Once again, the outdoor stage at Fringe provides a packed schedule of music, theater, comedy and more for 11 straight days. Southern Fried Sunday boss Jessica Pawli has turned the outdoor stage into one of the main attractions, and this year is no different.
Opening Night The outdoor stage kicks off Fringe on Thursday, May 18, with a party featuring three homegrown favorites: the Orlando Gay Chorus, classy retro juke-joint party band the Mud Flappers, and cracker-blues stompin' one-man band Lauris Vidal.
Swamp Sista La La Beth McKee's Swamp Sistas take over the outdoor stage all day on Saturday, May 20. Featuring female songwriters of varying genres and backgrounds, the La La includes everything from loop artist Renee Is a Zombie, hip-hop MC E-Turn, teen popsmith O-Sky and local folk hero Terri Binion performing with a full band, which is always a can't-miss.
Orlando Fringe Literary Sunday The first Sunday of Fringe, May 21, sees the stage devoted to the area's word nerds. Perennial favorites like the Fringe Poetry Smackdown and Live Lewd Girls bookend the capstone event of the Fringe literary scene: the Fringe Toast-Off, in which brave souls go head-to-head to come up with the best short toasts to a variety of randomly selected topics.
Jazz Comes to Fringe Monday, May 22, sees a special block of jazz, starting at 8 p.m., with the Sam Rivers Rejuvenation Orchestra playing with vaunted chanteuse Kaleigh Baker taking on vocal duties.
Comedy Nights Tuesday, May 23, and Thursday, May 25, are devoted to the comedy scene. In addition to some improv comedy from AdLib Theater and Celtic musical comedy from Tartantrum, Tuesday also features a stand-up showcase from Ross McCoy's Tumbleweed Comedy Tour and Movies Out Loud, an MST3K-style riffing on the 1980 roller-disco fantasy musical Xanadu. Thursday's comedy block features two showcases, one hosted by new-money lollipop magnate Big Tim Murphy and the other featuring Atlanta comic Joe Pettis' Underwear Comedy Party, in which comics perform in their skivvies.
Southern Fried Sunday The final Sunday of Fringe is an all-day Southern Fried Sunday party out on the lawn. In addition to local staples like the Bloody Jug Band and Tears of a Tyrant, the slate includes let's-just-call-her-"outspoken" Grammy-nominated folk singer Michelle Shocked (in town as the musical guest for Fringe performances of Joe's NYC Bar), honorary Orlandoan country outlaw Matt Woods and Woods' fellow Tennessean Jeff Shepherd. Plus, you get to pair your barbecue with those addictive fried cheese curds if you hit the right food carts.
Check out the full schedule for the outdoor stage at orlandofringe.org.