Ah, International Drive. The mere mention of this tourist-saturated district evokes images of neon signs, bargain towel, t-shirt & electronics retailers and rubber-chicken dinner shows. But hidden behind the Denny’s near Señor Frogs, in an unmarked loading dock, rests DRIP, Orlando’s newest, permanent, avant-garde(esque), theatrical production.
So what exactly is DRIP? It’s a combination of modern dance set to rock music, infused with paint, water, sand, dramatic lighting and more.
As invited guests of DRIP on Friday, we got wet, drank the blue beer, painted ourselves and paused to chat with the Cast after the show.
What’d we think? Read on for each of our reviews.
The warning signs on the website clued me in that this would be a different kind of show. If Splash Mountain says “you will get wet”, then DRIP is spot on when it says “you will get messy”. Upon entering the bar (which serves as the stage for the first few moments of the show), audience members are encouraged to paint their clothes and themselves. I’d say the vast majority of audience members had some kind of marking on either their arms, faces or clothes.
We moved onward to the bar, where for a single purchase of a cup for $8.00, entitled you to four drinks of your choice. Beer came in four “flavors”: red, orange, yellow and blue. The theme of color is woven throughout all the elements of DRIP.
Tip: Arrive early to make the most of your drink purchase, though the bar remains open after the show in case you need to “finish up”.
The pre-show experience is as much a part of the show as the actual performance itself. Unlike a traditional night out in the theater where the show begins when the curtain rises, DRIP immerses you in the story as soon as you leave the lobby.
In one moment you’re enjoying your beer, casually conversing with friends and in another, the whole room erupts in music, dancing and splashes of colored water and… beer.
DRIP is (pardon the pun) in a constant fluid motion. Scenes move fast with unexpected surprises along the way. There’s much to “soak” in around you. The show moves from the bar to the performance floor. Sand on either side mark the spot where the audience stands. Yes, you’ll be standing during the 40-minute show, but that’s part of the design. The “fourth wall” between audience and performer is broken. You are just as much a part of the experience and can witness it from either side.
After the show audience members can return to the bar and engage with the Cast. Just because the show is over, doesn’t mean your night is. Approachable, friendly and down-to-earth, the whole cast made time to meet their fans, take photos and share what it’s really like rolling in the sand every night.
DRIP is different, and if you’re not accustomed to watching theater that goes beyond the norm, you may find yourself saying. “what is this?”.
It’s not a musical, rock concert, dance recital or art exhibit. It’s just different, and that’s the magic of it.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew of DRIP but I didn’t know what to expect, which is why my friends looked bewildered when I showed up in nice jeans and a cute button shirt. Hey, we were on I-Drive and wanted to look nice! After much insecurity and waffling, I stripped to my undershirt and vowed to buy a new pair of jeans.
Note: There is a complimentary coat check, so don’t worry about having to leave everything in your car.
Since I didn’t know what to expect, I decided to be that person who is just going to dive headfirst. I painted my arms, tried all colors of the beer and soaked in everything as much as I could.
I won’t give away too many details of the show, but go with an open mind. Everyone involved with the production, from the dancers, to the band to Marika, have poured their hearts into the performance and it’s contagious. You can’t help but to be swept up into their world and want to get dirty with them. The dirtier you get, the more fun you’ll have – I promise.
In the midst of all the chains and gaudy merchandise shops, DRIP has given I-Drive a breath of fresh, and colored, air.
For More Reviews
DRIP has been getting rave reviews in the local, Orlando blog-o-sphere. Want to read more? Check out these reviews from:
The Daily City – I-Drive Scores Orlando’s Newest Cultural Gem: DRIP
analog artist Digital World – DRIP Splashes onto International Drive
thisfloridalife - Dripping with Artistry: Orlando’s Newest Live Show “DRIP”
CitySurfing Orlando - New to I-Drive: DRIP Offers Fun Interactive Artistic Dance Show
Pulse of Central Florida – DRIP
Tickets can be purchased online and at a discount if purchased in advance. On the evening we went, the demographic ranged from locals to tourists and college-aged to nearly retired. As long as you’re over 21, DRIP’s appeal is wide.
The dance numbers may linger for just a minute or two too long and get a bit “dance-y” at times, but the sheer risk that was taken in producing such a different show with mixed media is commendable. Orlando needs more places like this. Places that challenge you to think beyond the bounds of what’s customary, familiar and easy.
If you’re ready to expand your definition of art, theater and dance, and have an open mind and adventurous spirit to try something new, DRIP is for you. But if you like the same old predictable night out, DRIP will leave you dry. At only 12 weeks old, DRIP needs our community’s support to grow and thrive.
*DRIP provided us with complimentary tickets to the show, but our opinions remain our own.
Have you been to DRIP? What did you think? Sound off in the comments.