With the New York Fringe Festival now only a memory, San Francisco is gearing up for its own version of an alternative theatre-a-thon. Sept. 4-15, the san Francisco Fringe will present such fancifully titled fare as Beckett's Last Dance, Surfing Toasters, Burrito From Sausalito and George Bush's Nuts (or How I Learned to Enjoy Real Time War Footage on LSD at the EXIT Theatre and various venues around the city.
An international and national Fringe Festival, San Francisco plays host to companies from around the world and around the States. Foreign entries include Australia's Tangled, Canada's The Upper Canada Cougar Movement and England's Death Blow.
From across the U.S. comes Hawaii's Smash Box in Guano dell'Amore (Birdshit of Love), New York's Banana, Bag & Bodice with Gulag Ha Ha and Los Angeles' Asian American sketch group OPM in Me Laugh You Long Time. Bay Area groups participating include Free Range Theatre Company with Surfing Toasters, Intelligent Vapor Production's Looking, Then Pointing and Theatre Artists' Conspiracy in Caught Sleeping.
The 20 Bring-Your-Own-Venue shows, created for those pieces whose length or technical requirements would not allow their involvement in the Fringe, include the Excelsior Theatrical Company's Gold Rush Era Shakespeare performance Cleopatra! — and Antony, the Gothic vaudeville My Son, the Mummy: Episode Pi and the adult musical puppet show, Zucchini: The Forbidden Dance, which features the songs "The Lark in the Blender" and "Pantalones Caliente."
Tickets are $8. All Fringe theatres are located in downtown San Francisco. For reservations, call (415) 931-1094. The San Francisco Fringe is on the web at http://www.sffringe.org. — By Christine Ehren