Orlando Fringe Review: Smooch

Pantomime is one of the most difficult theatrical skills to master. If you’re not well-versed in its delicate balance of physical comedy, tenderness and subtle storytelling, you probably shouldn’t attempt it. Unfortunately, the normally reliable PB&J Theatre Factory (Sport and Sleigh) apparently didn’t fully understand that before undertaking their latest Fringe adventure, Smooch, which, though well-intentioned, is a mostly tedious and unfunny spectacle not worthy of the group’s talent.

Brandon Roberts, Terrence Yip, Becky Eck, Todd Zimmerman and Ana Eligio play five Cupids tasked with creating love between a couple (Mike Carr and Julie Snyder) at various stages of their life, from the children’s playground to old age. In a broader sense, the couple represents all humanity, and the 55-minute play depicts the arc of existence, while offering a humorous peek at what the gods have to do behind the scenes to keep romance alive.

It’s a good premise and contains a touching scene near the end. But the moments of audience involvement are just plain awkward and drag the play’s pace to a crawl, while the inability of everyone except Roberts to grasp the nuances of silent comedy makes Smooch a painful experience at times. Clearly inspired by French actor-director Jacques Tati (Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday), Smooch has all of Tati’s tedium, some of his sweetness and too little of his talent.

Smooch

PB&J Theatre Factory – Winter Park, FL

Length: 55 minutes

Venue: Silver

Price: $9 (+svc. charge)

Disc.: FA | FV | Anyone with a PB&J/Slastic Shirt

Rating: All

About The Author

Scroll to read more Arts Stories + Interviews articles
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.