Saturday, September 16, 2006

On the Fringe, (and you all know how I like a little fringe)

I felt like I had made a mistake when I was on vacation during the 2006 NYC Fringe Festival. This is the 10th anniversary of the NYC Fringe Festival, the largest theatre festival in North America. Based on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the NYC Fringe always presents a full range of theatrical offerings, from drama, to musicals, to mime, to camp, to political plays. Along with this is a full range of artistic choices and quality. Some shows manage to have respectable budgets that allow for good quality production values, others do not have such budgets. There too, the size of the budget is never a reliable indicator of the quality of the event you'll experience. On occasion, Fringe shows have found their way to Broadway, most notably "Urinetown, the Musical," from the 1999 festival, which was nominated for 9 Tony Awards in 2002. Oddly, it won three for Best Book, Score and Director, but not Best Musical. (I've never figured out how that worked.)

But I hopes were temporarily raised when I got a blast email that several of this year's Fringe shows were getting encore presentations in September. I say temporarily because as soon as I received the first email, I tried to buy tickets to a couple of shows. At that time, the shows I wanted to see appeared to have already sold out. So, I resigned myself to a "fringeless" 2006 theatre season. (sad face here)

Magically, I got another blast email this week about these encore presentations offering discounted tickets!! (happy boy!) Clicking as quickly as my carpal tunnel would allow, I secured seats for two of the shows, "Never Swim Alone" and "Rainy Days and Mondays."

Reviews will follow.

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