Orlando Fringe 2022 Review: 'Spooky and Gay Cabaret'

Pull up a seat alongside Costella’s campfire and enjoy a non-binary boo or two.

The last time I attended award-winning writer-performer Bruce Ryan Costella’s Spooky & Gay Cabaret, it was held in his backyard during the peak of the pandemic, when experiencing any kind of live theater seemed like a dip into another dimension. So I’m happy to report that this revised revival is every bit as entertaining indoors on a spring afternoon as it was al fresco on an October evening.

Costella starts off with a comically creepy suburban legend story about a young lesbian and a fortune-telling jack o’ lantern; he ends with an extended medieval metaphor for the Reagan-era AIDS crisis. In between, he draws from his trick-or-treat sack filled with original snack-sized stories, songs and even some monstrous impressions. Bruce might be singing a mournful song one moment, and the next manipulating a satanic muppet for a stand-up set about personalized purgatories.

A couple of Costella’s comic bits go over like circus peanuts or candy corn, but most are at least a Snickers or 3 Musketeers; and a few — including his touching tribute to the phantoms of gay bars past — are beautifully bittersweet. Pull up a seat alongside Costella’s campfire and enjoy a non-binary boo or two; if nothing else, I dare you not to giggle yourself to death singing along to his “Scary Ghost Song.”

Tickets and show info: Spooky & Gay Cabaret

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