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A CurtainUp Report

2008 New York International Fringe Festival

Updated August 25, 2008
For a list of awards (marked by on the list below), click here.
For information on Fringe Encores (selected shows marked by on the list below), click here.

Click on Show Title Below, or Scroll Down Page to Browse

III | The Alice Complex | All Hail the Great Serpent! | Becoming Britney | Behold the Bowery | Bound In A Nutshell | Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire | Choose Your Own Play | The Complete Performer  | Cruising to Croatia | CYCLE: a vaudeville comedy | The Deciders | Dreadful Penny's Exquisite Horrors | Fell | A Fire as Bright as Heaven | Galatea | Gargoyle Garden | The Grecian Formula | Hidden Fees | Hot Cripple | I Heart Hamas and Other Things I’m Afraid to  Tell You | Johnny Law | Julius Caesar | Kaboom | Kansas City, Or Along the Way | Krapp, 39 | La Vigilia | Lucila's Story, A Play for Gabriela Mistral | A Man, a Magic, a Music | Mirrors of Chartres Street | Murder of the Seas | A Nasty Story | Not Dark Yet | Now That She's Gone | Nudists in Love: A New Musical | O! Balletto | Parental Indiscretions | Pennybear | Perez Hilton Saves the Universe (or at least  the greater Los Angeles area): The Musical | The Permanent Night | Psalms of a Questionable Nature | Reasonable Doubt | Red Headed Man | R U Prime? | Salt Lake: A New Ballet | Schönberg | Self Portrait as Schiele | The Sound of One Hanna Clapping | Stars in a Dark Sky | That Dorothy Parker | They Call Me Mister Fry | Time, et. al. | Tough Guys Don’t Shoot Blanks | Traffic Jam | Triumph of the Underdog | The Umbrella Plays | UNEKA / ARNASA | Usher | Waiting | Walls | We Are the Lawmakers | Woodhull: A Play About the Woman Who Ran for President

EDITOR'S NOTE: Now in its twelfth year, FringeNYC runs August 8-24, 2008. This year's festival has scheduled 202 shows at 20 venues. We will report on a healthy dose of this year's offerings in the reviews below.

Many people do their show-picking on the fly, but readers are advised to consider making reservations for popular shows they don't want to miss. What shows are those? We don't like to predict. Further information, schedules and tickets at least 24 hours prior to the show time are available by phoning 866.468.7619 (9 AM-7PM, credit cards only, convenience charge applies); on the web at: (24 hours a day, credit cards only, convenience charge applies) or in person at Fringe Central at Openhouse, 201 Mulberry Street between Spring and Kenmare Streets (Noon-8PM, cash or credit card). Day-of-performance tickets are available (cash only) at the door at each venue, 15 minutes prior to the show. Prices: $15, reduced (only at Fringe Central or at the door) to $10 for kids under 12 to FringeJR events and for seniors. There are also passes: 5 shows for $70, 10 shows for $120 and the "Lunatic Pass," which entitles you to attend as many shows as possible, for $500.

A complete list of venues (with addresses) can be found at the end of this page or by clicking here.

The last name of the author of each capsule review is indicated at the end of the review in brackets.


The Grecian Formula
If the Greeks were indeed the founders of Western theater, it stands to reason they were also the founders of everything else related to modern theatrical productions--including producers, ghostwriters, actors and (of course) theater critics. Such is the premise of The Grecian Formula, which takes a crack at seemingly every modern theatrical convention with uneven results. The predictably ridiculous plot follows Alidocious (played appealingly by Todd Lawson), a slave with a flair for the dramatic recruited by his tedious and astonishingly egocentric owner Thespiotis to ghostwrite a play for the upcoming Athenian festival--Thespiotis having been recruited, in turn, by the tyrant Peisistratus, who has ordered the highly overrated Thespiotis to come up with a winner, or else. But Alidocious is too happy to produce a work tragic enough to win the award, and so a desperate Thespiotis takes it into his own hands to make him miserable enough to become a truly suffering, thus great, writer. The silliness of the story isn't a problem, but the uncertainty of the script is; the play drags a good deal in spots, especially in the second act, and some oddly uncomfortable moments when the plot to make Alidocious depressed begins to bear fruit make it difficult to determine if we're dealing with a farce or a strange version of tragicomedy. It's not funny enough to be the former (and some of the jokes are not only lame but tired), and not coherent enough for the latter. This is a shame, as there are some very funny moments in the production (especially during the performances of the other competing festival plays, which are both clever and subtle), and the acting and direction are both earnest. But as can sometimes happen with Fringe shows, The Grecian Formula ultimately feels like it needed more time in the workshop to figure out what kind of play it really wanted to be. At 45 Bleecker - Bleecker Theater. 1 hour, 40 minutes with intermission. [Wilson]

