Orlando International Fringe Festival Picks and Previews

Orlando International Fringe Festival Picks and Previews brought to you by guest contributor John DiDonna of Central Florida Theatre in Process

That time of year again is upon us where for the next two weeks theater flourishes amongst multiple venues in Orlando. Centered around Loch Haven Park, and stretching to offsite venues, the Orlando International Fringe Festival has – in its 24th year – proven to be one of the largest and most popular Fringe festivals in the nation if not the world.

On Wednesday May 13th the ribbon cutting ceremony (featuring Mayor Buddy Dyer and Commissioner Patty Sheehan) gave us the start to 2015’s Festival.

So what does the festival have to offer? So many diverse picks that it is almost impossible to encapsulate what it is other than an amazing performing arts experience. Here are a sampling of this year’s shows and events for you! Some will transcend, some will offend, some will illuminate, some will leave you laughing for hours, and some may leave you scratching your heads – but ALL will entertain! (For ratings please visit their sites or for more information or in the event of missing links… (no pun intended) please visit:  www.orlandofringe.org

ALULA – An Epic Fantasy Adventure — Storyteller “Country Joe” Rosier “ALULA” travels the fantasy world and encounters earthlings and zombies in the wind, rain, cold, fire and brimstone from the desert heat to the frozen peaks and the ocean depths. Written and performed by Five Year Fringe veteran Storyteller “Country Joe” Rosier 
Brown Venue Fri. 5/15 7:00 PM / Sun 5/17-4:45 PM / Tue 5/19 7:30 PM / Thur 5/21-6:00 PM / Sun 5/25- 11:15 AM General Audiencewww.joerosier.com /https://www.facebook.com/events/367824150082159/

ANNE FRANKENSTEIN – It’s an all-out blood-bath — and she’s done hiding. From the minds of Adam McCabe and Michael Knight comes a living grindhouse film that is sure to rock the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival! You’ve simply never seen anything quite like ANNE FRANKENSTEIN. Using the wonders of modern science, the infamous Anne Frank is miraculously brought back from the dead to kill off the remaining neo-Nazis in modern-day America. Along with a colorful cast of Hebrew heroes and psychotic antisemites, ‘Anne Frankenstein’ aims to be the most shocking and talked about show in Fringe history!
Orange Venue: Thursday, 5/14- 9:00pm / Sunday, 5/17- 10:00pmSaturday, 5/23- 10:00pm
Sunday, 5/24- 6:00pm | TICKETS are $10 w/ Orlando Fringe Button ($5 off with legal proof of Jewish heritage!) https://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/anne-frankenstein/dates

COSMOLYRICAL – Introducing Phil Long (Wa.) making his debut to Orlando Fringe with 3 SHOWS ONLY of COSMOLYRICAL produced by Beth Marshall’s Husband Presents. Directed by Beth Marshall. CosmoLyrical is a Dr Seuss, Carl Sagan, Bono blend of spoken word poetry with hints of Billy Sunday and an aftertaste of Wittgenstein. https://www.facebook.com/events/666923640078314/

DARK WOOD – Written by Peter McGarry. Presented by Eyewitness Theatre Company. Directed by Winnie Wenglewick. This groundbreaking play is thrilled to be part of the 2015 Orlando Fringe. Apes Strong Arm and Rico are quite comfortable living in captivity. That is, until they are put in a cage with Mbwane, a wild ape from the outside. Having been captured and experimented on, Mbwane is determined to escape and get back to his family. Meanwhile, the contented Strong Arm and Rico struggle with whether or not they should help him… or, possibly even go with him. Aped do not wear clothes, no neither to the actors. Although the nudity is bold it is not a gimmick. The story is so engaging and funny and thought provoking the audience soon sees the characters and not the nudity. https://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/dark-wood/dates

DEVIANT BEHAVIORS – Written & Performed by Winnie Wenglewick. Presented by Dangerous Theatre. unless you live under a rock, you have heard of, read or seen “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Unfortunately, this wildly popular brand does not accurately portray the world of BDSM. Deviant Behaviors offers a real world view about life as a masochist in the world of BDSM. Sometimes pain is good. Sometimes pain is a safe way to deal with all the stress that goes along with being human in today’s world. http://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/deviant-behaviors/

egg tooth – TOBO productions – Bronze venue — Ideas don’t hatch. They break free. They push, struggle, and slash their way into the light of day. They use a guitar, a camera, a pen—an egg tooth. This year, the creator of Fringe hits onomatopoeia, on the nOse, and Liquid Courage presents Egg Tooth—a feisty hybrid of live music, video, and theatrical storytelling. See what emerges.

