the glacially paced paper-thin plot runs out of gas less than halfway through the hour running time (which is mercifully shorter than the 75 minutes advertised).
The festival is just getting started and Down the Rabbit Hole is already a leading contender for my least-favorite show of the year (or maybe decade), but your mileage may vary: It’s mandatory for every Orlando Fringe Festival to feature a campy mess that becomes an inexplicable hit, and this show might be it this year. If Warner Bros. and Disney sue this one out of existence before you get a chance to see it, count your blessings.Tickets and show info: Down the Rabbit Hole