The Orlando International Fringe Festival is back for its 27th year at Loch Haven Park and its surrounding neighborhoods. The festival runs May 15-28 with 130 shows ranging from small, intimate one-person productions to big budget musical extravaganzas with dozens of performers joined together under the festival’s 2018 tagline… United We Fringe!

“United We Fringe speaks to the belief that Orlando Fringe is a place where you can escape your everyday troubles in life,” says Brian Sikorski, Orlando Fringe’s marketing coordinator. “This is a place where you can come together with people from all different walks of life for a common purpose and enjoying each other’s company. People from different countries, of different ethnicities and sexual identities and religious beliefs all come to Orlando Fringe. We want to celebrate that unity.”

And what a celebration it will be. Along with some of the best theater you’ll see all year, Orlando Fringe will again be hosting the party on the lawn featuring food trucks, the beer and booze tents (Fringe is in charge of the alcohol this year with a bar donated by Stonewall Orlando), a special Fringe-brand wine and the lawn stage with tons of free performances.

Something else new this year that has Orlando Fringe patrons all abuzz… it slices, it dices, it’s the Fringe-O-Matic!

“Lewis Johnston, an Orlando Fringe uber-fan, created the Fringe-O-Matic to aide him in making the perfect schedule,” Sikorski says. “[Johnston] contacted Orlando Fringe and told them about this program he designed and asked if they wanted it free of charge.”

Here’s how it works: Go to FringeOMatic.com and enter your availability. Then, go through the schedule and rate each show based on your interest level. The Fringe-O-Matic will turn out the perfect Fringe schedule for you. It’s that simple.

We here at Watermark took Orlando Fringe’s shows and, with a little help from our Queer-O-Matic, have compiled a list of the best LGBTQ-themed shows that you do not want to miss. As with any festival, please remember shows, times and dates are all subject to change. To keep up-to-date on all things Orlando Fringe go to OrlandoFringe.org.

 

“Vampire Lesbians of Sodom”

College Park Productions (Orlando, FL)

Brown Venue

60 Minutes; 18 & Up – Strong Language, Nudity, Mature Themes

May 17, 10:45 p.m.; May 19, 9:15 p.m.; May 21, 10:00 p.m.; May 23, 11:59 p.m.; May 25, 8:45 p.m.; May 26, 10:30 p.m.

College Park Productions presents the Charles Busch-penned classic “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom,” directed by Jeff Jones, and starring Nathan Bonk and Kristin Pringle-Marksbury as the titular supernatural characters.

This satirical saga, presented in a series of vignettes, follows the bitter rivalry of the succubus La Condesa (Pringle-Marksbury) and the virgin Madeline Astarte (Bonk)—both immortal lesbian vampires—from their first venomous and comical altercation at the Biblical city of depravity, Sodom, through the next 2,000 years with stops in the silent-movie era of 1920s Hollywood and the modern day city of sin, Las Vegas.

With a cast of who’s who in Central Florida actors, including William Bruce, Mike Van Dyke, Chris Eastwood, Jossette McCausland, Jerry Jobe Jr., Robert Carnes and Erica Roberts, “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom” will take you on a drag-tastic romp through genres of classic horror cinema and the tongue-in-cheek camp styles of a John Waters flick.

“Wanzie’s Monorail Inferno”

Wanzie Presents & D Squared Productions (Orlando, FL)

Silver Venue

90 Minutes; 13 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes

May 18, 10:15 p.m.; May 19, 10:15 p.m.; May 20, 3:45 p.m.; May 22, 8:15 p.m.; May 23, 10:15 p.m.; May 26, 1:00 p.m.; May 27, 9:45 p.m.

Some Fringe shows are small, intimate, “art house” type affairs where a single, half-naked (sometimes completely naked) entertainer performs under a solo spotlight. “Wanzie’s Monorail Inferno” is not one of those shows.

“Wanzie’s Monorail Inferno” is a 90-minute, disaster-film parody with a cast of 16 actors, nine original songs, tap dancing clergy, thousands of dollars worth of wireless body mics, 50 original costume creations (all by Marcy Singhaus and D Squared Productions), additional set pieces and trucks full of props… and that’s just the stuff we learned from reading the press release. What else would you expect from Michael Wanzie, Kenny Howard and D Squared Productions, who have brought to Orlando Fringe some of the most ambitious and popular productions including “Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly!,” “In Close Quarters,” last year’s Fringe favorite “Wanzie With A Z” and Orlando Fringe’s top-selling show ever “Wanzie’s The Lion Queen: And The Naked Go-Go Cub.”

