Orlando Fringe is back with a wide variety of ticketed performances, a free outdoor stage, an eclectic visual art gallery, and kids’ activities. While there’s simply too much Fringe to cover in a single article, we are doing a series of posts about this incredible Orlando event. In this sixth installment, let’s take a look at a unique magic show – filled with memorable anecdotes and deep reflections on life, love, and loss. We’re exploring Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality by Nelson Lugo!
Orlando Decoded was honored to be invited to view this awesome show full of illusions, laughter, and thoughtful contemplations. Thank you, Nelson Lugo (the writer and star performer of Cheating Death), for having us out!
What is Orlando Fringe?
Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality is playing at Orlando Fringe, a two-week theater festival focused on unjuried and uncensored works of performance art. While similar festivals exist all over the world, Orlando Fringe is the longest running event of its kind within the United States. Fringe Festivals are generally known for featuring alternative or experimental pieces of art, so you really never know what you’re going to find!
About Nelson Lugo
A New York local and first time Orlando Fringe artist, Nelson Lugo has over 25 years of performance experience. His previous projects include two other solo magic shows, puppeteer work for the Jim Henson Company, and the role of ringmaster in the Big Apple Circus. For information about future appearances or to learn more about Nelson, visit his website. You can also follow him on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates!
Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality
Performing in the intimate Yellow venue, Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality is a show about a magician’s life, his encounters with death, and how those experiences shaped his current successes. Alternating between engaging, slice-of-life anecdotes and incredible feats of illusion; Nelson is a talented entertainer with the ability to keep an audience on the edge of their seats throughout the entire 75 minute production.
Master magician and noted storyteller Nelson Lugo delivers a sometimes sad, often funny magic show that is a celebration of life and all its varied deaths. Speaking frankly about grief, sugar cookies and the science of fireworks, he uses the art of deception to reveal very human truths. With sleight-of-hand and a little charm Nelson conjures up the specter of his own death to learn that finding happiness is the most powerful magic we can create.
If you enjoy interactive shows, Cheating Death includes multiple opportunities for audience participation (both onstage and from your seat). And while I won’t give any details away, the show includes a diverse set of tricks designed to elicit a variety of reactions – such as squeamish, anxious, completely awed, and genuinely amused. Each illusion is specifically paired with its preceding story, intended to enhance the audience’s emotional responses. And let me tell you, this technique WORKS!
I ADORED this show! It was funny, shocking, thought-provoking, and best of all…relatable. Nelson shares stories that we can all understand – childhood antics, unbearable heartbreak, loss of family, and the unexpected moment we begin to heal. It’s not often that an audience is expected to confront such heavy themes during a magic show, but Nelson makes it work. The combination of raw storytelling, light-hearted humor, and unbelievable illusion weaves together in a way that leaves theater-goers feeling uplifted and recharged.
To be honest, I’m not even a huge magic show fan, but I highly recommend Cheating Death. There’s only a few shows left before the Festival ends, so don’t miss out! And I hope to see Nelson Lugo back at Fringe next year.
Tickets for Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality
Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs, & Mortality runs on select dates and times until May 29. To see a complete listing of available showtimes and to buy your ticket visit Orlando Fringe’s website.
Because 100% of the base ticket price is given directly to the respective artists, you will also need to purchase a reusable 2022 Fringe Festival button. Buttons are $10 and grant access to all the performances at this year’s event (along with an individually purchased show ticket). No matter how many productions you plan to see, you only need one button per person.
Know Before You Go
- To attend a showing of Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality, you will need to purchase both a show ticket and Fringe Button. You can buy both of these on the Orlando Fringe website.
- Parking at Orlando Fringe can be tricky. Make sure you arrive early to allow plenty of time to locate a suitable spot and travel to the show location.
- Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs & Mortality is located inside the Orlando Shakes Theater.