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FRINGE To The Left Of Me … FRINGE To The Right Of Me: Will We See You There?

by Karen Tortora-Lee on August 11, 2011

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Nothing gets us more excited at THM than a festival, and when it comes to festivals, Fringe is the one we wait for all year … the way other people wait for Christmas.  Silly, silly Christmas-waiting people.  Sure, getting presents is fun … for a while.  But running around from theatre to theatre seeing what very well may be the next smash hit is the kind of thing that REALLY gets a gal excited.  So for the next 18 days we, your faithful THM contributors — along with a few guest reviewers — will be covering 44 of the 194 shows that are out there. Here’s where we’re going.  Will we see you there?

2 Burn - Ever give an apple to your teacher to get his attention? In this gay, noir drama, one college student is willing to give much more as he and his professor vie for power over language, sex, and each other.

74 Minutes of Stereo Radio Theater - A parlor game escalates into marital warfare. An ancient civilization faces death by over-enthusiasm. Comedy mates with legitimate theater for the amusement of a jaded audience. Stereo Radio Theater: Post-alternative sketch comedy for the non-attention deficit-disordered.

A way of Man - Storytelling performance of one of the most famous tales in Dutch literature. On Jonathan’s journey towards adulthood, desperately seeking the one ultimate truth, he meets many fantastical characters; all who confuse, manipulate, love and inspire him.

American Vaudeville Theatre 15th Anniversary ExTRAVaganza –  Long time downtown impresario and author Trav S.D. hosts the 15th anniversary edition of his popular vaudeville show, mixing the hottest contemporary variety acts with his own Topsy-Turvy songs and comedy sketches, wrapped in a distinctly pre-21st century package.

Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story - A prissy Beauty Queen falls in love/hate with a guitar-wielding firebrand. Is there room for this bad romance in Verona, Iowa? Or will Juliet stay in her walk-in closet? An award-winning pop-folk musical, with drag queens.

Anna & The Annadroids: Memoirs of a Robot Girl - An original sci-fi graphic novel is brought to life through ground and aerial dance, electronic music, interactive video, illustrations, and quirky costume design. This surreal solo production features the work of artists from Columbus, New York, and San Francisco.

Back to the Garden - Why would God put forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden if He was just going to get pissed off when Adam and Eve ate it? This farcical retelling of Genesis answers this question while raising many others! Wanna bite?

The Bardy Bunch: The War of the Families Partridge and Brady - In the summer of 1974, The Brady and Partridge Families, recently cancelled and no longer under America’s watchful eye, met in a blood-soaked, passion-filled, vengeance-fueled, very special episode of Shakespearean proportions.

Before Placing Me on Your Shelf - Mysterious phone calls. Duct tape bondage. A sexy camel. Seven people contend with everything from flesh-eating moths to their own identity crises in this absurd, darkly comic look at what lurks just beneath the surface of everyday life.

BETTE DAVIS AIN’T FOR SISSIES - Dear Warner Brothers, After 40 films and two Academy Awards you continue to discredit and disrespect my talent and worth with meaningless roles. I have a voice. I warn you this Yankee will not be shut up! Respectfully, Bette Davis

Carnival Knowledge: Love, Lust, and Other Human Oddities - Five million men in LA… She only needs one to work. This award-nominated solo artist presents a thrilling roller coaster ride through the perils of playing the dating game. A critically acclaimed, comic, carnal romp, replete with surprising poignancy.

Chien de Moi - Chien de Moi tells the story of a girl who falls into a deep and unlikely love while inside her own frighteningly beautiful nightmare. Through masked dance and a wildly eclectic underscore, Chien is an exploration of perfectly imperfect love.

Craving - “Just arrived in Budapest, but I’m not Hungary!” From Edmonton, Alberta, this one woman comedic drama enters the mind warp of an adventure-seeking anorexic 18 year old in Europe.

The Custodian -A zany comedy about a custodian pushed to his breaking point by super heroes. Complete with ray guns, machetes, human liquidation and mops you’re sure to love it. When a super hero saves the day who’s left to clean up the mess? The Custodian!

