Orlando Fringe 2022 Review: 'The Mockingbird News'


Native mythology holds that the mockingbird, nature’s news-delivering mimic, taught people how to talk. If that’s so, Sarah Lockard has learned its lessons well, as she embodies a vast range of voices in playwright Joseph Reed Hayes’ delightfully ADD tone poem about the power of human language.

Across five tenuously connected acts, Lockard leaps fluidly from persona to persona — a Lenny Bruce-boosting stand-up comic in one scene, an aging carny looking back on her abusive childhood in the next — all while propelled by the beats of live percussionist Robed Fenelus.

With its mix of beat poetry, bad magic tricks, and Borscht Belt one-liners, this show could fit comfortably into Mrs. Maisel’s Gaslight Café. But beyond the gags, Hayes is reaching to say something real about the relativity of time. Even if I couldn’t always grasp what that something was, under Leesa Halstead Castañeda’s dreamlike direction, the luminous Lockard makes every minute of this expansive ethereal experiment an entrancing experience.

Tickets and show info: The Mockingbird News

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