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Orlando Fringe Review: Paisley Tippy-Toes

May 17, 2014
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Paisley Tippy-Toes at the 2014 Orlando Fringe

Paisley Tippy-Toes at the 2014 Orlando Fringe

Paisley Tippy-Toes boasts perhaps the least informative show description in this year’s Orlando Fringe program (“All ages welcome/For some colourful nonsense/With Paisley Tippy-Toes!”), so I was utterly unprepared for this odd assemblage of clowning, puppetry and just plain bizarreness. It begins with a black & white-bodysuit-clad figure (Nicholas Augustine) fondling cardboard cutouts of aquatic animals and manipulating a tiny blacklit bicycle to an abruptly edited New-Agey soundtrack. Next, the massive red snail shell that’s been sitting on stage starts sluggishly slithering, eventually wedging itself under a chair in the front row and expiring. It expels a clownish purple spirit named Paisley (Abigail Maguire) who exuberantly rampages around the room in a quest to achieve her next stage of reincarnation.

I’m ordinarily a fan of anything out of the ordinary, especially circus arts and puppetry, but Paisley’s overstrained attempts at whimsy left me cold. The text is a mishmash of pretentious pseudo-spiritual poetry and sloppy semi-improvised prose, and the bulk of the show is swallowed by an extended audience participation puppet-play session. I’m simply not sure who the target demographic for this show is, since it’s too awkwardly immature for adults but too talky to hold little kids’ attentions. Perhaps it will appeal to those who think Cirque du Soleil has too many impressive stunts, and not enough elliptical dialogue.

The audience members pulled up on stage to play food-chain tag seemed to be having fun, and were more entertaining to watch than the actual performers. But as a spectator, I felt the show’s serious structure and pace problems sucked the joy out about halfway through the already brief 37-minute running time. Then again, if you want a show that will make you say, “Yup, I’m definitely at the Fringe,” this may be the one.

 

PAISLEY TIPPY-TOES
Paisley Productions – Orlando, FL
Length: 45 minutes (-ish)
Venue: Purple
Price: $8 (+svc. Charge)
Disc.: FA | FV | SR | Irishmen | Children under 23 | Non Human Pers
Rating: All -

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