Watermark, Orlando (review)

In May 26 2010, Scottie Campbell said of my performance, Fudgie’s Death, in Watermark that “Technology meets traditional storytelling to great effect […] De Lellis is an engaging performer who delivers the story with deceptive nonchalance”

Fudgie's Death, Chicago, 2010, photo K. Basta
Fudgie’s Death,  photo K. Basta

One of the perks of Fringe is the outdoor stage – a perk because admission is free to these performances! Heck, you don’t even need a Fringe button! Of course, as the saying goes, you usually get what you pay for, so the offerings there tend to be hit or miss but, in the case of Growing Up Linda: Fudgie’s Death, Fringe goers are fortunate, indeed.

Fudgie’s Death is a 15-minute excerpt from Growing Up Linda which chronicles the misadventures of Linda Carvel, fictitious heiress to the ice cream empire. Creator Marsian De Lellis, in town from LA appearing as David Bowie in IBEX Puppetry’s Goblin Party Interactive at Fringe, performs the piece. Dressed in a white rubbery dress, a pink fedora, lipstick reminiscent of ice cream sprinkles, with “Carvel” embroidered on his butt, De Lellis is an engaging performer who delivers the story with a deceptive nonchalance.

The “neo-noir tale” is cleverly told through pop-up books that are then projected on a screen (Heather Henson handles the live-feed). De Lellis narrates the story and uses a laptop to provide background music and sound effects. Technology meets traditional storytelling to great effect.

One small warning: the twisted story might not be for everyone. De Lellis seems to approach his art and life, in general, with very little filter. Chocolate combining with excrement probably would not sit well with those easily offended; luckily for De Lellis, Fringe attendees err on the adventurous side.

De Lellis created Gowing Up Linda while he was a student at CalArts School of Theater and has since performed the show nationally and internationally. We can only hope that this 15-minute version is testing the waters for a longer version at a future Fringe.