While there was no shortage of reading events this year, Orlando Cringe set itself apart from the herd based purely on content. Instead of readers delivering painstakingly crafted poetry and prose written by (mostly) level-headed adults, readers at Cringe pull their readings straight from the diaries of their younger selves. While the writing may not be on the level of a multilayered sonnet about Greek pottery, audiences do get to hear about middle-school crushes, draconian parents and the heartbreaking betrayals of supposed BFFs. And while Orlando Cringe does live up to its name, inducing shudders and groans of familiarity with the subject matter, the more uplifting aspect of it is that it reminds us that we were maybe not as alone in our "awkward stage" as we thought we were.
Last March, the Art & History Museums – Maitland's monthlong Art 31 project brought works by a number of internationally acclaimed artists (including Dale Chihuly, Lorrie Fredette and Paige Smith) to the Orlando area. However, nothing topped Jason Hackenwerth's biological balloon sculpture costumes for sheer grin-inducing WTF-ness. You can say they were abstract forms or alien fish; we could only see giant walking naughty bits, and we loved them for it.
The on-ramps are better prospects than the off-ramps, as if merging depends on purging. Outside the I-4 Ultimate construction fences, there's a no-man's-land of heaved purses, flung coolers, thrown books, car parts, children's toys ... the Orlampa Corridor's forgotten detritus, a fascinating linear treasure trove that's constantly changing. You'll need both a driver and a spotter, but the driver needs a fighter pilot's nerves and reaction time. Turn sharp eyes toward any area where they've stopped mowing, and look for piles. At the west side of Kaley, for example, we recently found brass engine parts and a rusty aqua chaise lounge. At Princeton's little westbound on-ramp: an Encyclopedia Britannica – that rare Volume XII – and a dog dish. All fodder for the muse.
1. Blue Star
2. Patrick Greene
3. Denna Beena
1. Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, orlandofringe.org
2. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org
3. Artlando, artlando.com
1. Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk, thorntonparkdistrict.com
2. Sanford Alive After 5, facebook.com/aliveafter5
3. 1st Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art, omart.org
1. VarieTease, thevenueorlando.com
2. Corsets & Cuties, corsetsandcuties.com
3. Rock Hard Revue, rockhardrevue.com
1. SAK Comedy Lab, 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-0001, sakcomedylab.com
2. Improv Orlando, 9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, theimprovorlando.com
3. The Tumbleweed Comedy Tour, tomanddan.com