Hot Cripple
For an intense 90 minutes check out Hot Cripple. This piece is based on a true-life story revolving around the hard-luck experiences of an ex-model who was hit by a car crossing the street. Moving beyond the theater of the maimed, this one-woman show brings a specific reality to the tough issue of being seriously injured in an accident, and not being covered by health insurance. Hogan Gorman, who wrote and performs the play, is better than good as the ex-model turned waitress. She is as real and tasty as a garlic salad, and becomes a symbolic beacon of everything right with the production. The piece has tremendous impact because it makes the audience recognize itself. Watching Hogan fall through the cracks of the American system, we can seriously reflect on those times when the American system has failed us. Playgoers will eavesdrop on Hogan’s journey from the moment of the car accident to her horrific experiences in the emergency room. Once released from the hospital, we get a real close-up view of what it’s really like to be physically disabled, have no health insurance, and be forced to live on welfare and food stamps. To be sure, health insurance and welfare might seem like odd topics for a play, but with director Isaac Klein at the helm, Hot Cripple makes its points with pathos and humor. At CSV Center - Milagro. 90 minutes. [Donovan]

Hidden Fees
The main reason I wanted to review Hidden Fees was that it is produced by an American company that has studied at the famed Moscow Art Theater. How far can the apple fall from the tree, I asked myself. As it turned out, very far indeed. Hidden Fees introduces a young Russian playwright, Viktoria Nikiforova, to the New York Stage, with an original translation of her new play about the effects of capitalism on the Russian people. Unfortunately, it unravels as a rambling series of events that could not be turned into meaningful satire, drama or comedy by director Raphael Schklowsky. Vasya (Matt Raines) is a young computer salesman who gets caught up in a real estate scam that ends in his bankruptcy. His sister, Liza (Nicole Kontolefa), hires a surrogate mother to bear her child because pregnancy would be too inconvenient. Liza's lover, Pavel (Vadim Kroll), is a religious fanatic who works for the Kremlin, but seems to spend most of his time needlessly brutalizing people. Other characters include Zhenya (Karen Tararache), an employee of the credit and loan department of Eden Bank; Kirill (Dominic Tancredi), the lecherous bank manager who pursues her through unsavory methods; and the heartbroken Jesus Christ (Vasanth Santosham). None of these characters, save Pavel, whom Kroll turns into Yul Brynner cum Russian Mafioso, seems even remotely Russian. They appear much more like escapees from an American sitcom who have wandered onto this stage by mistake. Adding to the confusion is the translation's use of both rubles and dollars to indicate money. Undoubtedly, Hidden Fees is meant as a satire on modern Russian society, but given our limited knowledge of day-to-day life in Russia and the limitations of these actors, Hidden Fees is so muddled only the disheartened Jesus Christ may be able to figure out what's going on and why. At Cherry Lane Theater. 105 minutes. [Simmons]

Mirrors of Chartres Street
Mirrors of Chartres Street, brilliantly adapted by Rob Florence from the stories and letters of William Faulkner, and directed with great insight and sensitivity by Perry Martin, stars Ryan Reinike as the young William Faulkner. The future Nobel Laureate came to New Orleans to escape his hometown, Oxford, Mississippi, and to catch a ship bound for Europe. But he stayed a good deal longer than he ever intended. In a series of faultlessly executed transitions, Reinike alternates quoting from Faulkner's letters to his mother with portraying some of the characters who inhabit the future novelist's early short stories for local publications. Lighting, music, projections and the simple set, composed of an old-fashioned desk with an ancient typewriter, recreate New Orleans of the 1920s. But it is Faulkner's evocative prose and Reinike's extraordinary ability to change his voice and body language in the service of character that really make Faulkner and his times live again. Faulkner's letters home are filled with much love and a fair share of bragging about the progress he is making in New Orleans and his collaboration with Sherwood Anderson. His stories are filled with compassion and violence, jealousy and regret. An old woman's spiritual kinship with Mona Lisa is revealed. A retarded black man loses his way and his life trying to get to Africa. A young man is conned out of his money at the racetrack. A husband, overwhelmed by jealousy shoots a waiter, almost without realizing what he is doing. And, in the end, it becomes perfectly obvious how Faulkner "arrived [in New Orleans] a poet and left a soon-to-be-published novelist." At Soho Playhouse. 80 minutes. [Simmons]

