Hey, Artists: Freeline Media is covering Orlando Fringe

Freeline Media will be covering the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in May. (Photo by Michael Freeman.)

ORLANDO — Artists, producers and directors who have a show in the upcoming Orlando Fringe, take note: Freeline Media will be covering the festival in May, so get your press releases and contact information ready. The curtains are gearing up to rise!
The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival was created in 1991 by Terry Olson (who is now the director of the Orange County Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs), Andy Anthony and Rick Kunst, and held in 1992 in downtown Orlando. The concept was simple: a festival featuring multiple theatrical shows, most in venues in empty storefronts. In 2004, the festival started to relocate to Loch Haven Park, and from 2005 on, the festival has been held entirely in that park and in nearby Ivanhoe Village. It’s the longest running Fringe Festival in the United States.
This 14-day festival is held in May, leading up to Memorial Day Weekend. Continue reading

Decadence on display in stage version of “Great Gatsby”

Christian Ryan is Tom Buchanan, Jacob Dresch as George Wilson, Madelyn James as Mrs. Michaelis, and Eric Eichenlaub as a cop in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s production of “The Great Gatsby.” (Photo by Tony Firriolo.)

ORLANDO — Legend has it that author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who died in 1940, thought he had been a failure as a writer because his 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby” had sold poorly and gotten mediocre reviews when it was first released. Turns out the book was ahead of its time, and would later become acclaimed as a literary classic.
Brought to the stage at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, courtesy of an adaptation by Simon Levy, the theater provides a handsomely mounted and wonderfully acted saga that captures the feel of the Roaring Twenties and the rise of the Jazz age. It was a decade of great prosperity when lavish parties were the norm, and even though it was the era of Prohibition, booze flowed freely.
“The Great Gatsby” has traditionally been viewed as a book about how corrupting the pursuit of the American Dream can turn out to be, and it’s true that when young Nick Carraway, a Yale graduate from the Midwest and a World War I veteran, arrives in the town of West Egg, Long Island, he has a sense of wide-eyed optimism about his future in this economically booming decade. Continue reading

“Picasso at the Lapin Asile” is a wild and crazy Mad Cow play

Wesley Slade, Glenn Gover, and Robert Johnston star in Mad Cow Theatre’s production of “Picasso at the Lapin Asile.” (Photo courtesy of Mad Cow Theatre).


ORLANDO — Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Asile” is, well, a lot like Steve Martin in general: silly, light hearted, but sometimes deceptively so, with a surprising degree of sly social commentary popping up.
His 1993 play, which looks at the chance meeting between artist Pablo Picasso and scientist Albert Einstein in a bar in Paris, The Lapin Agile, is not a play concerned much about historical accuracy, history lessons, or becoming a character study of two legendary men. It’s really … well, Steve Martin, being goofy and often charming in the same way he was in the 1970s on all those “Saturday Night Live” episodes when he gave us the “wild and crazy guy.”
Martin has been a highly influential figure since the 1970s in stand up comedy, television and the movies, and he’s always demonstrated a particular gift for over-the-top physical comedy. Continue reading

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