Donna/Madonna - The award-winning (UNITED SOLO Theatre Festival) one-man comedy about an adopted son and two mothers: the doting Catholic homemaker and the fashionista wife of a British pop star! Sometimes you have to meet a “Material Girl” to appreciate “America’s Sweetheart.”

Elysian FIelds - Direct from sold-out performances at L.A.’s Celebration Theatre, ELYSIAN FIELDS brings to life Allan, Sebastian and Skipper, whose deaths sparked the action of Tennessee Williams’ dramas A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

facebook me - 6 MILLION teenage girls are on Facebook. Get ready for a shockingly real look into our lives as we navigate our adolescence online…where status is more than an update. It’s 10pm. Do you know who your daughter is?

Gleeam - What happens when a vaguely familiar high school Glee Club is hacked to death by a mysterious masked slasher? It’s going to be a SCREAM, complete with GLEEful musical numbers!

Hamlet - After The Wall Street Journal named BTC a “Favorite of Last Summer”, they’re BACK with Shakespeare’s most renowned tragedy. With 8 actors, 19 characters and 1 trunk this dynamic company puts a new twist on this classic story. Revenge never tasted so good.

Happily Ever After - Step right up to the greatest nightmare on earth! Jack is trapped in a dream where the Brothers Grimm are psychotic ringleaders of a tortured circus. Sundown Theatre uses music and movement to create a twisted fairy tale world.

I Light Up My Life: The Mark Sam Celebrity Autobiography - At long last! The world’s first preemptive celebrity autobiography! Attempt to stomach this smut-fueled, casually offensive road-to-success story of a celebrity who has succeeded nowhere — but in his own mind! From the creators of Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire.

Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera - MTV’s reality phenomenon “Jersey Shore” gets the rock opera treatment in this brand new musical parody. Behind all the fist pumping and fighting, it turns out all these guidos and guidettes really care about is love, family, and gettin’ it in.

leonard cohen koans - wistful to wild, ali hughes soars as the statuesque soul-stirring chanteuse fronting Australian musical collective, ali & the thieves, as they explore the work of Leonard Cohen, infusing his poetry, prose and song with their intricate, and very personal, elixir

Lipshtick - What if your TV was watching you? In a reality show gone amok, our sinister MC takes you on a hilariously dark hunt to find her next unsuspecting candidate for the ultimate makeover. A multimedia journey from vaudeville to burlesque!

Lou - Nothing was off limits to her. Nietzsche, Rilke and Freud fell under her spell. Watch her peel back her life to reveal the amazing bodies in her wake. The theater is small. You can’t escape her. You won’t forget her.

MOTHER she’s with you wherever you go - ”Hilarious…Eloquent” Backstage West, LA Weekly Best Solo Performance nominee: A true tale of an extraordinary Irish-Catholic mother, a soul searching daughter and a complicated relationship that will take you on an insane and life affirming roller-coaster ride.

Nils’ Fucked Up Day - ”The most obscene play in the Romanian theatre” -”Nils’ Fucked Up Day” is a sarcastic, existentialist take on the fucked up choices we have in this fucked up world. Outrageously presented in English by Romanian actors who won’t emigrate to NY… Maybe.

The Panic Diaries - Heart Pounding. Throat Dry. What happens when terror strikes and you’re lost?! Four Time National Monologue Champion Katie Northlich embarks on a journey to examine her existence through “flat-out funny” characters until she’s forced to face her greatest fear: herself!!

Paper Cut - A lonely secretary escapes her bleak reality by bringing to life black&white photos from old film magazines. But as the story unravels, her romantic tale becomes a Hitchcock nightmare! An award winning performance of paper and object theater.

Pawn - Pawn follows Abraham Niu, an Asian-Canadian soldier in Afghanistan, into the darkest night of his life. This groundbreaking folk-rock musical unlocks an urgent discourse on the post-9/11 decade through the keyhole of one family’s loss and unrelenting hope.

