Review: 'Goodbye' - 2019 Orlando FringeOrlando Sentinel — Matthew J. Palm Orlando Sentinel
May 15--At the 2018 Fringe, playwright John Mark Jernigan brought us "Hello," a smartly written show that captured not only the mood of the nation but the nagging self-doubt that lives within each of us.
There are echoes of that work in Jernigan's latest, titled "Goodbye" and directed by Chris Crawford, the star of "Hello." Jernigan is still interested in transforming self-doubt to self-belief and making every moment count. But where "Hello" was beautiful in its simplicity -- a single actor delivering a laser-sharp monologue -- "Goodbye" goes for a high-concept approach of overlapping stories. Possibly too high-concept; you might find yourself trying to piece together who is who and what's going on, rather than absorbing the words.
Grounding this mediation on guilt, expectations and choices is T. Robby Pigott, who engages the audience with a twinkle in his eye and an earnestness of spirit. Meghan Coleen Moroney provides gravitas as what some would call "the voice of reason" -- Pigott's sister, who wants him home for an important family event.
But Pigott and Moroney's story is constantly interrupted for two other tales that just don't engage in the same way, though Lauren Culver is funny as a new and overwhelmed mother. And as time goes on, the dialogue sounds more overwrought, not more heartfelt as presumably intended.
Fringe Factor: As in "Hello," Anthony R. Smith's original music appealingly helps sets the mood.
Curtain Call: The best parts of "Goodbye" are the bits about scuba diving, the passion of Pigott's character. The comparisons between diving and life -- the importance of each breath -- can be poetic. But much of the rest of "Goodbye" feels like swimming in circles.
Venue: Green. Length: 60 minutes. Rating: 13 & Up. Tickets: $12.00.
-- May 16, 7:45pm
-- May 18, 3:30pm
-- May 20, 7:15pm
-- May 22, 5:30pm
-- May 23, 10:00pm
-- May 25, 3:30pm
-- May 26, 1:00pm
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