Fringe review: ‘Five Minute Professor’

Five Minute Professor, OCS Productions, Orlando. Yellow venue, 52 minutes, $10. (Discounts: Students, Five Minute University faculty, Philips Phile listeners, tea drinkers and red-headed Lithuanians.)

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

Bill Keevan

I learned something from the Five Minute Professor:

Something that works for five minutes doesn’t always stand for being stretched out to nearly an hour.

Dog Powered Robot, of course, has proved me wrong. But Five Minute Professor, Bill Keevan’s weekly segment on the WTKS-FM radio show The Philips Phile, runs into a hurdle or two in trying to translate itself to 52 minutes at the Fringe.

Keevan clearly knows some stuff: His mini-lectures at one performance this week were on iced tea and Japanese-American internment. (I can explain the first topic better than the second: Keevan also owns a tea shop in Altamonte Springs.) His Latin motto is all to the good. Translated, more or less, it’s “learn something, damn it.”

And the accompanying slides, the work of his Rollins theater-major son Erik, can be pretty funny. When the elder Keevan pontificates that Americans don’t bother to learn their history, the lesson on the big screen at stage left says “You’re a horrible person.”

But none of it is pithy enough — or witty enough — to hold your attention for very long. I was glad to learn the word antepenultimate, meaning the third from the end. But I suspect that the word, like much of this show, will wind up very soon in the black hole of all the stuff I used to remember.

Remaining shows:
Thursday May 26, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday May 28, noon
Sunday May 29, 5 p.m.

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