Orlando Fringe 2022 Review: 'The Untold Story of Hansel and Gretel'

Exactly the kind of silly, sloppy, and seriously Fringey spoof you can count on once a year.

click to enlarge VIERA STUDIO
Viera Studio

Hansel and Gretel are probably the best-known fairy tale characters that never had a Disney movie made about them, but even if you know the original Brothers Grimm version by heart, I guarantee you’ve never heard or seen it like this before.

In this campy, site-specific Untold Story, Hansel (Claire Brockell) and Gretel (Shelby Brown) are banished into the woods by their horndog dad (Croey Beattie) and alcoholic stepmom (Katie Parsons), leave a trail of soiled underwear to find their way home, and then encounter a celebrity squirrel (director Monica Toro Lisciandro) before finally making their way to a gingerbread house. Inside, they discover a glittering green drag diva witch (playwright Gabriel Ramos) who just wants to play Great British Baking Show with children’s bones. Spoiler alert: Everybody gets baked (in an oven) and returns as zombies to sing the finale from Hamilton.

Oh wait, did I forget to mention that this is a karaoke musical set during the disco era, featuring tunes from cult favorites like Rocky Horror and Evil Dead tenuously wedged into the plot, with barely rewritten lyrics and widely varying vocal performances? And that it’s held outdoors on the lawn outside Orlando Science Center, so you’d better bring your own chair and bug spray? If all of the above sounds a little “extra” to you, I can certainly empathize, because this show certainly boasts more awkwardly cringe-inducing moments than any of the B-movies it's parodying. But by the same token, The Untold Story of Hansel and Gretel is exactly the kind of silly, sloppy and seriously Fringey spoof that you can only find once a year at the Festival. Because if you can’t enjoy a good cringe at Fringe, where can you?

Tickets and show info: The Untold Story of Hansel and Gretel

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