“Wanzie’s Monorail Inferno,” inspired by the real life 1985 incident at Walt Disney World when the rear car of the Monorail Silver exploded into flames, takes us into the terrifying moments after the accident as tourists stranded aboard a stalled Disney Monorail struggle to deal with one another’s peculiarities and neurosis while facing death.

This high-camp musical comedy—Wanzie’s first wholly original musical that he wrote with longtime collaborator Rich Charron—is a big, glitzy-costumed, highly produced spectacle filled with unexpected twists and ‘80s pop culture nostalgia you don’t want to miss.

“Wanzie’s Monorail Inferno” is directed by Howard, with musical direction by David Dorman, and stars Kerry Lace, Darby Ballard, Andy Fontaine, Gidget Galore, Divine Grace, Candy Marilyn Heller, Gabrielle Hockensmith, Jessica Hoehn, Josh Lefkowitz, Chad Lewis, Maria Ragen, Joshua S. Roth, Kristin Shirilla, Kasey Sollenberger, Savannah Swafford and Wanzie.

“An All New God Is A Scottish Drag Queen”

Morgan Cranny (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

Yellow Venue

60 Minutes; 13 & Up – Strong Language

May 17, 10:30 p.m.; May 19, 8:30 p.m.; May 20, 6:15 p.m.; May 21, 10:30 p.m.; May 26, 11:00 p.m.; May 27, 1:15 p.m.

The 18-time “Best of the Fest” winner and three-time Orlando Fringe Patrons Pick, Mike Delamont, took a break from playing the All Mighty Creator last year to give us a take on what the Prince of Darkness thought about the world’s state of affairs in the show “Devil.” While that show was a hit, the silver-tongued demon is banished from the Fringe garden this year as Delamont is back as Our Savior in the fifth edition of his massively popular Fringe franchise, “God Is A Scottish Drag Queen.”

For those who have been living under a Fringe rock, Delamont’s “God Is A Scottish Drag Queen” features the Canadian comedian as God dressed in a floral-print power suit, along with a black bob hairstyle wig and black frame glasses perched on the end of his nose. God speaks to the audience in a Doubtfire-esque Scottish accent and passes judgment on everything from politics to religion to pop culture.

This all new “God Is A Scottish Drag Queen” is sure to be a sellout run as each previous iteration has since 2013, so make sure to get your tickets early.

“PeeVira’s SCAREavan SingAlong: Disney Addicktion”

Madame PeeVira/Peevish Productions (Orlando, FL)

BYOV: PeeVira’s Cargo Van

30 Minutes; 18 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes, Sexual Content, Violence

May 18, multiple times; May 19, multiple times; May 20, multiple times; May 24, multiple times; May 25, multiple times; May 26, multiple times; May 27, multiple times

Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you that if a stranger in a van offers you candy to just run away and find and adult you trust? Yeah, you can just throw those parental warnings out the window while you’re at Orlando Fringe because Madame PeeVira is back with her sing-along van!

The Fringy Mime Queen herself, PeeVira loads all the good boys and girls into her SCAREvan for a fun, absurd and raunchy 30-minute show complete with drag, games, trivia and, of course, karaoke.

So if you are ready to say Hakuna Matata, let it go and go the distance in a whole new world, be our guest and see this show which, if you haven’t guessed already, is a salute to all you poor unfortunate souls “addickted” to Disney tunes.

“Love is Love”

BudhaKahn (Orlando, FL)

BYOV: Savoy Orlando

60 Minutes; All Ages

May 19, 4:00 p.m.; May 20, 4:00 p.m.; May 25, 6:30 p.m.; May 26, 7:00 p.m.; May 27, 4:00 p.m.

On the evening of June 12, 2016, not even 24 hours after (at the time) the worse mass shooting in the modern U.S. at Pulse Orlando, “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda accepted the Tony Award for best original score and gave an impassioned speech that said, in part, “We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger; we rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love lasts long, and love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside.”

The phrase “love is love” became a rallying cry for those who sought justice and equality in a world that seemed to be taking innocent lives simply because of who they are and who they love. The phrase also lends itself to the title of this original one-act show which explores the challenges teens face approaching relationships in a modern world where sexual preference and national origin are such controversial issues.

