Orlando Fringe 2023 review: ‘Serve for the Gawds: A Musical Extravaganza’

Ancient Greek mythology grinds up against LGBTQ+ dance-club culture

click to enlarge Ancient Greek mythology grids up against LGBTQ+ dance club culture in 'Serve For the Gawds' - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Ancient Greek mythology grids up against LGBTQ+ dance club culture in 'Serve For the Gawds'
Ancient Greek mythology grinds up against LGBTQ+ dance club culture in Serve for the Gawds, an outrageous orgy of pansensuality starring a large cast of refreshingly diverse shapes and complexions.

The ritual rebirth of Dionysus sets the wine flowing; then we follow jailbait Ganymede’s (Nicolás Watson) descent into debauchery, as narrated by omniscient drag diva Hermaphroditus (creator-composer Mx. Bee Wakelin). Hercules (Michael Duncan) manhandles his boytoy, Iolaus (Justin Jimenez); Zeus’ daughter Hebe (Kristin Paradero) sings her heart out; and her mom, Hera (Iris Johnson), struts like Queen Bey as these dishy deities conduct their genderfluid affairs.

Wakelin’s disco songs sound so much like something you’ve sweated to before that I tried Shazaming the score. And director Ayò Demps makes an admirable effort developing a consistent Paris Is Burning-esque aesthetic across such a vast variety of performers.

The spirited singing and dancing (choreographed by Adonus Mabry with Arius West) also expose a wide spectrum of talent levels, and several underdeveloped segments struggle to keep the party rolling.

But in light of Florida’s current anti-trans environment, I’m willing to excuse this fabulous trainwreck’s nearly mortal messiness (from massive microphone mayhem during the preview to the momentum-wrecking intermission) in order to support any celebration of queer culture, especially if it pisses off Ron DeSantis.
Location Details

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 N. Mills Ave., Orlando Mills 50

407-896-4231

omart.org


Serve for the Gawds: A Musical Extravaganza

Busy Bee Theatricals
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