Brace yourselves. It’s Hollywood Fringe time.
The Hollywood Fringe, for the uninitiated, is a glorious explosion celebrating the arts and artists.
If you haven’t experienced it in years past you have no idea what you’ve been missing and this year is certainly not one to be missed:
● 300 productions
● 1,400 performances
● From June 4 to June 28 each and every night, and starting at 11:00 AM on the weekends, at two dozen plus venues, most within walking distance of each other, with the theatre ghetto of Santa Monica Boulevard as Ground Zero.
The shows vary in length. While some have running times of two hours; the majority are short lasting between a half-hour to an hour. They’re timed so that as one show is ending another is starting. So it’s possible to walk from one venue to the next and see three or more different shows on any given night.
What type of entertainment does the Fringe have to offer? Hell, what type doesn’t it?
Here’s a sampling:
Wombat Man: The Cereal Murders billed as a “kid’s show for adults.”
Spiderpocalypse! “A low budget horror film on stage.”
Chansons Françaises is a tribute to Edith Piaf by Zahida Chebchoub.
Mudd the Magnificent: Magic & Mayhem
There are a stack of musicals being staged ranging from Broadway standards to adaptations of classics to the downright strange – hey, it’s the Fringe!
Among the musical fare you’ll find:
Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me a Little
The Count of Monte Cristo – The Musical
King of Kong a Musical Parody of the 2007 documentary about the murky world of video games.
Shakespeare(ish) the Bard, puppets and singing clowns.
Dance performances are on the bill as well. To name just one:
Bittersweet Love choreographer Cassandra Daurden’s take on the conflicts and challenges of today’s relationships.
The staggering variety of presentations is one of the true joys of the Fringe.
You have shows for the more traditional theatre-goers. Performances that appeal to, perhaps, an older demographic:
Clybourne Park the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama.
Gaby Rey’s Ethel Merman; Queen of Musical Comedy.
And Cliff Todd’s The Legend of Bobby Darin: An Unauthorized Autobiography.
Then there are the shows that rejoice in pushing the boundaries, the shows, the Fringe was meant to showcase:
Fifty Shades of Shrew …Shakespeare meets S&M.
A Fringe favorite the Four Clowns will be presenting The Halfwits’ Last Hurrah
While The Brazen Booties Present: Booties’ Playhouse featuring, among others, Ashleeta the “Noir Nymphet” and Lily Allure fire eating belly dancer.
Those with historical interests and literary tastes will find any number of fascinating topics available to them, including:
Warren and the Teapots a 50’s doo-wop group harmonizes the scandals of the Warren G. Harding’s Presidency.
And Nell Gwynne: A Dramatick Essaye on Acting and Prostitution.
One man shows and solo performers are the main stays of any Fringe Festival and the Hollywood Fringe has a dazzling assortment on its stages:
No Traveler: A Comedy About Suicide, wherein a young woman awakens after her attempted suicide to find herself in a puke filled purgatory.
Bill Oberst Jr. pays homage to writer Ray Bradbury with a staging of his 1948 novella Pillar of Fire.
Brad Griffith is nothing if not ambitious in his undertaking: War and Peace: The One Man Show.
The Devil You Say a one puppet soliloquy features…well the Devil.
And Out My Window the story of a man who, when he found himself in a job where he sat at a desk before a huge plate glass window facing out onto Hollywood Boulevard, decided to bring his camera to work. The show tells the stories of the people he met and the adventures he had using some of the 9,038 pictures he took.
It’s a great show by one of my favorite playwrights.
So what did we talk about here 25 shows?
That leaves 275 for you to check out yourself. Just go to HollywoodFringe.org.
Ticket prices generally run from $5.00 up to $20.00, with $7.00 being the average.
There are also a huge number of shows where admission is either free or “Pay What You Can.”
Every show has its own site at HollywoodFringe.org, where you can locate show times and prices as well as read reviews by people who have attended performances or even write your own if you want.
See you at the Fringe… Where LA goes to Party with the Arty!!