Bound In A Nutshell
The Moonwork's Bound in a Nutshell, which creates a new version of Hamlet using only the (reordered) lines from the original play, isn't the first attempt to rework Shakespeare with, well, Shakespeare; last year's Horatio production at the Fringe went a similar route, and Moonwork itself has apparently made similar adaptations in the past. This production modernizes Hamlet and shifts it forward somewhat, beginning directly after Polonious's death and considering what might have happened--not unreasonably--if Hamlet had ever faced real consequences for his actions, including questioning, a trial, and so on. But this version is at pains to emphasize its modernity throughout, placing Hamlet under the gaze of security cameras and the "care" of Mengele-esque doctors, and both the methods of surveillance and torture are clearly designed to remind us of present-day examples at every opportunity. This lends a certain nasty edge to the play which, though unpleasant, isn't an unfair take on its central themes. But other things still get in the way: for example, the use of original language, while clever, seems to weigh down the script, and there are times when the strain of changing the weight of all-too famous lines to serve other purposes begins to tell. Ultimately the method seems more intriguing than successful. This might be easier to overlook if some of the actors were better at delivering the lines to communicate either old or new context; at times the readings were completely devoid of interpretive weight, and occasionally it seemed the given actor had no idea what the line was supposed to mean either in the original Hamlet or in this updated version. There are certainly things to like too; the recast "get thee to a nunnery" scene between the incarcerated Hamlet and the visiting Ophelia, with the actors sitting on either side of a soundproof window using phones to communicate, is a particularly intriguing take, and there are similar flashes of real innovation throughout. But ultimately there's too much being thrown at the wall here, and the only thing that really sticks is the feeling that for all its bells and whistles, Hamlet 2.0 isn't worth the jump from its venerable predecessor. At Cherry Lane Theatre. 1 hour, 25 minutes. [Wilson].

Triumph of the Underdog
It's bad enough that your second novel about a rogue comet and the end of the world bombed so badly that you got fired from a cushy NYU teaching job and had to move back in with your parents; what if the story turned out to be, sort of, true? This is (a very simplistic retelling of) the idea behind Triumph of the Underdog, a surprisingly complex one man show presented as a lecture by the down on his luck science fiction author Peter Howell, played by Mitch Montgomery. Reveling in stereotypes is an understatement for this show; science fiction nerd/erratic professor Howell checks them all off during the course of the "lecture," which is intended to be a history of science fiction until real world events intervene and, er, all alternate hell almost breaks loose on stage and off. This really shouldn't work, and sometimes it doesn't; the pacing is off at times, and occasionally Montgomery misreads the thrust of his narrative or undercuts a joke by throwing away lines. But despite these issues, the play works in part because of the genuineness of Howell's character, and in part because it often is funny--and, surprisingly, even a bit serious at the right times as well, making it a bit more than the silly farce it could easily have remained. Triumph of the Underdog isn't perfect, but Montgomery is on to something here; if you're even vaguely interested in science fiction, it might well be worth your while to sample this otherworldly lecture. At Pace-Schaeberle Studio Theatre. 1 hour, 25 minutes. [Wilson]

Julius Caesar
If you like your Shakespeare with a female in the principal role, then The Guerrilla Shakespeare Project’s modern-day adaptation of Julius Caesar is worth a look. Kim Martin-Cotton takes on the formidable role of Julius Caesar, and clearly demonstrates that she has the Shakespearean chops and panache for the title character. That said, Jacques Roy and Geordie Broadwater, playing Brutus and Cassius, respectfully, give additional traction to the play as savvy politicos, with their combined testosterone, martial competition, and strict adherence to the high Roman fashion. My only real quibble with this gender-bending version of Julius Caesar is that the cameo appearance of Caesar’s Ghost at Sardis is physically left out of the show. We never get that moment to fully contemplate how Caesar is both a man and concept, or feel the raised goosebumps on our neck when Caesar’s Ghost appears to the sleepless Brutus at his camp. Granted, we should accept this production, with its 7 solid actors, for what it accomplishes, and not for what it doesn’t. Directed by Jordan Reeves, we get to see an intriguing interpretation of the play with Kim Martin-Cotton as Caesar and Kimiye Corwin as Casca. If you’re tired of male actors getting all the juicy roles in Shakespeare, miss this production at your own peril. At CSV Center - Flamboyan. 1 hour, 40 minutes. [Donovan]