FIELD GUIDE TO THE GAYS 2 – “We Want To Convert You!” – There IS a gay agenda! Come learn and become an #HonoraryGay at Field Guide 2!  Dive DEEPER into an ALL-NEW world of nightclubbing, activism, trans trivia, hankies and MORE! Logan Donahoo’s AWARD-WINNING, one-man, multimedia safari into the gay community is BACK with a PART TWO! “Louder, and more irreverent than ever, learn about all those things in queer culture that you were too afraid to ask about.” DO NOT MISS IT!
Wednesday, 5/13 – 10:15pm / Friday, 5/15 – 7:00pm / Saturday, 5/16 – 11:30pm Monday, 5/18 – 9:15pm / Wednesday, 5/20 – 10:30pm Friday, 5/22 – 8:30pm /  Sunday, 5/24 – 6:00pm

FROM COMO TO HOMO – Lynne Jassem.  A tale of a ten-year old struggles with life on the Perry Como Show her stage mother and gender confusion… all while tap dancing. Written and Performed by Lynne Jassem 
Red Venue – Fri. 5/15 5:30 PM /  Sun 5/17 2:30 PM / Mon 8/18: 7:30 PM / Tue 5/19 6:30 PM
Show rating: Over 12 years: mature themes http://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/from-como-to-homo/

THE GREAT SCAFLA HUNT AT FRINGE – Presented by Insomniac Theatre Company and Scavenger Tech (Ocala) at the Orlando International Fringe Festival (Orlando) Part Scavenger Hunt and Part Interactive Performance Art, the ScaFla Hunt for Glory is a week-long app-based scavenger hunt where participants complete tasks and collect memories using photos and video captured on their phones instead of finding clues or collecting items. Individuals and teams of up to ten people will find adventures, create and donate their way to the highest points earned and the chance for a prize package valued at several thousand dollars. Experience an entirely new way to engage and interact with Orlando Fringe and play to win The Great ScaFla Hunt for Glory! Pre-registration begins May 13th with The Hunt beginning May 15th and running to the 23rd. Participants can register and find out more info atwww.scafla.net
$10 to register, but free to try before you buy. Discounts available for participating Fringe Artists and Volunteers. Facebook Event: http://on.fb.me/1E2H5Fi  (Family Friendly)

HOODIES – Penguin Point Productions & BETH MARSHALL PRESENTS bring you the WORLD PREMIERE! 
Written by Paris Crayton III Directed by Beth Marshall. Join us for the 3 Part of THE TRAYVON/JORDAN PROJECT, a year-long sociopolitical look at race relations between black and white culture and the unnecessary loss of black teens in our society and own backyard. Mild language, Themes General Audience
General Admission $11 (plus ticket service charge/Fringe button) https://www.facebook.com/events/1616977445191605/

LATE WITH LANCE! – Written & Performed by Peter Michael Marino From the clown who brought you last year’s Desperately Seeking the Exit comes a brand new theatrical disaster! Meet Lance… delusionally optimistic cruise ship entertainer, musical theater fanatic and celebrity stalker. Lance’s ship is docked in Orlando, so he’s hosting a musical variety-talk show with special guests Liza Minnelli, Hugh Jackman and Miami Sound Machine. But will they show? Lance has suffered for his art. Now it’s your turn.
NEW Bronze VenueThursday, 5/14- 8:45pm / Saturday, 5/16- 10:00pm / Monday, 5/18- 8:30pm
Wednesday, 5/20- 8:30pm / Thursday, 5/21- 9:30pm / Saturday, 5/23- 9:45pm / Sunday, 5/24- 6:45pm
More stuff at www.LanceShow.com /http://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/late-with-lance/

