Orlando Shakes announces its next season, Fringe is nearly upon us, plus more in Orlando theater news

Eric Zivot and Lucy Carney in ‘Gertrude and Claudius’
Eric Zivot and Lucy Carney in ‘Gertrude and Claudius’ Photo by Megan Pridemore

Three classically minded companies recently announced their 2018-2019 seasons. Orlando Shakespeare Theater will follow the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights with Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep, Jim Helsinger's version of A Christmas Carol, the Ibsen sequel A Doll's House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath, and Updike's Gertrude and Claudius (adapted by Mark St. Germain), along with Hamlet and Richard III by the Bard. Jim Helsinger, Orlando Shakes' artistic director, says, "Our commission for Mark St. Germain's adaptation of Gertrude and Claudius, generously funded by John and Rita Lowndes, has been Rita's passion project for many years." Opera Orlando will present Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann in October, Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck in December, and a double-header of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci and Stravinsky's Pulcinella next March, all at the Dr. Phillips Center. And the Orlando Philharmonic's year starts on Sept. 29 with Respighi's Pines of Rome, and will feature crowd-pleasing programs like Holst's The Planets (Nov. 3), Beethoven's 7th (Feb. 23, 2019) and The Music of John Williams (April 13, 2019).

Attention, aspiring authors: You have until April 28 to submit your scripts and songs to the Florida Theatrical Association's third annual New Musical Discovery Series. Two staged readings and one workshop will be performed at the Abbey and the Mezz in September; 2016 selectee Joyce Jackson's Guide to Dating went on to receive a full production last summer. Visit floridatheatrical.org for application information.

The Orlando Fringe officially begins on May 15, but the Festival season really starts April 16 with the local performer preview at Orlando Shakes. If you've got a spare $1,000, there's still time to reserve "Your Fringe for a Day" VIP treatment, including unlimited shows, beer and (most importantly) reserved parking for 24 hours. Contact 407-648-0077 or [email protected] for details.

Now Playing Little Shop of Horrors, through April 15 at Bay Street Players ... Transition, through April 15 at Valencia East ... The Animatronicans, through April 21 at Parliament House ... Nunsense A-Men, through April 21 at Winter Park Playhouse ... Company, through April 22 at CFCArts ... A View From the Bridge, through April 22 at Mad Cow ... The Luckiest People, through April 29 at Orlando Shakes ... Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, through May 5 at Orlando Shakes ... Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt, through May 13 at Orlando REP.

Upcoming 9 to 5 The Musical, April 20-28 at Rollins College ... Something Rotten, April 24-29 at Dr. Phillips Center ... The Hunchback of Notre Dame, April 27-May 27 at Garden Theatre ... Rock of Ages, April 27-May 6 at Wayne Densch ... She Won't Tell, April 29 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Miss Firecracker Contest, May 4-20 at Bay Street Players ... Orlando Ballet: Contemporary Wonders, May 4-6 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Respect, May 12-19 at Bay Street Players.

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