PigPen Presents: The Mountain Song - 2010 FringeNYC Overall Excellence winners and runaway hit PigPen Theatre Co. return with “The Mountain Song”. A carpenter must travel over mountains, rivers, and deserts to attend his daughter’s wedding… without a clue as to where it’s taking place.

Romeo & Juliet: Choose Your Own Ending - Should Romeo pursue Juliet or Rosaline? Will the lovers live happily ever after? It’s up to you to decide. The audience’s vote determines how the play unfolds each night! Winner of Best Comedy/Best Overall Show of Capital Fringe Festival 2010!

Salamander Stew - A friendly forest: green, though glum. A metaphysical journey that is quite indescribable. This hallucination is the kind that can prey upon the mind. The demons are out. The road to love is rocky. The question is: “What is Salamander Stew?”

Smoke The New Cigarette - Egon and Leah wanted to play together, but Egon was too chamber and Leah too punk, so they created “chamber punk.” Now, fresh off its 42 nation tour, The New Cigarette Flash Mob means to show you what that is.

Theater of the Arcade: Five Classic Video Games Adapted for the Stage - An apelike brute holds a young woman captive and hurls obstacles at anyone who dares approach. Classic video game or modernist drama? What happens when arcade stories are given the high literary respect and dramaturgical rigor they deserve?

The Three Times She Knocked - From the producers behind the upcoming Off-Broadway transfer of “Jurassic Parq: The Broadway Musical” (FringeNYC ’10 Best Overall Production/Musical) comes a psychological thriller about unbridled passion and the destructive potential of sexual obsession…

Top Drawer - A chronicle of dysfunction and redemption on Park Avenue. With a gay Cuban concert-pianist father and a socialite opera-singing mother, Adelaide brings to life an outrageous and heartrending musical memoir that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even… sing.

The Unhappiness Plays - Space 55 (Phoenix, AZ) comically explores the existential horror of the human condition in The Unhappiness Plays (Greg Kotis, “Urinetown”). Sartre suggested that Hell is other people; The Unhappiness Plays humorously asks whether Hell is perhaps ourselves.

Victor and Victoria’s Terrifying Tale of Terrible Things - One terrifyingly dark and horrifyingly stormy night, fraternal twins, Victor and Victoria discover a mysterious book revealing a sinister family secret that will change their lives forever. Inspired by the darkly funny stories and macabre gothic artwork of Edward Gorey.

Virtual Solitaire - Virtual reality murder mystery from Seattle. BEST PLAY, Edmonton Fringe. BEST PLAY, Vancouver Fringe. BEST PLAY, Saskatoon Fringe. “Jaw-droppingly good.” – Winnipeg Sun. “Takes THE MATRIX to David Cronenberg.” – The Australian. “A nimble theatrical gamester!” – Seattle Times. “Dazzling.” – Georgia Straight, Vancouver.

WHALE SONG or: Learning to Live With Mobyphobia - Only Maya Swan knows why Molly the whale is stranded in the Hudson River. While millions of New Yorkers wonder in amazement, Maya knows she has come to deliver a message from her dead father. Too bad Maya is Mobyphobic.

What the Sparrow Said - By his mother’s deathbed, Blaze doesn’t know whether to pull the plug. Should he tell his estranged brother, Dan? This tragicomedy is produced by the company and playwright Edward Albee says is “making a provocative impact on American theatre.”

When the Sky Breaks 3D - Rock 3D glasses and watch old-school hip-hop meet cutting-edge, 3D technology in this explosive dance performance. Featuring a DJ, VJ and an international cast, Decadancetheatre continues to be, “the pioneering all-female hip-hop crew” (The New Yorker).

You’ve Ruined a Perfectly Good Mystery! - A legendary detective and a preposterous narrator clash in an interactive comedy from Madison, Wisconsin. Audiences decide the plot in a play that toys with theatrical conventions and classic mysteries. Highbrow wit! Lowbrow antics! Fights! Mimes! And much more…

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