“Love is Love” follows three couples as they try to overcome their differences in sexuality and nationality, and learn that “gender preference does not define you, your spirit defines you.”

“Keep It Gay”

Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park (Winter Park, FL)

BYOV: Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park

60 Minutes; 18 & Up – Mature Themes, Nudity

May 17, 8:25 p.m.; May 18, 8:25 p.m.; May 19, 10:00 p.m.; May 20, 6:10 p.m.; May 24, 8:25 p.m.; May 25, 10:00 p.m.; May 26, 10:00 p.m.; May 27, 4:35 p.m.

Sometimes when a show lists itself as an “LGBTQ-themed show,” you have to dig a round for the queer message or characters. Sometimes it’s right there in the title. The Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park presents “Keep It Gay,” and we couldn’t agree more.

“Keep It Gay” is a naughty musical extravaganza celebrating all the things in gay culture that make Pat Robertson condemn us in public and wish he was us in private; including scintillating musical numbers, drag performers and male strippers.

“Keep It Gay” is directed by Wade Hair with music direction and choreography by Angela Cotto. This show is titillating fun for both the men and the ladies—but not for children as it features full frontal nudity.

“Tales of a Southern Belle”

David Lee (Orlando, FL)

Brown Venue

60 Minutes; 13 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes

May 17, 7:15 p.m.; May 19, 5:45 p.m.; May 20, 12:30 p.m.; May 24, 9:00 p.m.; May 27, 8:45 p.m.

Growing up is hard. Growing up and being LGBTQ can be even harder, and growing up LGBTQ in the Deep South can feel insurmountable. “Tales of a Southern Belle,” directed by David Lee, is Eddie Cooper’s soulful journey to becoming the man he is today.

The show is a charming and hilarious musical romp that follows Cooper’s coming of age in the Deep South, remembering family and recalling traditions. Join Cooper and his live acoustic band as they pluck their way through favorite musical hits of Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Presley, Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, John Legend and more.

“Tales of a Southern Belle” has plenty of surprises, a whole lot of heart and more sass than a Judd family reunion.

Blue Star Presents: VarieTEASE…SpellBound

Blue LaLa Entertainment/ Blue Star (Orlando, FL)

Black Venue

60 Minutes; 18 & Up – Mature Themes

May 17, 9:00 p.m.; May 18, 7:30 p.m.; May 19, 6:00 p.m.; May 20, 6:00 p.m.; May 25, 7:30 p.m.; May 27, 6:00 p.m.

Blue Star is someone in Central Florida who needs no introduction. This dancer/singer/actor/business woman/community champion/member of the Justice League (probably) is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, and she has been performing and entertaining the people for years.

Blue is back at Orlando Fringe this year with one of her many troupes as Blue LaLa Entertainment presents “VarieTEASE… SpellBound.” Spellbound is “a magical soul changing journey expressed through dance and music. The moment of which everyday things in life have more meaning than you think.”

If this is your first plunge into a VarieTEASE show then be warned, you are in for a treat of sultry and seductive burlesque dance like you’ve never seen before.

“Gorgeous”

Yow Dance (Orlando, FL)

Orange Venue

55 Minutes; 18 & Up – Strong Language

May 18, 6:30 p.m.; May 19, 8:15 p.m.; May 22, 8:30 p.m.; May 25, 5:00 p.m.; May 27, 2:45 p.m.

Yow Dance teams up with Central Florida Community Arts to bring you a song-and-dance comedy on the journey that young pageant contestants take in order to come out on top, and the lengths they’ll go to get there.

“Gorgeous” is loosely based on the 1999 cult film “Drop Dead Gorgeous” starring Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards, Kirstie Alley and Allison Janney about a small-town beauty pageant that turns deadly.

“Gorgeous” explores the trek of these wickedly diverse pageant contestants and there family members as they fight through pranks, jokes and extreme challenges to bring home the crown.

“Gorgeous” is directed by Donald Rupe, the man who brought you last year’s award-winning “Bitch, Perfect,” with music by Rupe and Cesar De La Rosa, and choreography from Eric Yow.

“Lauren & Amanda Do It”

Toasted Theatre Company (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Brown Venue

60 Minutes; 18 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes

May 18, 8:00 p.m.; May 19, 3:30 p.m.; May 20, 6:15 p.m.; May 23, 10:15 p.m.; May 25, 7:00 p.m.; May 26, 8:45 p.m.

