Some Tasty Monsters look back at the Falkland during the Fringe

falklands orlando fringe

Tasty Monster Productions is bringing their show “Falklands” to the Orlando Fringe Festival.


ORLANDO – The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, and runs through May 29. This year the nearly three-week long festival will feature the largest line-up of shows in its history.
It’s common for a Fringe show to touch on plenty of topical subjects, but this year, one show is looking backwards — in history, that is.
Tasty Monster Productions was founded in 2011 by Heather Bagnall and Luke Tudball in an effort to mix the theatrical talents of artists from some of the best new talent in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the past six years, they have done innovative theater, cabarets, small ensemble shows and musicals. Last year, Tasty Monsters was at Fringe with the musical comedy “The Space Pirate Puppy Musical.”
This year, Like noted, Tasty Monsters is going in a very different direction, taking what he calls a “hard-hitting new look at the Falklands War.”
“Falkland” looks back at 1982 Falklands War, also known as the Falklands Conflict. It was a ten-week war between Argentina and the United Kingdom over two British overseas territories in the South Atlantic.
Written by Heather and directed by Luke, it focuses on two unlikely friends, an idealistic young soldier and a reluctant farmer turned Captain, who find a new camaraderie as the theater of war plays out all around them.
“Bitter conflict, questionable politics, and moral debate engage us in a traumatic, but necessary, journey through the lives of the two men and the many twists and turns they encounter on the road to redemption,” Tasty Monsters noted.
Intrigued, Freeline Media reached out to Luke to learn more about the show. Continue reading

During Fringe, Mickey Layman will take us back to the music of Ethel Merman

Ethel Merman Fringe

“Everything I Need to Know I Learned From… Ethel Merman” is a musical extravaganza coming to the Orlando Fringe Festival in May.


ORLANDO – The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, and runs through May 29. This year the nearly three-week long festival will feature the largest line-up of shows in its history.
Actor and singer Mickey Layman, a veteran performer at Sleuth’s Mystery Dinner Shows, was at Fringe 2016 playing the role of R.T. in Freeline Productions’ show “Murder Sleep.” This year, Mickey is back — and he’s bringing Ethel with him.
Merman, that is.
“Everything I Need to Know I Learned From … Ethel Merman” is a 60-minute musical extravaganza that pays tribute to the Broadway and film star remembered fondly for shows like “Gypsy” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” As Mickey noted, “This hilarious show explores the ABCs of survival in the adult world by following the wisest Diva of them all: Ethel Merman!”
But there’s a serious side as well to this one-man-show, featuring plenty of memorable showtunes. As Mickey noted, it’s also about what it was like to grow up gay in a Pentecostal household in the Bible Belt. His saviors: community theater, an old record player, and the vinyl recordings of Broadway’s greatest diva.
In-between rehearsals of some of Ethel’s best known songs like “You’re The Top,” “I Got Lost In His Arms,” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” Freeline Media checked in with Mickey to learn more about the show. Continue reading

Phantasmagoria heading back to Fringe with Wickedest Tales of All!

Phantasmagoria Fringe

The Phantasmagoria troop is returning to the Orlando Fringe Festival i n May. (Photo by C. A. Bridges).


ORLANDO – The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, and runs through May 29. This year the nearly three-week long festival will feature the largest line-up of shows in its history.
Coming back for a return engagement is John DiDonna, the veteran actor, director, playwright and theater professor at Valencia College, who is bringing with him the critically acclaimed Victorian Horror Troupe “Phantasmagoria.” The long-running series, about a circus-like group of performers who recount classic tales of terror, are presenting “Phantasmagoria’s Wickedest Tales of All.”
Phantasmagoria started out as a Halloween season show at the Orlando Shakes, but grew in popularity and has since made several Fringe performances, while DiDonna has also taken the show on the road for performances in other states. “Wickedest Tales of All” will be performed in the Orange Venue (The Margeson Theater) and will include the troupe’s familiar mix of horror stories and dance, live music, stage combat, and large scale puppetry.
This production will recreate Charles Dickens’ “A Madman’s Manuscript,” the Hindu “Tale of the Churel,” the old ghastly Nursery Rhymes from “Gammer Gurton’s Garland” and Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Masque of the Red Death,” among others.
Freeline Media caught up with John to find out what other goodies are in store for the Phantasmagoria gang this year. Continue reading

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