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Review: ‘Fruit of the Sea’ at Charm City Fringe Festival

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FLORIDA MAN DRESSES UP 13-FT ALLIGATOR IN NOVELTY HAT AND SUNGLASSES FOR HALLOWEEN.

News stories about the tragic exploits of Florida Man and Florida Woman are the first thing to greet you when you arrive for Fruit of the Sea, which was inspired by the @_FloridaMan Twitter account. In front of these headlines the beautiful mermaid, whose name is Calamaria aka “Fruit of the Sea,” blows bubbles. Poor Calamaria – who possesses a beautiful voice, by the way – soon finds herself banished to the boring pet stores of Pataskala, Ohio. She is now called Sharon and must make her way back to the sea to find her fins and destroy the evil sea witch who cursed her.

Calamaria sings and plays a ukulele all the way to Weeki Wachee Springs – City of Mermaids – in Florida. It is here that she meets “merthusiast” Hal, a tour guide, who is embroiled in a battle with his boss Kiki, a scheming lead mermaid in a mermaid-themed amusement park’s mermaid show. What follows is a tale sure to go down in “merstory.” Along with Jimmy the helpful red lobster, Calamaria or “Sharon,” as she is now called, sets off to return to her ocean home.

The songs in this musical are generally upbeat. Each of the four actors plays an instrument. Calamaria begins with the ukulele, Hal produces an accordion at one point, Jimmy the lobster plays the steel drum, and Kiki picks up various percussion instruments. They are all very skilled musicians, which makes for an overall pleasant experience. Calamaria sang one song which ended with the statement that she felt like a “fish out of water,” which I found to be the catchiest of the bunch, though none of the numbers were weak.

Towards the end, the plot takes a turn for the very interesting. I won’t give anything away, but suffice to say that the incredibly creative use of props in this production becomes even more impressive as they go deeper in to the story. Calamaria and/or Sharon, driven by their obsession with ridding the ocean of plastics and/or their boredom with the monotony of an uneventful life, makes choices which have some extreme consequences for the other characters.

Fruit of the Sea is superbly executed, with actors who are well up to the task of performing this quirky musical and utilizing complicated props while simultaneously playing instruments. The overall mood of this show is perky, which contrasts well with what turns out to be fairly dark subject matter as it unfolds. Some of the scenes ran a bit long, but this shouldn’t deter you from trying out this unique and interesting musical.

Running Time: One hour and 15 minutes, with no intermission.

Fruit of the Sea plays through November 12, 2017, at the DCAC – 401 North Howard Street, in Baltimore, MD. Tickets and Charm City Fringe Festival buttons may be purchased at Fringe HQ (Le Mondo, 406 N Howard Street), the venue, or online

Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market is joining DC Metro Theater Arts in support of our coverage of the Charm City Fringe Festival. The Market closes at 6 PM on weekdays and is closed Sundays, but we recommend that Fringe-goers stop by on Saturday to grab lunch and take a look around, in addition to checking out the local bands which play from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

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