;So, it takes the Florida Department of Transportation to do what the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation can't: close down a strip club. After 43 years in business, Club Juana in Casselberry will go dark June 18. We at Happytown™ mourn its passing.


;;Club Juana isn't just any strip club; it has been around long enough to host some fine musical acts, people you may have heard of, in fact: Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis and Percy Sledge, to name a few.

;;But the club is world-renowned for its irreverent, satirical challenge to Seminole County's anti-nudity ordinances in the form of a 1999 production called Les Femmes Fatale, known informally as "nude Macbeth." In 1998, Seminole County voters decided to ban full nudity at clubs, except in cases of "bona fide" performances. So Club Juana owner Michael Pinter cooked up a nudie version of Shakespeare, staged it and was arrested along with the dancers. When he challenged the case in court, even the judge thought it was political satire in the finest American tradition.

;;Les Femmes went on to become a huge hit on HBO's Real Sex series, where it still generates interest for the club though it hasn't been performed much lately.

;;Club Juana is making way for a flyover that will connect U.S. 17-92 and State Road 436. They're planning a three-day party starring Penthouse Pet Alex Taylor prior to closing. Pinter says he's sent a letter to the city requesting that they identify potential locations for a new club, as is his right. "If they give me a viable spot, we will relocate," he says.


;It was the best of times, it was the gayest of times. Buoyed by postcard-perfect weather, the May 18-29 Orlando International Fringe Festival posted a whopping 48 percent increase in ticket distribution — 23,457 of 'em were reported sold or comped, up from 15,821 last year. A total of $174,509 was returned to the participating performers, which amounted to a 38 percent rise from 2005. A handful of unforeseen outside obstacles — like drastically reduced coverage in the Orlando Sentinel — appear not to have slowed the Fringe's forward motion a bit.


;;So with the festival looking and operating like a financially secure proposition for the first time in, like, ever, its organizers and featured players might want to shift their attention to shoring up the event's artistic credibility. As has been lamented ad nauseam in these pages, "international" representation was limited to a measly four Canadian groups, and only one of them was named a "Patron's Pick" for selling the most tickets in its chosen venue.

;;Otherwise, that coveted status was conferred largely on locally generated, gay-themed shows, especially those that boasted full-frontal nudity and other crotch-level enticements. (Of the eight productions that were named Patron's Picks, five had overtly queer content.) That had some veteran Fringers wondering if the event hadn't abandoned aesthetic balance to become The Parliament House East — especially with the festival wrap party booked into the PH on a busy holiday weekend. Even some ordinarily open-minded straight participants made alternate plans; after more than a week of fighting for attention against bathhouse musicals and incessantly waving wee-wees, they didn't need another suggestion that their involvement was superfluous.

;;Needless to say, hetero resentment doesn't sit well with the very concept of a theater festival. As was so sagely pointed out in Mel Brooks' To Be or Not To Be, "Without Jews, fags and gypsies, there is no theater." But if the Fringe wants to maintain an image of diversity, it looks as if the Jews and gypsies are going to have to start writing, rehearsing and promoting like there's no tomorrow.


;If you read the May 31 Orlando Sentinel, you got this update on the state's ongoing investigation into Orkin Pest Control's habit of employing contractors who didn't pull permits on its repair jobs: The state found that Orkin was indeed in the wrong, and next month it was going to offer the country's second-largest pest control company a voluntary compliance agreement to fix things.


;;But that's only half the story. Sources tell Happytown™ that the state has a scheduled meeting with Orkin officials June 11, where the state may in fact propose a settlement. As readers of this wildly popular column know, this follows a two-year investigation in which the attorney general's office dragged its feet at every possible turn. It's interesting to note that Orkin's lawyer is a Republican heavyweight and so is the attorney general investigating them, a guy who's also seeking the GOP nomination for governor who goes by the name Charlie Crist.


;So you won't be surprised to learn that officials in the attorney general's office haven't figured out what, if any, fine they're going to ask Orkin to pay. But they will ask Orkin to straighten up and fly right, pull permits and not do shoddy work, a source says. Our source isn't entirely confident Orkin will agree. We'll keep you posted.


;Oh, yeah, one other thing. In discussing Collier Black's arbitration award against Orkin in 2002, Sentinel reporter Harry Wessel wrote, "The arbitration panel's award and findings against Orkin were sealed initially. … But details of the case became public when Orkin appealed the arbitrators' decision in federal court."

;;Actually no, Harry. Those details became public when this paper wrote about them back in September 2003 (see "The Orkin scam," Sept. 25, 2003).

;;Contrary to rumor, the Sexy Savannah is not dead. Nor did she run off to New York to purchase the least expensive eating disorder on the market or fly down to Costa Rica to birth the illegitimate preemie spawn of Weekly columnist Billy Manes. In fact, after several months of floating around in the frequency modulation ether (her New York attempts at a Sirius coup fizzled) Savannah is officially on the air again in Orlando.


;"Phew, it's been a rough run," she giggles over her cell phone from beside a swimming pool. "But I'm glad to be back on top!"


;As of June 7, Savannah returns to the Orlando dial in a big way, gracing O-Rock 105.9-FM with an all-hours blitz through the rest of the week before her own drive-time gig June 12. Fellow Real Radio alum Drew Garabo will welcome her Wednesday morning, and she'll pop up almost everywhere else — presumably with words falling out of her panties — Thursday and Friday.

;;Asked what she hopes to bring to her new gig at O-Rock, Savannah thumbs through her mental thesaurus. "Bipartisanship," she says, laughing. That's right — she said "bi."


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