ORLANDO — If there’s one thing the staff at Freeline Media love, it’s Fringe.
As in, the annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival.
And since the 21st annaul Orlando Fringe Festival, which kicked off on May 16 and continues through Memorial Day on May 28, has already broken box office records and experienced more sold out shows than at any time in recent memory, the staff at Freeline Media felt it was the perfect time to launch a long-nursed ambition: the Freeline Media Best of Fab Fringe reader’s choice picks. Since it seems like more than half of Central Florida has been to Fringe this year — selling out shows, scrambling for parking near Loch Haven Park, relaxing in the beer tent or finding things to do at Kids Fringe, Freeline Media is inviting readers to cast their vote for the best shows this year in seven different categories.
Since Freeline Media has already reviewed several of the shows, so this online magazine is well aware of the diverse talent on display this year. The Fringe continues to attract first rate artistic talent from across the globe, and Fringe gives them an opportunity to showcase that here in Orlando.
Freeline Media, it should be noted, is a product of parent company Freeline Productions LLC, which was founded in November 2008 to produce an original play by Michael W. Freeman, called “Hooked,” a dark comedy that starred Kevin Kriegel (currently performing in ”Mitzy Morris in Dazzled to Death!” at the Fringe’s Brown Venue in the Lowndes Shakespeare Theatre.)
A year later, Freeline Productions made a return to Fringe with the comedy ”Copping a Craigie,” starring Michael Colavolpe (also performing in “Dazzled”). That was in May 2010, and five months later, Freeline Productions launched Freeline Media as an online magazine providing full news coverage of Central Florida, including theater reviews and coverage of the 2011 and now 2012 Fringe Festivals.
The festival’s executive producer, Michael Marinaccio, has told Freeline Media that he fully expects this weekend to be perhaps the busiest and most crowded in Fringe history. If that’s the case, we want to hear from our readers and find out what they loved most at the Fringe. Take a moment, and write to us, and let us know what shows you think should be ranked the best in the following categories:
1. Best Comedy (Did you laugh a lot? And why?)
2. Best dramatic piece (Did it tug at your heartstrings?)
3. Best ”message” play (and why — what was the message?)
4. Best variety show (comedy/music/dance mix)
5. Best one-person show
6. Best family-friendly show (no parental wincing at naughty humor)
7. Best mature (stick with adult audiences) show (hide the kids!)
Seven categories, seven ways to vote. The Freeline Media staff will be tallying up the voting, which can continue through Thursday, May 31, to allow more people to reflect a bit on what they liked about Fringe — and to take the time to let their voices be heard.
On the opening day of this year’s Fringe Festival, Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan noted the important cultural and artistic contributions that Fringe has made to the city over the years. Marinaccio noted the unique opportunity that Fringe provides to gifted artists who might otherwise never find an audience for their writing, directing, acting and musical compositions.
Freeline Media agrees, which is why this up-and-coming online magazine is using this year’s Fringe to invite readers to say everything from “Wow, I loved it!” to “Amazing show!” to “Somebody has to bring this back long after Fringe is over — revival time!” Cast your votes as well, in those select categories. And if you hate those seven categories, come up with one of your own.
But write to us now, and have your say on all greats things, Fringe!
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.