Fringe breaks records again, the Garden Theatre gets a new artistic director, plus 11 shows opening soon 

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The final figures from last month's 24th annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival are in, and they're quite impressive. According to executive director George Wallace, the 2015 festival distributed 42,265 tickets (up from 34,456 in 2014); paid $371,153 in ticket sales back to artists (up from $273,728); attracted 11,403 to Kids Fringe (up from 9,500); and sold 32 pieces at Visual Fringe (up from 25); and overall attendance was up 25-30 percent. Those are the kind of crazy year-over-year increases that you usually have to build a Harry Potter attraction to achieve. Let's just hope that the Fringe board understands that those kinds of gains aren't sustainable long-term without an equivalent expansion of the fest's staffing and volunteer resources; the folks running this year's Fringe were already stretched to the fraying point by the size of this year's event.

Late last month, the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden (which recently wrapped a high-tech production of Peter Pan) appointed Rob Winn Anderson as consulting artistic director, just in time for their upcoming season. Anderson wrote Alice Lost in Wonderland and Christmas by Committee, which had their world premieres at the Garden, and directed Hairspray there last season, in addition to his many prior credits with Mad Cow and Disney. Anderson will direct next season's opener, La Cage Aux Folles, and "will drive the artistic vision and focus of the theatre from conception to implementation" in the future.

NOW PLAYING

Baggy Pants Theater and GOAT present In the Heights, through June 14 at Orlando Shakes ... Bullshot Crummond, through June 14 at Valencia College East ... Ain't Misbehavin', through July 5 at Mad Cow.

UPCOMING

Ceremony, June 11-13 at Orlando Shakes ... How to Say 'I Love You In ...', June 12-14 at the Venue ... Daryl Taylor-Hazel in Tunes My Idols Taught Me, June 16 at the Persian Room ... The Flick, June 17-July 12 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Skill Focus: Burlesque presents Adventures in Adult Animation!, June 19-20 at the Venue ... Dinner With Friends, June 19-July 19 at Mad Cow ... I Love Lucy: Live on Stage, June 23-28 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Robin Gallo: An Evening With Reba, June 23 at the Persian Room ... Practically Perfect: An Evening With Ashley Brown, June 27 at Orlando Rep ... Shenanigans Comedy Festival, June 27 at the Venue ... Sarah Hanchar in Happy Pink Girl Sings: Farewell Florida, June 30 at the Persian Room.

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