Orlando Fringe Begins!

Last night was the first day of shows for the 2008 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, and I must say the Fringe has got a lot of great stuff going on! So many wonderful shows, both from Orlando regulars and some new folks as well - there’s even a show that takes place in the women’s bathroom! No matter what happens at this year’s festival, you’ll be sure to find daily updates at http://www.bloggingfringe.com

First thing you’ll notice is that the size of “The Green” has about tripled in size, with the Beer Tent remaining the center of attention. Because of the Fringe Membership drive and the special treatment for VIP members, beer/wine tickets are now $4 each, but I’ve seen some folks getting $1 off with their badges.

I saw Voci Dance’s “Perfectly Broken” at the Red (outdoor) Venue at the Orlando Shakes (the old beer tent location, and I think this is such a great use of this space! Even if the conflicts with the Orlando REP are resolved next year, I still would love to see this extra venue stick around or replace the old Red Venue, which was so tiny and hard to find.

Voci didn’t disappoint either, with an all-new show - lots of solos, more dance pieces that tell short stories over the course of two or three pieces, a live two-piece band and some really amazing dancing. I also liked the “Vocitini” table they had set up outside.

Some cool things to check out are Tod Caviness’ Poetry Vending Machine - $5 gets you a custom-written poem by one of the poets in residence. Also check out the Saturday night Poetry Smackdown events.

Another interesting addition is the Digi-Dada Theatre - Mark Biddle from The Office Art Gallery has written a series of short skits for Fringe Patrons to perform on camera in his mini-TV studio at the Shakes Fest, and he will be compiling the clips into a longer surreal piece to show off sometime soon.

Check out both Tod and Mark talking up their respective projects over at bloggingfringe.com/category/video/

I also went to the opening night of Gemma Wilcox’s “Shadows in Bloom”, which feels like a prequel to last year’s “The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over”. I’d like to ask Gemma and see what she has to say about this. Lots more characters, and lots more Gemma!

We are just getting started, but there is one more thing I’d like to mention - anyone and everyone has the ability to get their 15 minutes in this year, thanks to Blogging Fringe. I will be syndicating blogs - it’s simple and you get to keep all the publicity! Just send me a link to your blog or your blog’s feed - I’ll filter out posts that mention the Fringe Festival and re-post them to Blogging Fringe. When people check out the most recent posts on the site or do a search, they’ll see your posts, but when they click the links, they are directed to your blog, so you get to keep all the comments and maybe make some new friends in the process. Contact me through www.BloggingFringe.com or MySpace/Facebook to get listed as a Contributor.

Last but not least, come join the Florida Creatives on Monday for a visit to the beer tent and some socializing - we’ll be there from 6PM until 7:30, then we’ll head to the Shakes for Barry Smith’s show, American Squatter.

Hope to see you all out at Loch Haven Park this week! Happy Fringe!

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