Woodhull: A Play About the Woman Who Ran for President
As the Democratic Party tries to figure out what to do with Hillary Clinton's 48 percent of the delegates at the party's upcoming convention and still call her failed bid for the White House historic, we should all remember that Victoria Woodhull was actually the first woman to run for president in the United States. And she was no more successful than Hillary Clinton. Anyone who doubts this should go see Liza Lentini's biographical drama, directed by Mary Geerlof and featuring the impressive Katherine Barron as Woodhull. The show chronicles Woodhull's life during the notorious times when, while campaigning for the presidency, the 33-year-old suffragette exposed Rev. Henry Ward Beecher's adulterous affair with the wife of congregant Theodore Tilton (Shayne Mims). Many of the famous people whose paths crossed Woodhull's are on stage at one time or another - Susan B. Anthony (Carla Briscoe), Elizabeth Cady Stanton (Patricia Angelin), the restaurateur Charles Delmonico (Dennis Brito), who explains why women cannot dine alone in restaurants. Beecher is curiously absent. The play also introduces other, less well-known individuals - her sister Tennessee (Rachel McPhee), whose relationship with Commodore Vanderbilt (Hugh Sinclair) helped finance Woodhull's campaign, and Woodhull's seedy father, an itinerant salesman of quack medicines (well portrayed by Bern Cohen), who appears from time to time giving his daughter advice and inspiration. Woodhull for President is a strange combination of tribute and expose. The play implies that Woodhull was an opportunist who took advantage of men as well as women - her lover, James Blood (Christopher Berger), Tilton, who became her lover, even the dedicated ladies of the women's suffrage movement, many of whom were scandalized by her lifestyle and her advocacy of free love. On the other hand Woodhull for President hails Woodhull as a revolutionary and visionary who was ahead of her time in her ambition and her convictions. Perhaps she was a little of both. At Pace - Schimmel Center. 1 hour, 55 minutes. [Simmons]

Krapp, 39
Hats off to Michael Laurence for creating Krapp, 39, a prequel to Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape. Written and performed by Laurence, the idea for the show goes right to the core of Beckett’s famous play, to that very place where Krapp at age 69 plays back the autobiographical tape he recorded on his 39th birthday. Laurence, approaching his 39th birthday in August, conducts a multi-media meditation on his obsessive identification with Beckett’s character. The homage fires on all cylinders, but it’s best if you’re familiar with Beckett’s play so the themes and vignettes can completely work for you. Best of all, Laurence’s eyes remain fixed on the real world outside--away from his specialized artistic or theatrical horizon. Laurence even shares details of his back-and-forth correspondence with the Beckett Estate for permission to use Krapp’s final speech in the live performance. Directed by George Demas, this meta-theatrical work culls from journals, diaries, letters, confessions, audio and videotapes, and joins them at the hip to Beckett‘s masterpiece. This may be a derivative play, but it's an original one. At Pace - Schaeberle Studio Theater. 80 minutes. [Donovan]

I Heart Hamas and Other Things I’m Afraid to Tell You
Jennifer Jajeh is engaging, eloquent and even charismatic as she recounts her experiences at first imagined and then all too real. In her very personal one-woman show she moves seamlessly between her own narration and lively conversations with her friends and boyfriends under W. Kamau Bell’s masterful direction (plus a great uncredited light design). Growing up in California as a Palestinian-American is an ironic study of contradictions within American society no less than in her Middle-Eastern Christian community—really an extended family because all are descended from the founder of Ramallah, Palestine West Bank. Her humorous encounters in the US with family and outsiders fade quickly when she hits freewheeling Ramallah’s active nightlife in a summer interlude to explore her roots. Larger-than-life personalities, especially flashy Hakim, sweep away her foreigner status (not counting her less-than-mastery of Arabic). A repeat visit finds post-second-intifada Israeli army security barriers and checkpoints have strangled life and erased any sense of normality. With people unable to move even between adjacent towns the economy is frozen and all plans, whether studies or marriage, stalled. As stone-throwing kids against heavily armed soldiers produces predictably lethal results, she turns to video activism to document checkpoint abuses, US passport affording her freedom from arrest but not from harassment. Her impassioned final plea for relief to the innocent populace from massive collective punishment came loud and clear to the packed house. At Players Loft. 1 hour. [Lipfert]

Cruising to Croatia
Mark (Robert Pinnock) and Teddy (Danny Bowes) are friends. Teddy falls in love with a woman in Croatia (in voice chat, on the internet), and the two hire onto a ship and head for the Dalmatian coast. A hot young Texas oilman (David R. Stearns) is onboard too and, as it happens, he is in love with the same woman. The ship has a captain (Alexia Tate), a crewman (Adam Linn), a female passenger (Joharina Weller-Fahy) and a band (George Ashiotis and Peter Mikochik). They arrive in Croatia, and discover something supposedly surprising that the audience pretty much discovered at about minute three. Then they set sail for home. Did I mention that Mark and Teddy are blind? If all of this seems pretty thin and unfocused, it is; and no real effort has been made to connect the dots by Mr. Mikochik, who is also the writer, or Pamela Sabaugh, who directs. Did I mention this is a musical? It is, and though the songs are no more connected to the plot than anything else in this scattershot show, at least they are quite enjoyable and make the show less than a total bust. They are also generally well-sung, especially by the women. (Mr. Mikochik wrote a fair majority of the songs, with cast members among others contributing.) There might be a play lurking somewhere in this piece, but there is a lot of work yet to be done. At 45 Bleecker - Bleecker Theater. 45 minutes. [Gutman]

