Dec. 03--Monday night saw the yearly emotional roller coaster that is the lottery for the Orlando Fringe Festival. As the Fringe is an unjuried festival, the shows presented each spring are chosen by the old-school method of drawing names out of a hat.
Inevitably, for every producer thrilled to have his or her show chosen, there's one despondent over not getting a spot.
The lottery for the 2014 Fringe, which runs the latter half of May, took place Monday at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, also home to several of the Fringe theaters during the festival.
Orlando city commissioner Robert Stuart -- who proved to be a good sport with a fired-up crowd -- was on hand to draw the names of the winners.
Among the names familiar to Fringegoers: Shows from Michael Wanzie, John Ryan and the Wonderheads, the folks behind last year's big hit "Loon." On the dance front, Yow Dance and Flamenco del Sol will return.
Also returning are popular storyteller Martin Dockery, comic Mike Delafonte with a new installment of "God Is a Scottish Drag Queen," comedian Paul Strickland and after a year's hiatus, Canadian wordsmith T.J. Dawe.
Local favorite Blue will present an installment of her "Varietease" performance art, and Tod Kimbro will have a new musical act.
Some high-profile local groups were not chosen, though any group not picked is placed on a waiting list. Those near the top of the list have an excellent chance of getting a spot later as the schedule is finalized, though those further down might not be so fortunate.
Near the top: Pepe, with his latest "Truth or Dare" show; senior-citizen choir The Downtowners; and Skill Focus Burlesque.
Further down the list: A rap musical from downtown's SAK Comedy Lab, storyteller Bernie O'Brien, and new comedies from PB&J Theatre Factory, Jester Theater and The Humor Mill.
Part of the fun of the lottery is hearing the names of the shows announced -- without any knowledge of their genre or story line. Among the more intriguing titles: "Escape from Baldwin Park," Professor Soap's Music Machine," "Punk Grandpa," "Train Your Man," "Roller Derby Saved My Soul," "Killer Quack," "Conversations with my Divorce Attorney" and "Taking Out the White Trash."
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