Fringe review: ‘Stayin’ Alive’

Stayin’ Alive, the Downtowners from Orlando Lutheran Towers, Orlando. Brown venue, 60 minutes, $10. (The show is billed as 60 minutes but actually runs about 50 minutes.)

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

Most uplifting show at the Fringe? It has to be Stayin’ Alive, the musical revue/sing-along performed by the Downtowners, a group of 70- to 95-year-olds from Orlando Lutheran Towers.

There’s a tendency to exploit the cuteness factor in a bunch of seniors singing rock, and if I were a Downtowner I wouldn’t care for it when musical director Tim Hanes likened handling my group to dealing with children’s theater.

But the Downtowners mostly avoid that trap: They’re too with it to be patronized. There’s not a huge amount of musicality here, although some of the soloists show flair, and the unidentified woman who sings “Orange-Colored Sky” is terrific. But they’re having such a good time that it doesn’t matter.

Some of the Downtowners dance better than I do; way more of them know the words to Lada Gaga’s “Poker Face” than I do. In the doo-wop number “Sh-Boom,” one of the women onstage swivels her hips way better than I do.

And I can only aspire to the sense of humor that’s alive and kicking among these folks. When someone in the audience asked if we should get up to sing along with “YMCA,” Hanes replied that we were welcome to stand. Then came a mock-plaintive question from the stage: “Can we sit down?”

Absolutely. You deserve it.

Remaining shows:
5/19 THU 6PM
5/21 SAT 1:40PM
5/23 MON 7:40PM
5/26 THU 5:30PM
5/28 SAT 11:30AM
5/29 SUN 2:20PM

3 responses to “Fringe review: ‘Stayin’ Alive’

  1. MYRON BLATTNER

    What a refreshing, cute, uplifting, feel good, adorable, sweet show. I have never seen Lady Gaga, Madonna maybe once or twice, the Village People I knew the best. I certainly relate to their ages, and loved their spunk. I don’t know if it is possible, but wouldn’t it be great if they won the Blue Venue!

  2. MYRON BLATTNER

    NOTE – NOTE – Sorry, that should be the Brown Venue!

  3. Lori McCaskill

    I am taking my Mommy and Daddy to see this Saturday. They are very excited!

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