A passing shower pushed back the start of Bilbao-based Gaitzerdi Teatro Company’s debut at NY Fringe. Once the folding chairs in the open-air courtyard at Pace University were dried off and lights liberated from their rain covers, the show began with a two-person sketch involving character acting and mime. A woman in a shocking pink dress was encased in a clear plastic cage barely large enough for her oversize gestures. Meanwhile a shirtless man in a green velvet jacket and white pants appeared outside her enclosure. Wordlessly gesticulating to each other, they professed their love and managed to exchange some tokens and dispensed red confetti and white baubles with their respective fans (they are Spanish, after all). Yes one could read into the encounter yearning to break through boundaries of social isolation and so on, but this was not quite enough to sustain the 25-minute piece. Another problem was that the rather pretty woman in the piece, unlike the man, lacked the kind of facial character capable of communicating the requisite exaggerated emotions of wordless theater. A second section had a similar pairing of a woman in a gray raincoat plus an intrusive man in black and white under a tall open metal tripod. After some affectionate moments, he began delving into her pockets and under her coat to extract snippets of paper and in the violence exposed her completely. She then stepped into a black evening gown and the two sat down to a game of clear marbles atop a tiny table. This reviewer did not see the third section that was to follow. At Pace University - Courtyeard. 1 hour, 25 minutes. [Lipfert]

R U Prime?
There are some great songs in R U Prime, a new musical about a group of friends in Santa Cruz, California. But the cast of talented singers and a warm, acoustical rock score by Lucas Roy Lehman isn't enough to save this musical from a clumsy, predictable story. The title refers to an American Idol-ish sort of TV show one of the characters aspires to compete in, but this show is really about four indie rockers and their love lives. There are lots of soapy elements (a lesbian attraction, drug addictions, jealousy, differing ambitions, etc.). Unfortunately, each plot twist seems sillier than the last. Director Maura Kelly has given us some interesting visuals, but this is probably one that's better on CD. At Walkerspace. 75 minutes. [Furay]

Time, et. al.
All those dozens of time travel movies and books and plays just aren't telling you the full story, according to this new play by Gil Varod and Jennifer Lynn Jordan. Truth is, time travel romance is always going to fail, and Time, et. al. illustrates the point with a doomed romance between a 2008 man named William and a 1925 girl called Clara. It's an interesting idea, and the play has a trio of really likable characters and some hilarious comedic elements (like Clara's obsession with robots). I found the serious twists a little hard to swallow, however. This play works best as a disaster comedy, and stumbles when it begins to take itself too seriously. At Connelly Theater. 1 hour, 45 minutes with intermission. [Furay]

Lucila's Story, A Play for Gabriela Mistral
Nobel prize-winning Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral's childhood is the subject of this short, musical family show by Sylvia Manning. Young Lucila (Mistral's given name) has an idyllic but poor existence until she is sent away to work at a school and gain an education. And she soon discovers the real world isn't as wonderful as her daydreams. A folk orchestra, a committed cast, and a series of lively images give Lucila's Story warmth and appeal. But the story is incredibly slight, and the writing is too clunky to make the brief tale very interesting. This show drags, despite its short running time. At Connelly Theater. 50 minutes. [Furay]

Fell is a wonderfully timely play for this year's festival: it's the story of Jesse, a black man (Laurence Stepney) trying to break through a glass ceiling, with the weight of racism, history, and familial duties on his shoulders. Sound familiar? The new play, by Harrison David Rivers, is an ambitious one, with lots of interesting ideas and memorable images from director Jess McLeod, as well as a strong cast (particularly Rory Lipede and Kendale Winbush as Stepney's children). But it can't quite deliver on its promise. Rivers has a knack for realistic and involving dialogue (more, please!), but the plot itself is less than convincing, and the characters seem more like symbols than real people. It doesn't take long for the show to feel more heavy-handed than meaningful. At New School for Drama. 1 hour, 45 minutes. [Furay]

