"I've learned that there are a lot of interesting people out there."
That's among the many, many observations offered by Kate O'Neal in her one-woman show "Well…Since You Asked!"
O'Neal, who showcases skills as a comedian, singer and dramatic performer in a fast-paced hour, obviously has met more than her share of interesting characters. Her stories encompass colorful relatives (a 70-year-old grandmother who sings at the Moose Lodge), fun in the workplace and the perils of raising children.
Did we ask about this stuff?
Well, apparently someone did, because O'Neal keeps fishing slips of paper with questions out of a fish bowl to cue her monologues: What's the secret to beauty? Tell us about your singing career? What's the difference between men and women?
O'Neal answers with jokes or songs. "Dancing is a mating ritual," she offered in response to one query. "Just skip the ritual and go straight to the mating."
The singing career? Turns out that O'Neal once sang in a country band, Showdown, and proved it by launching into a spot-on, twang-powered "Silver Threads and Golden Needles."
Raising kids? She once solved disagreements between her youngsters by ordering them to argue in cockney accents. Supposedly, it worked.
On stage, it certainly generated laughs, but not everything was funny. O'Neal impressively shifted the show into serious territory with an unexpected revelation about one of her darkest moments. That story segued into a lovely "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
In such moments, one couldn't have asked for more.
60 minutes, Brown Venue, $8; Orlando Fringe Festival official page.