Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review: Greetings From the Dumbass State

photo by Kat Moreno
Florida has always been the butt of many jokes mostly because the stories of the denizens can be just so crazy and weird! In Mark Levy's All is Fine in Sunny Florida, an Everyman type narrator called "Floridaman" shares whacky ripped from the Internet headline stories featuring a parade of nuts and whackos. With a humor that may be the taste of a very select few, All is Fine in Sunny Florida is a bizarre series of sketches that seemingly have nothing to do with much of anything. There's a specific type of humor that makes up Levy's show. It's like being high watching a late night acid trip show on Adult Swim. The conceit of the show is a high-strung narrator who shares tales of his home state that range from meth heads to murderous radio hosts. The struggle with Levy's piece is the weirdness of the text doesn’t quite match the acting or direction.
Directed by Michael Hagins, the general course of Hagins’ vision was one of realism. And with the stories being so outrageous, it just did not come across as funny. Or weird. Just forced. And perhaps that burden could easily have been placed on the acting company. The cast is certainly filled with capable performers but there was just a disconnect between material and style. The only glimpse of a happy marriage was Marissa Parness’ Gypsy character. You could see her being a recurring on Saturday Night Live. As the narrator, Mark Levy brings a unique style of storytelling to the stage. It’s a bit abrasive, but that’s what this piece called for. And he should know since he wrote it.
All Is Fine In Sunny Florida is like opening up a “Weird Florida” book and not being sure if anything could actually be that true. Levy has the ingredients for something weird but this production did not show it.