Murder of the Seas
If you're a fan of hardboiled crime fiction or if you've ever taken a luxury cruise, then certainly you won't want to miss Pierre-Marc Diennet's solo show Murder of the SeasBut even if you don't know Sam Spade from Philip Marlowe, and the closest you've ever been to an ocean liner was when you saw Titanic, you'll be glad you came onboard for this rollicking adventure directed by Jason Schuler, with the indispensable Dave Murelli Jr. as bass/Foley artist. Murder of the Seas is a tongue-in-cheek, brilliantly executed one-man murder mystery. Diennet, who draws on his experiences as a comedian on cruise ships, plays all the parts. The principal character is Chester Fields (the name, not the cigarette - a running joke), a vacationing insurance salesman who ends up defending the innocent and uncovering evil aboard the cruise ship "Lovely Nights" when an old lady dies as a result of a teenage prank and a fellow worker's no-good husband goes missing. Diennet also plays a dazzling and diverse array of passengers and crew: the Norwegian captain who seems to have something up his sleeve; the sexy chanteuse, who wears a red boa and tickles the ivories; an Indian veterinarian masquerading as a doctor; the cheerful Jamaican room steward; a gay and kinky Australian cruise director; and his true love, the damsel in distress, Lydia Pearson. The ethnic diversity of his cast of characters gives Diennet a fine opportunity to show of his impressive ability to mimic many different accents - Australian, Russian, Jamaican, Indian. But it is Diennet's writing that is the most surprisingly effective. Who would expect sentences like "Her blond hair was like a wig stapled to a pig"? Chandler and Hammett themselves couldn't have done better. At The Jazz Gallery. 90 minutes. [Simmons]

Not Dark Yet
Timothy Nolan's Not Dark Yet explores the familiar territory of the artist and his muse, with the situation complicated by a stormy relationship with his wife. The artist, Tom Nuozzi (Kyle Knauf), is a writer who is troubled by self-doubt, a nasty muse named Norman (Jake Suffian) and an overly ambitious wife, Anne (Elizabeth Bell). Norman appears in various outlandish costumes (angelic wings, drag) and tortures Tom with innuendos about his lack of talent and his wife's infidelity. Anne is more often dressed in a suit and spiked heels, and she is mostly encouraging and supportive. But clearly she and Tom are no longer on the same wavelength. The play, however, never quite fulfills its promise, perhaps because neither the writing nor Christine Simpson's attention-seeking direction allow character and plot to develop sufficiently. When things get dull, Norman gyrates his hips and the audience laughs. But Not Dark Yet is not stand-up comedy. Why does Tom want to write and what is now stopping his creative juices? Why is his wife so invested in his career? Quite delightfully, the best parts of Not Dark Yet are those times when Tom reads from his own work. The fictional drama within the play often seemed much more interesting than anything that was happening onstage. Perhaps Nolan will one day try his hand at writing novels. The result might be wonderful indeed. At Walkerspace.1 hour, 40 minutes.[Simmons]

CYCLE: a vaudeville comedy
If the Fringe Festival were to give an award for valor, then surely the cast of Cycle would deserve it for the performance I witnessed. The venue is a tent, and simultaneous with the start of the show, a torrential thunderstorm commenced. You could barely hear yourself think, much less the actors in the opening scenes. Then the power blew, and the remainder of the show was performed in only the ambient light making its way in through the faux stained glass around the top of the tent's walls. The characters in the show are a troupe of Vaudeville performers who faced their own obstacles. Headed for a grand performance at the Palace, they are waylayed in a time warp and end up in 2010. They discover Charlotte Shrubsole (Rose Courtney, who is also the writer of the piece) in a trunk and that (for reasons obscured by the downpour but which probably don't matter much anyway) helping her find success is their ticket back in time. As Charlotte cycles from scene to scene in search of the key to success, we are treated to a pure vaudeville entertainment. The cast of nine does terrific work, performing several well-known period songs ("Dream a Little Dream," "Get Happy" and "All of Me") as well as a few original ones (lyrics by Ms. Courtney and fine music of the era by Rachel Kaufman), dancing, joking and more. The show runs a bit long without an intermission, and could use some trimming, but otherwise director Craig Carlisle keeps thinks moving apace nicely. The audience gets to do a little time traveling of its own thanks to this unquestionably intrepid and talented cast. At Spiegelworld-Deluxe. 1 hour, 45 minutes. [Gutman]

