By Kylie Miller
Fringe Festivals are a great platform for shows that push boundaries and challenge the norm. 50 Shades of Gay does exactly that. Ike Avelli, a 52-year-old single gay man, is the star of this show. He traveled from New York City to perform at Charm City Fringe, along with his two guests, Tym Moss and Viki Villainess. This show follows a sort of cabaret style with a mix of stand-up comedy, music, stories, and videos. The musical numbers are key components of the show involving spoofs, karaoke, and lip-synching.
So much is thrown at the audience during the hour-long performance. There are pop culture references and sketches displayed through projected videos during the show. The comedy in this show can get pretty raunchy, but that is exactly what makes it so funny. Some jokes are more tasteful than others as the limits are constantly being pushed by the three performers in this show.
Ike gets to know his audience and does a great job in getting them involved in the show. Tym adds another perspective to the show and the two longtime friends have great energy together. Vicki, a professional drag queen, is the perfect final touch to the show. She brings to the table a strong attitude and charm that audiences will love.
I believe this show is different every single time it is performed. Ike and his guests switch things up and adjust to their audience. Though they may follow a certain sequence, these three performers know how to keep things interesting. Their thrill to entertain others is obvious and infectious.
50 Shades of Gay is about being unapologetically who you are. It is all about loving yourself while also being able to make fun of yourself. The audience really picks up on this message through audience participation when they end up on stage learning not to care what anyone else thinks of them.
Running Time: One hour, with no intermission.
50 Shades of Gay played through November 4, 2018, at Charm City Fringe Festival, located at 322 N Howard Street in Baltimore, MD 21201.