What weird wonders will be contained within the 2000 New York International Fringe Festival? To get a rough idea, drop by Joe's Pub on July 31 at 8 PM. At that time, the producers of the Fringe will offer a sneak preview of coming attractions. Admission is $10.
Featured will be magicians Jamy Ian Swiss and Mark Mitton; a "well-done musical for rare audiences" called To Sirloin with Love; and performances artist Kate Rigg and her “Chink-o-rama” dancers.
The Fringe Festival will be held Aug. 16-27 at a variety of theatres across the Lower East Side and East Village of Manhattan.
Chile! India! France! Missouri! They'll all be represented at the fourth annual New York International Fringe Festival, which will take place Aug. 16-27 at the usual array of East Village and Lower East Side theatres and venues. Fringe 2000 will offer 175 productions, tying the number seen at last years event. In addition to Chile, India and France, shows hailing from German, Mexico, Austria and six others countries will journey to Manhattan this August. U.S. acts will come from such states as Kentucky, Georgia and Texas. As in previous years, there will be FringeAlFresco (outdoor street performances), FringeU (panels and discussions) and FringeJr (kids activities) offerings.
Some of the more notable attractions follow. (Watch PBOL daily for detailed stories on NYC Fringe shows; beginning Aug. 1, we will feature one new Fringe story every day up until and through the run of the festival.):
• C.V.R. (Charlie Victor Romeo), Collective Unconscious' sleeper Off-Off-Broadway hit of last season returns. The gripping doco-drama, winner of two Drama Desk awards, creates theatre out of the real transcripts of black box recordings from planes which have crashed.
• Bona Fide Conversation, Chicagoan Barrie Cole, billed as a "language gymnast," presents three original performance works about communication, contradictions and fascination.
• Buddy Movie, by Tony Vellela, who won the 1999 Fringe Excellence in Playwriting Award. Vellala returns with the story of betrayal, seduction and sacrifice -- all to get a film project done.
• Clowns in the Vagina, by ASYLUM of Chicago. Calling Eve Ensler; the title says it all.
• The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett as Found in an Envelope (Partially Burned) in a Dustbin in Paris Labeled: Never to Be Performed. Never. Ever. EVER! Or I'll Sue! I'LL SUE FROM THE GRAVE!!!, by the Neo Futurists, Fringe favorites and creators of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind and K. Expect zaniness.
• Doctor Faustus; Drama of Works, a Faustus from Brooklyn, enacted on a 9" by 10" puppet stage.
• Eleven Dollar Prophet, by Antonio Sacre of Los Angeles. Sacre has been represented in all four Fringe Fests, last year with My Penis -- In and Out of Trouble.
• Cruces, from Me xihc co teatro [sic] of Mexico City. It's performed on the roof and wall of a building. It involves harnesses and rigging. It's from south of the border.
• Die Ungarische Medea (The Hungarian Medea), from Ulm, Germany. Forget Yaclav Havel; meet Arpad Goncz! Goncz, the former president of Hungary (he steps down in early August) has penned this new adaptation of Euripides' Medea. Why can't the U.S. elect presidents like they do in Eastern Europe?
• See Bob Run, from Daniel MacIvor, the author Never Swim Alone, currently running Off-Broadway. Featuring Australian actress Sophia Martin.
• SNAG, from Sydney, Australia, a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe. One actor performs ten roles, including a husband who finds his wife in bed with, it seems, a fish.
• Stage Door, by Salt Theatre on New York. From the looks of it, this mounting of Kaufman and Ferber's comedy, featuring a cast of 27 and director Emma Griffin, is a straightforward production, sans gimmicks of any kind. Can it be?
For a while there, it seemed as though there wouldn't be a Fringe Fest in 2000. Earlier this year, the Present Company, which produces the Fringe, was presented with a Notice of Default by its landlord saying it owed over $100,000 in rent, most of it in late fees. The troupe quickly launched a fund-raising drive, and enlisted legal help to battle the landlords and keep their Stanton Street space. Eventually, the two sides agreed to a settlement of $32,000, but not before the company was given a good scare. Artistic director John Clancy told of his experiences keeping the ensemble and Fringe afloat in his autobiographical one-man show, Notice of Default and Opportunity to Cure, which ran March 31-April 22.
The venues being used in this year's Fringe include the Present Company Theatorium (198 Stanton Street), which acts as the festival's center of operations, The Henry Street Settlement, University Settlement, Surf Reality, Collective Unconscious, Context, WOW Cafe, Rod Rodgers Studio, Paradise, The Kraine Theatre, Red Room, St. Mark's Studio Theatre, Charas/El Bohio (which houses five separate spaces) and Pace University's Schaeberle Studio Theatre.
Tickets for all shows are $12 (kids under 12, seniors and locals, $7); a five-show pass is $55; a ten-show pass, $100; a Lunatic Pass, for access to everything, $350. For more information of the Fringe, call (212) 420 8877, or consult the website at www.fringenyc.org.
In other news, Sandra Bernhard, who began a run at downtown Manhattan's Joe's Pub on July 12, has extended her stay. Originally scheduled through July 28, she has added performances on Aug. 3, 4 and 6.
The actress performance artist has starred in such Off-Broadway one person shows as Without You, I'm Nothing and I'm Still Here, Damn It. The latter transferred for brief Broadway run two seasons ago.
Bernhard will bring her usual mix of comedy, commentary and tongue-in cheek song stylings to Joe's Pub. Backing her up will be a five-piece combo. [See current PBOL feature story.]
A selection of acts coming to Joe's Pub this summer runs as follows:
• Performance artist Colleen Werthmann presents her latest solo show Aug. 12. Titled She Hates Her Supervisor, it is touted as “a hilariously bleak show about horrible jobs and the people who do them.” Ticket prices are $12.
• Performance artist Diamanda Galas will perform her own compositions, Aug. 13. Tickets are $30. • Performance artist and singer Queen Esther in her show, Unemployed Superstar, about "pop culture, fantasy and dark urban reality told through 70’s TV divas, a black Barbie and voices from Harlem," Aug. 25, Sept. 1, 8; Tickets are $12
Joe's Pub is located at 425 Lafayette Street, just off the Public Theater. For more information, call (212) 539-8643.
--By Robert Simonson