Fringe Review: Skill Focus: Burlesque STRIKES BACK
Fun Fact: attractive nerds were not found in nature until the late 1990's, when they were genetically engineered from Alyson Hannigan's DNA. If they had been, my high school experience may have been completely different (oh, who am I kidding, probably not). Thankfully, today we have Skill Focus: Burlesque, Orlando's favorite troupe of geek and gamer girls (with a few guys for good measure) who like dressing up as genre characters, and then getting undressed.
For their second Fringe appearance, Skill Focus is cycling through three fan-favorite themes; depending on the show you'll see video game avatars, sci-fi icons, or Batman villains bareing it all. the final performance will feature a grab-bag of characters voted on by their fans. The Arham Asylum show I previewed features their usual slate of strippers (all with jolly pirate nicknames like Rosita Sparkles and Fifi Latio) parodying characters like Catwoman and The Scarecrow; highlights include Rosita Sparkles' hillariously tasteless wheelchair-bound Batgirl, Dr. Brock Fizzlebeef's ventriloquist striptease, and Ruby Darling's acrobatic Harley Quinn finale, set to a spaced-out cover of “Crazy.”
If you are a Skill Focus virgin, fear not; potty-mouthed emcee Chan Sterling will happily administer their official oath (“In whitest bra, in blackest tights…”). But fair warning: you will see full frontal within the first fifteen minutes. Aside from the fangirl trappings, two things set Skill Focus' stripteasing apart; they never take themselves (or their audience) too seriously, and they pay tribute (within a post-modern context) to traditional burlesque tricks and techniques. As a bonus, the cast's curves are delightfuly diverse, with a shape to satisfy every taste or orientation.
If you've seen Skill Focus' previous productions, you may be disappointed that there isn't all-new material here, and I'd like to see more choreographed group numbers to unify the ensemble. But if you enjoy good-natured nudity and nerdity (and who doesn't?), Skill Focus delivers both in spades.
Note: This review is based on a preview performance that the press was invited to attend.
Skill Focus: Burlesque STRIKES BACK
Skill Focus: Burlesque (Orlando, FL)
Rating: M (nudity, adult language, strong sexual content)
Run Time: 60 minutes
Genre: comedy, dance, burlesque
Thu, May 16 2013, 11:15p.m. – Fri, May 17 2013, 12:15a.m.
Sat, May 18 2013, 12:00a.m. – Sun, May 19 2013, 1:00a.m.
Sun, May 19 2013, 9:30p.m. – 10:30p.m.
Tue, May 21 2013, 8:45p.m. – 9:45p.m.
Fri, May 24 2013, 7:15p.m. – 8:15p.m.
Sat, May 25 2013, 10:15p.m. – 11:15p.m.
Sun, May 26 2013, 7:45p.m. – 8:45p.m.