The run-up to May's Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival ramped up with Fringe's annual fundraiser March 1 at Hard Rock Live. This year's "Dancing With the Fringe Stars" theme paired trained local dancers with Fringe "celebrities" like "Kim Jong Un" (a hilariously stone-faced Terrence Yip) and Mark Baratelli's "Judy Garland." Yow Dance's Christin Caviness and Doug Ba'aser's '80s-tastic "Gloria" routine was the audience favorite, while the judges – Blue Star, Michael Wanzie and Eric Yow – gave top honors to VarieTease's Tymisha Harris and PB&J Theatre Factory's Brandon Roberts for their playful "Fringe geeks" meet-cute choreography. Between donations, ticket sales and the silent auction (which included a trip to NYC and a bicycle) the evening raised $9,500 for the festival, which is now selling tickets at orlandofringe.org for its April 13 local artist previews.
Mad Cow Theatre unveiled its 19th season recently, revealing a lineup of familiar classics and cutting-edge scripts. Beginning this October through August 2016, the larger Harriett Theatre will house Hart & Kaufman's You Can't Take It With You, The Secret Garden musical, Art by Yasmina Reza, O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Big Meal by Dan LaFranc and a yet-unannounced musical. The smaller Zehngebot-Stonerock stage will see My Name Is Asher Lev by Aaron Posner, John Patrick Shanley's Outside Mullingar, The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney and Buyer & Cellar, Jonathan Tolins' recent New York hit about Barbra Streisand.
Speaking of New York, the early 2000s "interactive improvisational theater experiment" Joe's NYC Bar is being resurrected at St. Matthew's Tavern for a six-show run, starting Sunday, March 15. Show creator Christian Kelty returns with original performers Ali Flores, Trenell Mooring and John Connon, joined by local favorites Michael Marinaccio, Anitra Pritchard and Michael Wanzie. Visit wanzie.com for tickets.
Motown, through March 15 at Dr. Phillips Center ... Henry V, through March 22 at Orlando Shakes ... A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, through March 28 at Winter Park Playhouse ... VarieTease: Carnies, through March 28 at the Abbey.
Vincent by Leonard Nimoy, March 12-15 at Orlando Shakes ... The Philadelphia Story, March 20-April 19 at Mad Cow Theatre ... PRT Premiere: Coercion by Louise Wigglesworth, March 20-29 at Orlando Shakes ... Bug, March 20-29 at Queen's Head Theatre.