Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry Fringein' Christmas Raises Funds for 2013 Fringe

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 2:42 PM

click to enlarge wpid-photo-dec-4-2012-100-pmjpg

Last night, local arts supporters gathered in Orlando Shakes's Margeson Theatre to celebrate a new holiday traditions. The Orlando Fringe Festival shifted this year's usual Halloween fundraiser to December, rebranding it as Merry Fringein' Christmas.

Festival producer Michael Marinaccio and general manager George Wallace began by welcoming the audience, especially new United Arts CEO Flora Maria Garcia, and announced that a record 95 shows had been admitted into May's festival, which will expand to 15 days with extended previews and "patrons' picks."

click to enlarge wpid-photo-dec-3-2012-720-pmjpg

Hosts Michael Wanzie and Mitzi Morris (Kevin Kriegel) made a decidedly unconventional (and anti-family-friendly) Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus; they were acoustically accompanied by Lanie Jones and Mathew Tonner, who shared sweet songs about psychotherapy and marijuana.

click to enlarge wpid-photo-dec-3-2012-722-pmjpg

Ironically, several of the artists donating their talents to Fringe's fundraiser weren't actually selected to participate in 2013's festival. Storyteller Bernie O'Brien ranted bitterly about the "dream crusher" who failed to pick his ticket in the recent lottery, prompting Wanzie to wisecrack that they were trying to boost future sales by showing you what you won't see next spring.

click to enlarge wpid-photo-dec-3-2012-746-pmjpg

Other acts included a scene from PB&J Theatre Factory's Sleigh (featuring Brandon Roberts, Mike Gill, Terrence Yip, and Marty Stonerock); Sheli Inner Beauty Pageant; Pepe (Rob Ward), whose infamous Truth or Dare shows will return in January; Katrina Johnson from GOAT's James Bond Cabaret singing the Skyfall theme; Doug Baaser's Christina Crawford riffing on Steve Martin's classic SNL Christmas wish; and Varietease's Tymisha unintentionally, um, unwrapping her gifts.

click to enlarge wpid-photo-dec-3-2012-906-pmjpg

The show's surprise guest was comic Michael Winslow, who gained fame for his vocal mimicry in the Police Academy films. Winslow will have a show in this year's festival, and will host March's fundraiser at Hard Rock Live. After a pair of all-access festival Super Passes were auctioned off for $500 each, adding to the nearly $5000 total raised that night, the evening wrapped up with a full-cast singalong of "Feliz Navidad".

click to enlarge wpid-photo-dec-3-2012-927-pmjpg



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 18, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation