Death of a Dandelion - Orlando Fringe Festival

Death of a Dandelion - Orlando Fringe Festival

Performed by JJ Ivey

One Person shows are always going to be hard. On the surface Death of a Dandelion shouldn't work- a One Person show with someone playing multiple ages in a thick accent sounds like hell- but then the show begins and JJ slowly invites you into the world of Mama Judy. 

Equal parts love letter and documentary, Death of a Dandelion tells the story of JJ's grandmother at various stages of her life and her love of gardening. The various stages of her life portrayed in anecdotes centering around flowers and garments is a simple tool, but is ultimately effective to diving deep into the mind of this woman. 

From the stories they tell, Mama Judy seems lovely. You can feel the sense of reverence that JJ carries for their grandmother, and the love that she shares for them. You can get a sense of their own struggles between their faith and their family and the journeys that lead them to become who they are today. 

Over the course of the show, you find out many family stories that feel like you're diving into a very deep, rich and personal history. A beautiful tapestry of anecdotes that remind me of experiences that I, and many others, will be able to relate to in ways that make us long for the relationships and experiences we've lost. The entire experience is a sweet, beautiful teabag of a show that infuses every part of the viewer with a calm, warm fuzzy feeling that feels like nostalgia. 

In a Fringe scene that can typically be too much, or over bloated, or just downright chaotic- Death of a Dandelion offers a simple, true to life story of a woman and her life. It shows that sometimes the simplest concepts and ideas can have big outcomes. 


  • Mama Judy is a great character played with great affection and respect by her offspring
  • Storytelling is very strong
  • JJ has an effortless way about them onstage - great talent and wonderful poise
  • Hearing Mama Judy at the end (she's still here!) was very poignant


  • Stage is cluttered and a bit over designed for something that could be just as effectively done with a few simple flowers in a single vase
  • Passage of time is muddled and not always clear
  • Makes me miss my grandmother
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