Fringe review: ‘Ironhead: Quest for the Ring of the Dark Evil Lord of Evil Darkness,’ Quiet Desperation Productions, Orlando
By Elizabeth Maupin
You can divide the audience for Ironhead right down the middle – those who grew up obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons, and those, like me, who have never willingly role-played in their lives. That doesn’t mean that you may not get a kick out of Ironhead if you’ve never played D&D. But I’m willing to bet there’s a lot you won’t understand.
Writer-actor Marcie Schwalm tells the story of a bunch of D&D fanatics who have gathered to spend the evening with a bong and their favorite game, only to find out that one of their number, Derek (Josh Geoghagan), who’s about to become a father, is going to give the game up. The others protest, and as so often happens they get pulled into a time-space continuum in which they become the characters they so love to play.
Schwalm’s script wavers between off-the-wall funny (I, of course, liked the grammar and usage jokes) and gratuitously vulgar: You’ll find a big audience for that at the Fringe, but it doesn’t belong in this particular show. There’s a land pirate with an invisible boat, a swell baby unicorn, the Swamp of Mild Unpleasantness and lots of references to Harry Potter. And there are fierce performances by the tall, intense Geoghagan as Ironhead (cue the sound of a clanging sword); the small, fiery Sarah Lockard as a dwarf maiden in a silver breastplate and a beard; and Chris Prueitt as a couple of dozen nemeses. D&D should be so lucky.
Remaining performances: 10:45 p.m. Thursday 5/27, 6:25 p.m. Saturday 5/29, 9 p.m. Sunday 5/30. Pink venue.