Best of the Orlando Fringe Festival
Here, alphabetically, are a dozen shows at this year's Orlando Fringe Festival heartily recommended by the Orlando Sentinel reviewing team:

'Anne Frank Superstar & Purpose of the Moon'

One of the best things about Fringe is the way utterly unlikely combinations can come together to create something totally new and surprising. That's the case with this show from Penguin Point Productions, the alumni chapter of the theater department at Winter Park's Lake Howell High School. Composed of two unrelated one-acts, the show begins with the brief "Purpose of the Moon," adapted by James Brendlinger from a short story by Tom Robbins, an amusingly absurd mash-up of the lives of Marilyn Monroe and Vincent Van Gogh.

But the real reason to see this show lies in the second piece, "Anne Frank Superstar," also adapted by Brendlinger, which marries the familiar writings of the marvelously literate Jewish teenager robbed of her adulthood to the tragically sad music of '70s superstars Karen and Richard Carpenter — you'll be astonished at the affinities Brendlinger and musical director Sean Michael Robinson find in this seemingly disparate material.

The mostly inspired combinations will bring you to tears more than once.

Pink venue, 60 min., $10. Remaining show: 6:40 p.m. Saturday

Mary Frances Emmons

Special to the Sentinel

'Bitches of the Kingdom'

The Oops Guys — Dennis Giacino and Fiely Matias — make a welcome return to Orlando with "Bitches of the Kingdom," a high-energy laugh machine that plays well to this hometown crowd. A spoof of the Disney princess personas, the musical comedy will entertain both fans of Mickey's kingdom and critics of the lessons Cinderella and her ilk teach impressionable girls.

"One more whistle while I work and I'm going to scream," sings Snow White (vocal pro Michelle Knight at her sassiest).

Tawatha Valentine has plenty of spunk and the strongest musical number — The Frog Princess wondering why it took so long for Disney to "give a sister a song." (Clever lyrics include: "Miss Roberta ain't takin' no flack.")

The end could use a catchier song than a reprise of the show opener, but most of what's in between is a comic romp in the finest Fringe tradition.

Orange venue. 60 minutes. $10. Remaining shows: 9:05 p.m. today, 4:20 p.m. Saturday

Matthew J. Palm

Theater critic