Behold the Bowery
Part melodrama, part burlesque, Behold, the Bowery! is a jaunty and treacherous step into Manhattan of the early 20th century, when a good man (or woman) was certainly hard to find between the East and Hudson rivers. Written, composed and directed by Daniel Pfau, a member of the Attic Theatre Company, a product of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and the Atlantic Theater School, the show is so filled with youthful enthusiasm it's easy to forgive some of its rougher edges (a somewhat contrived plot, and poor diction that swallows up some of the dialogue). The show's two protagonists, an unlucky but arrogant actor named Julian Fisk (Daniel Abeles); and Leon (Tomasso Matelli), an impoverished Jewish immigrant, both run afoul of the neighborhood tough, a psychopath named Dead Horse (Einar Gunn). Their efforts to extricate themselves from their own folly (Julian) or conditions beyond their control (Leon) alternate with the bawdy performances at the Broken Nose Inn, which features acts by part-time prostitutes and the likes of Lester the Legless Wonder. Whenever the play becomes overly sentimental or maudlin, it is thus rescued by rowdy insouciance. Violence, corruption, chicanery, betrayal all create mayhem in a world mostly devoid of morality or kindness, and sometimes it's hard to know how seriously Pfau expects his audience to take his story. But the show is so well acted and directed, and moves along so effortlessly, for the most part, the author's sincerity, or lack of it, just doesn't seem to matter. At Connelly Theater. 1 hour, 45 minutes with intermission. [Simmons]

Nudists in Love: A New Musical
At first blush it looks like a Brokeback coming on, but no, Nudists in Love is about members of a straight suburban homeowners association. Its bare premise is an old reliable one that seems to bear much repeating, about different vs conformity and acceptance vs judgment. The lovely, tuneful, and varied music is accompanied by laugh-out-loud lyrics that inspire the occasional "ew!" The composer and lyricist of this whimsical theater piece is Nirmal Chandraratna, who plays cello in the small, solid orchestra. The lead suburban couple (Kristen Maloney and Adam J. MacDonald) carry the heart of the show, and their friends (Beth Ann Leone) and (BJ Hemann), natural comedians, handle the funnybone. Complete with scheming villains, arch dances, and faux nudity, this is a nerdy and utterly cool experience. It does the heart good to see a sophisticated audience —segments of which started out fairly grumpy due to the wait outside and the slow entry line— become disarmed and won over by this adorably cute, professional, well cast, well choreographed, well orchestrated, well directed, joyful show. At 45 Bleecker - Bleecker Theater. 100 minutes. [Osenlund]

La Vigilia
You would expect an Italian comedy to be full of movement and vibrant with life. But encumbered by numbingly excessive and laboriously over-explicated talk, La Vigilia needs abbreviating like nobody’s business. A century ago this type of slow, old-fashioned comedic drama might have held an audience, but today life is fast-paced. With massive cropping, the play’s many verbal niceties and pearls of wisdom could be liberated and there might be time to work in some much needed complication and action. The cast struggles valiantly to lift up this Florentine confection that staggers under its own weight. Sometimes even a veteran playwright and director like Vincent Marano needs to be reminded that brevity is the soul of wit. At Connelly Theater. 100 minutes. [Osenlund]

They Call Me Mister Fry
There's a reason why there have been so many of those inspirational movies about a teacher who makes a difference in an inner city classroom. When done well, they make truly feelgood stories: gritty but hopeful. And They Call Me Mister Fry is no exception. It's a one-hander written and performed by Jack Freiburger, who currently teaches in the Los Angeles school district. Freiburger reenacts his first year in a No Child Left Behind school: his story features troubled children, bureaucratic nightmares, and personal struggles. He's an endearing and charismatic performer, and it's no wonder that he's found success as a teacher. His impersonations of his students, fellow teachers and girlfriend tend to be a little over-the-top (they feel like caricatures, not real people), and I eventually got a little sick of the Camelot metaphors, but this is nevertheless a heartwarming 80 minutes. At CSV Center - Milagro. 80 minutes. [Furay]

We Are the Lawmakers
Writer-director Marc Andreottola aspires to follow the path of Chuck Mee into the terrain of jagged plays that are not too "neat" (thereby functioning as a reflection of life). Unfortunately, while he gets Mee's disorder just fine, he misses the critical discipline that is also part and parcel of Mee's work. Instead, he views it as a license to hurl random crap (verbally, sonically and visually) at the audience in this ungodly mess of a play. What starts as a dysfunctional family's house party quickly deteriorates into a cavalcade of socio-political and pop culture references, most all conveyed in hyperbolic fashion by the unfortunate cast. Nothing is constructed to overcome all of the deconstruction that's going on, though there is the ubiquitous if useless bow to Brecht. In the end, this is just an unpleasant sit -- an inept monstrosity that adds insult to injury by running almost a quarter hour over the advertised time. Non-masochists, you are hereby warned. At 45 Bleecker - Lafayette Theater. 1 hour, 25 minutes. [Gutman]