LIFE OF THE PARTY, CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE! – presented by Central Florida Vocal Arts in the Black Venue. Love him or leave him? Live or die? Our future is in your hands! Life of the Party is a cabaret style performance that combines the best party scenes of musical theater and opera into cohesive stories and gives you the power to decide how each scene ends. Every show is different from the last and you’ll never have more fun at the opera! Fringe Performances Sat. 5/16 at 2:30 PM, Sun. 5/17 at 7:30 PM, Tues. 5/19 at 9:00 PM, Sun. 5/24 at 6:00 PM. https://www.facebook.com/events/725316914233131/

OBSESSED – Hilarious one man sketch comedy show starring John Doa Farrentine in the Purple Venue. Exploring crazy obsessions from boy bands, religion, racism to being gay. Only five performances! Featured on the cover of Watermark Magazine this week as one of the gayest shows at this year’s Fringe Festival! http://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/obsessed  /  https://www.facebook.com/events/410095072492630/

ONCE I LAUGHED – produced by Central Florida Community Arts. Inspired by the music and the lives of the Andrews Sisters. Experience true stories about Patty, LaVerne, and Maxene through the music that made them famous. Directed by Donald Rupe and backed by Heather Langs on the piano, this musical highlights the charm of the Andrews Sisters and an era that appreciated music far more than we do.
At the YELLOW VENUEWednesday, May 13, 8:30 PM /Saturday, May 16, 1:00 PM / Sunday, May 17, 5:15 PM/Tuesday, May 19, 5:30 PMThursday, May 21, 9:15 PM/Saturday, May 23, 11:30 AMSunday, May 24, 7:15 PM    TICKETS: https://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/once-i-laughed/dates

“POE” – Theatre Downtown/Orlando Fringe (Green Venue) – The return of Theatre Downtown to Orlando theatre at the Fringe! The powerful and evocative story of the last four days in the life of Edgar Allan Poe, the Master of the Macabre.
Fringe performances: Thursday 5/14 9:00p, Saturday 5/16 10:30p, Monday 5/18 9:00p, Wednesday 5/20 5:30p, Thursday 5/21 7:30p, Saturday 5/23 8:45p, Sunday 5/24 11:30a.
Tickets available online at orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/poe.

PSYCHOTHERAPY The Musical: Yellow Venue: Friday, 5/15- 9:30pm Saturday, 5/16- 11:30am Sunday, 5/17- 9:00pmMonday, 5/18- 6:00pm


THE REPUBLIC – Immersive theater meets gaming in this innovative performance experience. Step into a themed world, interacting with intriguing characters while taking on an important role in this conflicted society. Your decisions dictate the story’s end. You will be watched, deceived – and even touched. Inspired by Greek mythology, “Metropolis,” and Plato’s writings. Become part of our “beta test.” 
Location: BYOV @ 1427 Alden Rd, NEXT to the BLACK VENUE
Thursday 5/14 @ 8pm / Friday 5/15 @ 7:30pm & 10pm /Thursday 5/21 @ 8pm / Friday 5/22 @ 7:30pm & 10pm /Saturday 5/23 @ 7:30 & 10pm
Tickets are $11 with Fringe Button, available at:https://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/the-republic/dates

ROBYN DA HOOD: A Rap Musical – From the creators of last years Fringe hit “Jekyll N Hyde” comes a new twist on a classic tale! SAK Theatre Company is proud to present its brand new hip-hop musical, Robyn Da Hood! The people of Nottingham are being overtaxed by a tyrant sheriff and a wimpy prince and there’s only one person who can stop them: Robyn Hood! With her “Merry Maids” and Lil John by her side, Robyn faces off against evil in this hilarious new show that flips the classic tale upside down. 
With catchy rap songs by Jordan “Heir Jordan” Keyes and a cast of SAK and Orlando favorites, this show is sure to be a delight for audiences of all ages. Written by: Chris Dinger, Lindsay Taylor, Mike Carr
Music by: Jordan Keyes Directed by: Mike Carr
The Orange Venue SHOWTIMES: Sat., 5/16 @ 12:45pmSun., 5/17 @ 7:00pm / Mon., 5/18 @ 7:00pm / Wed., 5/20 @ 9:45pm /Sat., 5/23 @ 6:15pm / Sun., 5/24 @ 2:00pm
Tickets: $10 with Fringe Buttonhttp://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/robyn-da-hood-a-rap-musical/

