ORLANDO – The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, and this year the nearly three-week long festival will feature the largest line-up of shows in its history.
The Orlando Repertory Theater has a huge main stage that is serving as the Silver venue for Fringe, and it’s ideal for, say, a musical with plenty of dance numbers and a large cast. It’s appropriate, then, that the musical “On The Line” is being performed there for Fringe. It follows the story of Jack, a director of Broadway musicals.
This original play is being directed by veteran actor and director Paul Castaneda, the artistic director of the Greater Orlando Actors Theater. Freeline Media asked Paul about how the show was going.
FM: You’ve directed some first rate musicals in the past, from “Aida” to “Spring Awakening.” How is this production different from some of the past musicals you’ve worked on?
Paul: Well, first off, it is an original piece written by the brilliant Juan Cantu, who wrote and directed the award-winning “Bless Me Father For I Have Danced.” In addition, I am getting the opportunity to work with some extremely talented Equity (and non) performers from our theme parks, something that I don’t often get a chance to do for logistical reasons. And, of course, I get to work with the insanely talented Eric Yow!
FM: In telling the story of musicals director Jack, does this show pay homage to Broadway — or Hollywood — of the past?
Paul: It pays homage to some of Broadway’s best. Think Fosse … think Jerome Robbins … Yeah, that’s enough of a tease for ya!
FM: The show sounds like a kind of “Best Of Broadway.” Does it have that feel?
Paul: Absolutely not, actually. It features some jaw dropping musical numbers, but this show has a terrific story to tell with all the nuance and heart we can cram into an hour!
FM: How did you come to be the director of this show?
Paul: Eric Yow, who I worked with on a Fringe show years ago, approached me about working with him on this and I jumped at the opportunity.
FM: Musicals are a popular item at Fringe this year. Tell us why audiences definitely don’t want to miss this one.
Paul: If you want to see Broadway-caliber musical theater numbers, a touching script and some of Orlando — and the country’s — best performers…do not miss this show!
“On The Line” is being performed in the Silver Venue on the following dates:
* Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m.
* Saturday, May 21 at at 2 p.m.
* Sunday, May 22 at 8:15 p.m.
* Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m.
* Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m.
* Sunday, May 29 at 11:30 a.m.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..