By Jaimz Dillman
The Orlando International Fringe Festival brings an opportunity for artists all over the world to submit unjuried and unjudged works to be performed over two weeks at Lock haven Park. This is a perfect setting for something new and different like David Lee’s Bullock and the Bandits.
This past year, the show premiered to rave reviews even garnering some awards at the end of the fest. Lee says of his creation, “During Covid, I thought about things I wanted to do when lockdown was over. Creating a band was one of my top priorities.”
Lee leads his group of compatriots including several different singers and a fully armed band of brothers.
The setting of an old hotel in the Wild West lent perfectly to ghost stories from its inhabitants. “I've always been fascinated by the history of Deadwood in South Dakota. It's one of the top Ghost Hunting Destinations in the country.” says Lee. “I did some research on some Wild West Bandits and Icons and decided to put the ghosts of some of them inside The Bullock Hotel which is allegedly already haunted.“
Audiences were definitely tapping their toes to a mix of songs that most already knew. Lee explained, “I started putting together a playlist of some of my favorite radio music from my childhood. Stuff that used to play on the radio in the car with my Mom driving. Then I added a little contemporary rock and R&B.”
Backed by a killer band (no pun intended) The band themselves take on their own personas with quotes from their long-since departed inspirations such as The Sundance Kid and Cherokee Bill. The stand out is definitely 2022 Fringe Critic’s Choice Best Musician-winning guitar and piano player Matt Lynx. He has such a cool persona on stage that you wonder how he’s so talented for such a young kid.
Going into October just seemed like a perfect time to continue the story with a rotating cast of new members and characters to bring to life on stage once again with intriguing tales and songs. The faces may change but the message from Lee is still the same. “I've recently lost my uncle and multiple friends. The entire Orlando community has suffered so much loss over the last few years so I also wanted to create a show that was about honoring that. Honoring friends that are no longer with us through music and celebrating the friendships that were and always will be so important to so many people.”
Using the new Renaissance Theater space only lent to the ambiance as the theater itself is currently producing Nosferatu and the blood-splattered stage was the perfect setting for the bandits of the Bullock hotel.
Lee says there’s definitely more to tell in the future incarnation of the show, “We hope to return to the fringe next year with a whole new show! New music and new guest stars and ghosts!”
So while this round of shows may have its last performance on October 19th, keep your eyes open for future dates, these bandits will ride again.
Tickets are available here: https://rentheatre.ticketspice.com/bullock-and-the-bandits