 – David Lee, whose previous Orlando International Fringe hits include: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Thom Pain (based on nothing), will star in the provocative solo show such as what you can find at  SexCelebrity website. SEX, DRUGS, ROCK & ROLL by OBIE-award winning writer Eric Bogosian. With a biting wit, the show comments on the larger social issues and the self-delusion and anxiety endemic to modern life, in a one-person format, for a penetrating theatrical experience. This non-stop tour through some oddball minds enjoyed a lengthy run Off-Broadway. “Clever and often devastating…. Spiky, stinging, caustic without cauterizing … and funny.”- New York MagazineSEX DRUGS ROCK & ROLL is produced by Margaret Nolan and award-winning Fringe veteran Kangagirl Productions 
Pink Venue: Saturday 5/16 @10:30 PM Sunday 5/17 @5:30 PM Tuesday 5/19 @10:30 PM Thursday 5/21 @9:00 PM /Sunday 5/24 @3:15 PM Tickets: $11

SHAKESBEER – FWP Productions invites Fringers to belly up to the bar for a FREE, lightning-fast adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet.’ The interactive, three-person show takes place four times during the festival at The Thirsty Topher on Sunday, May 17 at 11:30 p.m.; Wednesday, May 20 at 11:30 p.m.; Friday, May 22 at 9:30 p.m.; and Saturday, May 23 at 12:00 a.m.https://www.facebook.com/events/1396248157365882/

THE STIMULATORS – a medical-murder-mystery-sex-comedy. A seedy neighborhood. In a university lab, a doctor experiments to control the minds of criminally violent and mentally challenged patients. In local night clubs, exotic dancers are being murdered. What is the connection? Larry Stallings (winner of the 2009 DailyCity.com award for Best Original Play for “The Shaeffer Killing”) teams with writer Dr. Tony Sterling to explore the possibilities. 
BROWN VENUE / $11.00 (plus Fringe Button) / Rated Mature (partial nudity)
SCHEDULE: Friday, May 15 10:45 pm / Saturday, May 16 6:00 pm / Sunday, May 17 9:00 pm / Wednesday, May 20 11:00 pm /Thursday, May 21 11:15 pm / Saturday, May 23 7:15 pm
Sunday, May 24 10:15 pm

STREISAND: THE GREATEST STAR – LIKE BUTTAH! – Carla DelVillaggio produced by Main Event Entertainment and starring award-winning Streisand tribute artist Carla DelVillaggio is back at the Orlando Fringe for 7 shows! The New York Post said she is “The next best thing to seeing STREISAND herself” and the Orlando Sentinel raved “…she has the superstar nailed, not only in her remarkable vocals, but in her patter, manner, giggles and gowns. She’s in the Babs zone!” From the hair down to the trademark nails, she is Simply Streisand in every way. This dynamic one-woman show is a multi-media celebration of the greatest songs from the Streisand songbook.

GOLD  VENUE https://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/streisand-the-greatest-star/dates

TELL ME ON A SUNDAY – Orlando’s own Sarah-Lee Dobbs brings her British best to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s acclaimed one-woman song cycle about an English girl’s pursuit of love from the UK to Manhattan to LA! Sarah’s talents are complimented by Musical Director, Chris Leavy & Director, Laurel Clark in a show the telegraph (UK) calls, “a Golden Hour.”
Pink Venue: $11 (+svc. Charge) Rating: 13+  https://www.facebook.com/events/639600992851079/

