Watching Orlando Baxter perform is like sitting down with your favourite teacher again: you hang on his every word. He’s levelheaded, devastatingly clever, and above all, brutally honest.
Baxter has a voice that is ripe for growth and success, the only question is how fast and how far.
Suspensions, Detentions and Summer Vacations is a collection of the most ridiculous anecdotes from his 12 year teaching career, each one a perfectly compact and satisfyingly hilarious glimpse into the minds of teenage troublemakers and weirdos. Baxter also touches on the defining moments that made him want to become a teacher himself, and how that changed the course of his life forever.
Baxter has charisma to spare, and even with the lulls that come with a classically small fringe audience, he manages to win back them back and again with the strength of his writing. Each of his jokes played out a perfect scene, visually clear and entirely accessible— by the end I couldn’t stop thinking about how badly I wanted to see his set translated to a television series or movie.
Stories from working as the in-school isolation teacher were a wonderful reminder of the thought process of teens: everything from determining the punishment for in-class fellatio to exactly why the dress code doesn’t allow for pajama pants. His unique and endearing perspective turned even the more mundane, bureaucratic moments of his employment, like fire drills and physical restraint training, into wonderful and funny adventures that made for a thoroughly entertaining hour. You leave the room in admiration of both his talent and authenticity.
Though his set has some dead weight that could be trimmed down, the payoff was consistently well worth it. The story about meeting his father for the first time was a particular highlight, and summarily provided insight into his life and perspective. Baxter has a voice that is ripe for growth and success, the only question is how fast and how far.