Brace Yourself, It's Polio again! The San Francisco Fringe Festival, an international theatre extravaganza once home to such fancifully-titled fare as Antonio Sacre's My Penis -- In and Out of Trouble and Doctor Emile's Theatre Tremendo's It Came From Beneath the Kilt!!!, presents the best of its tenth year Sept. 28 and 29. Liebe Wetzel's Brace Yourself is one of the ten shows getting a second airing in four of the EXIT Theatre's spaces.
Also honored are:
Toasted: a one-woman piece by Elisa DeCarlo based on the true confession of brutal murder made to an alcoholics e-mail list she belonged to made by the killer
God Complex: Gabriel Diani's humorous look at man's relationship with God
The Family Tree: first time playwright and former punk rocker Denise Dee's examination of family relationships
How to be a Secret Agent Girl as Seen on American Television and in Movies by Cathleen Daly
Stranger and Stranger: performed by Kinetic Theory Experimental Theory and based on Stephanie Abrams' mime piece "An Evening with a Lonelyheart"
Meet John WTO: Dan McHale's recounting of his experiences at the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle
One or Two Things by Emily Fox
DayTrippers IV: Play-in-a-Day Marathon, which creates 24 hour plays via the Rough Theatre Company
Loose Woman: Lindsay Kayser's reflection on a century of women performers.
The Festival, which began Sept. 6 and ran through Sept. 16, featured over 53 separate productions including Wetzel's Brace Yourself It's Polio, Tiny Tuna Theatre's sex-filled sci-fi comedy Beaverzilla, Pauper Etiquette's The Condom, the Cucumber and the Girl From Ipanema and Sara DeWitt's The Last Smoker in Berkeley.
An international and national Fringe Festival, San Francisco plays host to companies from around the world and around the States. Among the foreign entries are England's Fleshpuppets with Charlie's Angel, Spinning Wheel's Farewell to the Flesh and Yarn Productions adaptation of Heart of Darkness as well as Canada's Wee Theatre performing By a Thread. American companies include Texas' Gypsy Baby with Loose Woman, Alaska's Barbara Brown in A Little Bit Pregnant and New York's 3 Noses Theater Company with The Macy's Account and Elisa DeCarlo in Toasted. The Bay Area's own Stark Ravens Historical Players present Alice in Wonderland, while Kaliyuga Arts stages The Pilgrim Project and Theatre Au Naturel, What Big Teeth You Have! or Little Red Bites Back.
The Bring-Your-Own-Venue shows, created for those pieces whose length or technical requirements would not allow their involvement in the Fringe, are Unconditional Theatre's outdoor staging of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story, Ghost Town's sci-fi love story set underwater The Queen's Rain and Mark Kenward's The Yoga of Moby Dick.
Tickets to the Best of the Fringe are $12-$18. All Fringe theatres are located in downtown San Francisco. For reservations, call (415) 673 3847. The San Francisco Fringe is on the web at http://www.sffringe.org.
? By Christine Ehren