TOMMY KOOL PRESENTS: KINDNESS GETS A BAD RAP! – In the ’90s, this young rapper was after your hearts. 20 years later: He’s after your kids! Join the artist Entertainment Bi-Weekly called, “Creatively Comatose” during 3rd Period for a one-of-a-kind, multi-media, interactive, hip hop extravaganza, teaching students the value of kindness and rising above bullying. You won’t wanna miss Tommy Kool! (because attendance is mandatory for all grade levels).
GREEN VENUE: Friday, 5/15 – 10:30PM / Sunday, 5/17 – 8:45PM / Monday, 5/18 – 7:15PM
Wednesday, 5/20 – 11:00PM / Saturday, 5/23 – 5:00PM TICKETS: ONLY $7 (with Fringe button)


THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR BEAR – Presented by Orlando Furioso! Troubled kiddie-show host Dr Bear, a life-size grizzly puppet, spends a night in a cheap motel room on Lee Road trying to connect with a sexy massage therapist and evade a menacing detective. With nudity and puppetry!
The Orlando Sentinel called the original 2001 production a “hilarious, self-aware spoof.” 
YELLOW VENUE – SCHEDULE: Friday May 15: 11pm /Saturday May 16: 9pm Sunday May 17: 10:30pm Tuesday May 19: 9:15pm  / Thursday May 21: 11:15pm / Saturday May 23: 9pm / Sunday May 24: 11pm 
Tickets $11 (with Fringe button) http://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/the-torture-chamber-of-dr-bear/

THE TRICKY PART – by Martin Moran A Southeast US Premiere, presented by John Peros Casting in assoc. with GianniQuest IndustriesA true story of sexuality, spirituality, and the mystery of the human experience. Moran’s 2004 Obie Award winner for Best Play is a riveting, funny, and surprising journey through the complexities of boyhood, manhood, Catholicism, desire, trespass and forgiveness. Featuring John E. Palmer, directed by Mark Edward Smith. “A translucent memoir of a play… shattering.” – NY Times. “Powerful.” – NY Post. “Artful storytelling, able to touch deeply the hearts of listeners.” – Variety. “Surprising and moving! Startling, marvelously told.” – NT Newsday
BLUE Venue – 13+ SHOWTIMES: Th 5/14 – 10 pm / Sa 5/16 – 10:15pm / Su 5/17 – 12:30pm
Mon 5/18 – 8:45pm / Wed 5/20 – 6pm / Th 5/21 – 9:45pm / Su 5/24 – 7:15pm
Tickets: $11 plus Fringe button

UNCOUTH – Windy Wynazz’s “UnCouth” (Oakland, CA) Co-Created and Directed by Dan Griffiths. Co-Created and Starring Windy Wynazz. The endearingly maladroit Wynazz has the taste for ShowBiz and fantasizes about her impending international acclaim. A natural, however, she is not. Through acrobatics, audience play, and general merriment, she ultimately finds and defines her own success. This show is “driven by her zany energy!” (New Orleans Gambit) and has critics raving: “Funniest woman I’ve seen in a long time… the future of theatre is in good hands.” (Bay Area Dance Watch)

PINK VENUE: Schedule: Wednesday 5/13- 8:45pm Saturday, 5/16- 3:00pm Sunday, 5/17- 9:15pm Tuesday, 5/19- 7:00pm Friday, 5/22- 11:15pm Saturday, 5/23- 9:45pm Sunday, 5/24- 5:45pm Run time: 60 minutes Rating PG 13 Pricing: $10 with one-time $9 Fringe button purchase.https://www.facebook.com/events/803786833038212/www.windywynazz.comhttps://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/uncouth/dates


THE WAIT LIST MURDERS – Is a homicidal maniac trying to murder his way up the wait list into a performing slot in the Orlando Fringe? Hey, people have killed for less! (Not much less, but still…) Hilarious comedy with an all-star cast. From Steve Schneider, writer/creator of 2014 smash hit “Escape From Baldwin Park,” and directed by Laurel Clark, Show Director, Sleuths MDS.
In the GREEN VENUE:Thursday, 5/14- 11:00pm / Saturday, 5/16- 8:45pm / Sunday, 5/17- 10:30pm
Wednesday, 5/20- 9:15pm / Friday, 5/22- 5:30pm / Saturday, 5/23- 7:00pm / Sunday, 5/24- 10:45pm
$10 (with Fringe button) TICKETS:https://orlandofringe.ticketleap.com/the-wait-list-murders/dates

–  John DiDonna