Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The beer tent is at the heart of the Orlando Fringe.

The best way to discover what shows to see at the Orlando International Fringe Festival is by word of mouth at the beer tent on the green lawn of fabulousness. A beer truck was parked at the edge of the tent offering beers on tap. "Just do it" orange buckets were below each tap. To get a beer you need to first buy a ticket at another tent. Apparently there is a city ordinance that makes it illegal to pay cash for beer in a public park. The tickets circumvent that ordinance. I got a $5 ticket and tried a beer that was a bit bitter for my taste. It was cold, so I still appreciated it in the hot afternoon.

This was the first day of Fringe and the beer wench was extremely helpful in not only slinging beers, but explaining how to Fringe to newer patrons.  She was also quick to compliment a woman on her beautiful breasts. My man boobs didn't elicit a compliment. My second drink was a hard cider which is what I decided to drink for the rest of the Fringe. I bumped into Brandon Roberts who has to be the funniest actor in Orlando. He was in a show called Clink which featured acrobatics in a prison setting. He gave me the quick elevator pitch for the show, and I decided that I would have to go for the sketch opportunity. To promote Clink, Brandon said, "Fringing is a dirty business" as he dropped off bars of soap on my table with a Clink promotional photo on the wrapper.

I used the beer tent for cover when a torrential rain storm hit the Fringe. Wind gusts made any attempt as staying dry fruitless. As the rain died down, a man took his folding chair and used it to push up a heavy pool of water that was caught in the sagging roof of the tent. A huge waterfall caused children to laugh with delight. A woman from the fire oven pizza booth came out with a pizza paddle to do the same to another sagging tent. The rain stopped for a bit and I got as far as the Rep before it began to pour again.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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