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Live Active Cultures

In which Seth bids adieu to Brian Feldman

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It isn’t often I go to Orlando International Airport without getting on or off a plane, but again, anything for Feldman. His final planned Orlando appearance was Saturday night’s three performances of Under the Covers at the airport Hyatt. Or, should I say, non-appearance, as the show consisted of Brian in a hotel bed, singing audience-requested songs while writhing beneath the sheets like a hyperactive shmoo.

I attended the 6:30 p.m. show, and arrived at the hotel to find Brian’s swanky balcony suite decked out with a formally attired bartender serving beer and color-changing lights that could be seen from the airport security concourse. A tuxedoed Steve Merritt tickled the ivories through an eclectic 45-minute set that ranged from “Working in a Coal Mine” (requested by writer Al Pergande) to “Right Here Waiting” (for his mom). Feldman fulfilled both my musical requests (“The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room” and “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” by the Sherman brothers), then emerged after the show wrapped in a sweaty bedsheet for final farewells.

As we exited, I chatted with the elderly couple who sat in front of me. It was their first-ever experience with United Arts’ ArtsFest (which sponsored free tickets to the show), and they had no prior preparation for Brian’s brand of bizarreness. “I figured either he was a dwarf, or has a unique sense of humor,” remarked the gentleman as they shuffled away. I couldn’t compose a better epitaph for one of Orlando’s most unique arts exports. Good luck, D.C.!

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