5 Fringe Shows That Will Get You Talking

News   5 Fringe Shows That Will Get You Talking
The New York International Fringe Festival, the largest multi-arts festival in North America, will kick off its 19th year Aug. 14, running through Aug. 30 at 16 different venues in downtown Manhattan. In the lead-up to opening night, Playbill.com offers a round-up of festival highlights.


From exploring the social and political, to experimental staging, below are five shows that should have you talking after the curtain comes down.

Naked Hamilton
Set in a beloved neighborhood bar, this 40-minute play is performed in an actual bar, DROM in the East Village. With a drink in hand, the audience will sit right alongside the characters while they explore the timely and pertinent issues surrounding gentrification. Tee and Tom share a frank dialogue as they consider their favorite bar, whose existence is being threatened by changes in the neighborhood. Written and directed by Sky Gilbert, performances begin Aug. 14 at DROM. 

Lisa Lewis' comedy-drama explores sexual politics in a university setting and the ever-widening gap between economic class and the opportunities for success. The play received a staged reading hosted by Broadway producer Ken Davenport, starring Tony nominee Peter Friedman (The Nether), Sarah Steele (The Humans) and Zoe Winters (Shows for Days), amongst other developments. See the new cast performing in this play that explores privilege, ambition and the lengths we'll go to succeed. Performances begin Aug. 15 at the Robert Moss Theater. 

The American Play
The characters in Ashley Jacobson's "American Psycho"-themed drama thriller bond over the cult novel by Bret Easton Ellis, though her play is much more than a rumination on the classic work. Set in a college, the play explores the limits of obsession and includes actual and fictional texts from online commentary and media coverage of college rapes. The work won awards at the 2012 Planet Connections Theater Festivity, and Jacobson was nominated for Outstanding Playwright. Jacobson's theater company, The Dirty Blondes, is dedicated to furthering "the right conversation at the right time with the right people." Performances begin Aug. 16 at The Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre.  America's Next Top
When Julie Novak was three years old, she found a toolbox and immediately thought, "Shouldn't I always have had this with me?" In her adolescence, Novak found that she didn't have a defined position on the gender spectrum and learned to gradually and fearlessly display her androgyny. In her show, she humorously, and sometimes painfully, chronicles this journey, through song, impersonations and performance. Performances begin Aug. 22 at Under St. Marks. 

Straight Faced Lies
In an age where the family dynamic is being redefined in our society, Mark Jason Williams' new play, set at a Thanksgiving dinner, is a biting family comedy that explores LGBT themes and family loyalty. The Fringe production, directed by Andrew Block, features a cast that includes Geraldine Librandi ("The Sopranos"), Joey Collins (The Glass Menagerie), Dana Domenick, Cindy Marchionda, Jacob Thompson and Curtis Wiley. Performances begin Aug. 14 at Teatro LATEA at the Clemente. 

An Added Bonus...
Don't miss the 10th anniversary of the Fringe Encore Series, beginning Sept. 10 at the SoHo Playhouse. The series strives to showcase the best of the best from the Festival; 20 shows will be selected from this year’s line-up, over the course of a month, with the goal of fostering the talent of the future. A full schedule will be announced in September. 

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