Just like another badass trio of women from the ‘90s, the comical trinity of Amanda Logan, Lauren Cauchy and Alli Harris want to talk about sex, baby. The Toasted Theatre Company, founded by Logan and Cauchy, present their late night (or mid-day, depending on which performance you buy a ticket for) talk show “Lauren & Amanda Do It.”

“Lauren & Amanda Do It” is part game show, part sex education talk show. Think “Sex Talk with Sue Johanson,” but instead of an old Canadian female host you get two young Canadian female hosts (Logan and Cauchy)… with a hot lesbian (Harris) providing music.

Winner of the Jury’s Choice Award at Ottawa Fringe 2017 and nominated for the Jenny Revue Award at Winnipeg Fringe 2017, “Lauren & Amanda Do It” offers a non-judgmental, safe environment to talk about anything from sex toys and positions to body image issues and sexual identity.

“Right off the bat, we like to tell people at our show that we foster an inclusive and safe space and people should respect whatever is shared and not feel like they are obligated to share any of their own stories,” Logan said in a 2017 interview with Apt613.ca. “We also like to let our audience know that they have the ability to leave the theatre and then return if they wish, if something did get too much (for them to handle) and it’s without any judgment.”

“We want (our show) to be like a conversation between two best friends over a glass of wine,” Cauchy added. “ And this could potentially be a forum or an avenue for people to be let in on these types of conversations that are important and also really fun. People really like talking about sex.”

14 More LGBTQ-Themed Shows You Don’t Want to Miss…

“Awake”

Navarro Performs (Orlando, FL)

Pink Venue

60 Minutes; 18 & Up – Mature Themes

May 16, 10:15 p.m.; May 19, 5:15 p.m.; May 22, 7:00 p.m.; May 23, 5:30 p.m.; May 25, 9:15 p.m.; May 26, 5:00 p.m.; May 27, 10:45 p.m.

A story of a musician who’s haunted everyday with melodies he could not express and a life he knew wasn’t his. As he tries to take his life, divine intervention occurs.

“Becoming Magic Mike: an action adventure comedy”

DK Reinemer (Portland, OR)

Brown Venue

60 Minutes; 13 & Up – Mature Themes

May 17, 9:00 p.m.; May 19, 11:00 p.m.; May 21, 8:15 p.m.; May 24, 10:45 p.m.; May 26, 7:00 p.m.; May 27, 10:30 p.m.

Comedian DK Reinemer in a brand new, smokin’ hot, action adventure comedy about a strait-laced detective thrust deep undercover in the unfamiliar world of male stripping.

“California Kiki”

Brett McMahon (Los Angeles, CA)

BYOV: Savoy Orlando

75 minutes; 18 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes

May 18, 8:30 p.m.; May 20, 8:00 p.m.; May 25, 10:00 p.m.; May 26, 5:00 p.m.; May 27, 8:00 p.m.

Brett McMahon brings the humor/beauty out in life’s challenging moments with his “California Kiki” filled with songs and true life stories. Accompanied by Josh Ceballos on piano.

“Death Part 7: The Last Word”

Jack Trinco (New York, NY)

Red Venue

60 Minutes; 13 & Up – Adult Themes

May 16, 7:30 p.m.; May 18, 6:00 p.m.; May 19, 10:30 p.m.; May 20, 6:30 p.m.; May 21, 10:30 p.m.

This dark, comic cabaret act on the theme of death features outrageous storytelling and killer songs from contemporary songwriters as they explore a subject that unites us all.

“FROGPIG”

Joel Swanson (Orlando, FL)

Red Venue

60 Minutes; 13 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes, Interspecies Relationships

May 17, 10:00 p.m.; May 19, 7:30 p.m.; May 23, 5:30 p.m.; May 26, 8:00 p.m.; May 27, 12:00 p.m.

His father’s a frog. His mother’s a pig. The cultural phenomenon we have all come to know and love finally steps forward to tell his story. In song, naturally.

“In Search Of Cruise Control”

Gangland Productions / James Gangl (Ontario, Canada)

Pink Venue

70 Minutes; 18 & Up – Strong Language, Mature Themes

May 17, 8:15 p.m.; May 19, 8:45 p.m.; May 20, 9:30 p.m.; May 22, 10:30 p.m.; May 25, 7:15 p.m.; May 26, 11:30 a.m.; May 27, 2:45 p.m.

Long-time virgin turned sex-fiend, James Gangl struggles to give his awkward teenage nephew the sex talk he never asked for and will never forget.

“LadyBoys of The Peek-A-Boo Lounge”

Blue LaLa Entertainment/ BlueStar and Rob Ward (Orlando, FL)

Black Venue

60 minutes; 18 & Up – Mature Themes, Gender Bending, Strong Language, Nudity

May 21, 9:00 p.m.; May 22, 10:30 p.m.; May 23, 10:30 p.m.

Come see what Orlando is talking about. It will tantalize all of your senses, no matter what your sexual preference. Where art meets sensuality, drag, burlesque, dance and music.

“Mar’keyth the Bar’keep”

Markeyth Powell (Orlando, FL)

BYOV: Savoy Orlando

30 Minutes; 18 & Up – Adult Language

May 18, 10:15 p.m.; May 20, 2:45 p.m.; May 25, 5:15 p.m.; May 26, 3:30 p.m.; May 27, 2:30 p.m.

After pulling a double, this bartender just wants to go home and it’s almost closing time. Look into the world of “grinning and bar’ing it” as you step into the bartender’s mind.

“Mason, Son of Ma”

Nils Taranger II (Orlando, FL)

Orange Venue

50 Minutes; 13 & Up – Mature Themes

May 18, 10:00 p.m.; May 20, 5:00 p.m.; May 21, 6:45 p.m.; May 23, 10:45 p.m.; May 24, 8:30 p.m.; May 26; 12:30 p.m.

After coming out as gay, Mason leaves his religion in search of something that will bring him happiness, leading him on a musical journey across the rainbow bridge.

“Moth”

Jeremiah J Gibbons (Winter Garden, FL)

Red Venue

45 Minutes; 13 & Up – Some Language, Mature Themes

May 17, 7:15 p.m.; May 20, 5:15 p.m.; May 24, 7:30 p.m.; May 25, 6:00 p.m.; May 27, 9:30 p.m.

Moth is a gender fluid dreamer struggling with the ideas of meaning and purpose, desiring to be more than ordinary. What songs do you have left to sing?

“Multiple Organism”

Mind of a Snail Puppet Co. (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Silver Venue

60 Minutes; 18 & Up – Mature Themes,

Nudity, Sexual Content

May 18, 8:30 p.m.; May 19, 4:20 p.m.; May 20, 10:15 p.m.; May 22, 10:30 p.m.; May 24, 10:45 p.m.; May 26, 7:00 p.m.; May 27, 6:15 p.m.

Sick of being objectified, an artist’s model steals a magical paintbrush and it changes her life. A wild and risky new show from the award-winning creators of “Caws & Effect.”

“My Pal Bette”

Ms. B Productions / Tammy Kopko (Brooklyn, NY)

Gold Venue

75 Minutes; 13 & Up – Language, Mature Themes

May 17, 10:30 p.m.; May 20, 9:45 p.m.; May 23, 8:45 p.m.; May 26, 10:15 p.m.; May 27, 5:00 p.m.

Hollywood diva Bette Davis is the chain-smoking, tough-talking unlikely guardian angel and mentor to an awkward 5-year-old boy.

“SCUM: a manifesto”

Scantily Glad Theatre (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Blue Venue

60 Minutes; 18 & Up – Strong Language, Nudity, Violence, Sexual Content, Nasty Women

May 18, 9:00 p.m.; May 19, 10:30 p.m.; May 20, 6:30 p.m.; May 22, 10:30 p.m.; May 25, 7:30 p.m.; May 26, 9:00 p.m.; May 27, 1:00 p.m.

“SCUM” is a look inside the mind of Valerie Solanas, the mother of radical feminism and the woman who shot pop-art legend Andy Warhol.

“Title and Deed”

Margaret Nolan/Kangagirl Productions (Winter Park, FL)

Yellow Venue

60 Minutes; 13 & Up – Mature Themes

May 18, 6:30 p.m.; May 20, 4:00 p.m.; May 22, 8:00 p.m.; May 24, 5:15 p.m.; May 25, 9:00 p.m.; May 26, 5:30 p.m.; May 27, 11:30 a.m.

David Lee takes on playwright Will Eno in a new haunting and often fiercely funny meditation on life.

Share this story: