ED FRINGE: Lizard Boy – Golden Balloon Patter Hoose, Edinburgh

Book, music and lyrics: Justin Huertas

Director: Brandon Ivie

Being drenched in dragon’s blood can’t be good for you, surely? Think about how smudged it must be to begin with. But that’s precisely what happened to Trevor, and a few other classmates, when he was a young boy. Twenty years later – his skin vibrant green, scaly and tactile – Trevor finds himself at the one place anyone can find love: Grindr.

But that’s where the most dangerous, thrilling, and legendary journeys come from…right?

Venturing from the land of the free to the cobblestones of Edinburgh, Justin Huertas’ Lizard Boy has come a long way to emerge at this year’s Fringe Festival. With performances in the US and races in Manchester, the story of a young man coming to terms with who he is and the queer culture he wants to be a part of is a touching musical with plenty of imagination and well-tuned writing. .

Bare, Lizard Boy the time spent in the golden balloon looks less grand than it should be – with the bright colors and comic book styles all but removed for this scaled-down production. So what’s left? Well luckilyLizard Boy contains everything it needs to satisfy audiences in its voice, cast, and storyline.

Alternating cast members between American and British company, tonight’s performance found the audience thrilled to find the original American trio back on stage once again. With upbeat ukuleles, piano, guitar solos and even a kazoo or two, the show’s instrumentals and sound design are a major selling point, its musical numbers are often cited as the best part of the show’s production. writer and performer Huertas. And it’s hard to disagree. Together he, Trevor and William A. Williams make a cute pair of Grindr connections confused over the wording of ‘looking for now’, finding themselves trapped in an adventure after spotting a poster for a bar, where the singer on the cover seems to be in Trevor’s dreams lately.

Kirsten from Lohr Helland is simply terrifying. And that’s a compliment. Brash, and makes a sadistically likeable antagonist in rock singer and whiskey tanker Siren – and with a name like that, pipes better live up to expectations. And boy, do they. His rock battles with Huertas are great tension builders, with the duo’s vocal talents different enough to harmonize, but showcase both.

Elements of Lizard Boy Fringe’s performance feels like it’s had its once mighty wings clipped somewhat, and while it doesn’t soar as high as it should, Huertas’ Lizard Boy still breathes fire and rock in the Edinburgh crowds. An endearing story of self-love and acceptance, which channels furious energy through its reptilian veins.

Until August 28, 2022