Perez Hilton Saves the Universe (or at least the greater Los Angeles area): The Musical
Go ahead. Call it crass, just bring us more. Big, gay, and needy, blogger to the stars Perez Hilton mediates Hollywood celeb pop culture from his pink laptop and his iphone, with the help of his Minnie Mouse assistant, who has ambitions of her own. Perez sets up a blind date just as a team of terrorists plans to detonate a plutonium-and-Kitty Litter bomb at the Britney Spears funeral event. The ridiculously talented ensemble morphs thru an array of personalities. The music rocks, although it sometimes rocks right over the lyrics, which tend to run fast and low. Fab L.A. visuals, benefit of wizards with Keynotes, round out the dizzying experience. I’d like to know what Timothy Michael Drucker (book), Randy Blair (book/lyrics), and Zachary Redler (score) eat for breakfast. I’ll have whatever they’re having. Add Connor Gallagher’s zippy direction and choreography and this show has SMASH HIT texted all over it. At 45 Bleecker - Bleecker Theater. 1 hour, 45 minutes. [Osenlund]

Tough Guys Don’t Shoot Blanks
The too too charming 50s host and hostess dish about movie stars and push products during their "amusing interjections" in the Cinema Cavalcade show. The feature now playing is Tough Guys Don’t Shoot Blanks from 1936. B&W frames freeze on the screen and the cast shines as it acts out the movie on stage. With its good old retro crime movie music and vintage screen gangster and cop lingo about mugs, prison screws and dames, Tough Guys is a criminally delightful send-up. At Barrow Street Theatre. 1 hour. [Osenlund]

A Man, a Magic, a Music
As one might suspect, Movin' Melvin Brown can certainly move. But he can also sing, joke and tell engrossing and entertaining stories of his life and times - all of which he proves in his solo show A Man, a Magic, a Music After striding dramatically onto the stage, dressed in a red tux and singing a cappella Sam Cooke's "Change Is Gonna Come," Brown tells the audience he was born in 1945 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and discovered at an early age that he could get attention and approval through his ability to dance and sing. He then proceeds to sing and dance his way through thirty years of R&B, soul and pop music, beginning with his earliest influence (Bill Bojangles Robinson) and making his way through Chuck Berry ("Johnny B. Goode"), Wilson Pickett ("In the Midnight Hour"), Ray Charles ("Crying Time"),and the Temptations ("My Girl"), among others. Not to be missed are Brown's imitation of his namesake - the irrepressible James, complete with cape and wig; a sexy "male dance"; and his incredible tap dancing, followed by a demonstration of clog dancing, which pays tribute to the form's indelible roots. Brown tells enough about his life to give the songs personal meaning and ends the show with his own moving song, "Change the World," a plea for love and peace that can never be made too many times. At Deluxe at Spiegelworld. 90 minutes. [Simmons]

Red Headed Man
In this singular and substantive play, a profoundly strung out young architect, Brian, stays holed up in his apartment with his roommate and sole friend, an exterminator. Plagued by the manifestation of a domineering redheaded man whom he describes as the "symbolic ideal" of his father, Brian also suffers from Rx drug addiction and troubling visions that may be related to his mother’s death when he was little. The show’s many projections supply information about the inside of his head, which is filled with visceral and bizarre real and false memories, views of people’s internal organs, architecture, skin conditions, and bugs. Not a pretty place. Brian acquires a girlfriend, who doesn’t seem entirely trustworthy, and his hysterical pill popping, pill pushing doctor needs to meet her scrip quotas. Directed with gusto and a strong stomach by Jessica Fisch of Down Payment productions, all the acting is beautifully receptive and reciprocal. Actors include David Jenkins, Michelle Sims, James Edward Shippy, Halley Bondy, and Bruce Bluett. Performed on a sloppy stage, the work is a messy business full of mystery, puking and gross-outs. In theater’s divide between the good and the easy, this work that first appears almost careless, comes down hard on the side of the good. Playwright Bondy’s flights of imagination are grounded in craft, and all is carefully constructed beneath the surface in this sad, shocking, funny, and ultimately --against expectations—surprisingly affirming play. This is a must-see for those seeking an antidote to same-old theater. At Barrow Street Theater. 90 minutes. [Osenlund]

Self Portrait as Schiele
A contemporary young woman artist encounters Egon Schiele, the Austrian Expressionist painter who was felled by the Spanish Influenza epidemic in 1918 Vienna. A displaced fin de siècle mysticism pervades this unusual stage creation that entwines past and present with sickness, loss, sexuality, and art. After a visit from the shade of Schiele, the young artist begins to channel his painting style and to develop symptoms of his terminal illness and personality disorders. Her two doctors also begin to shape shift, taking on elements of Schiele’s self-portraits, his insufficiently disclosed history, and his depravity. Mark Lindberg’s play, intimate and thrillingly poetic, is inexplicably convoluted in both concept and execution. Ideally a production should stand by itself and not require recourse to historical information, but that’s not the case here. For those unfamiliar with Schiele’s work and seamy story, program notes would not only aid understanding and enjoyment, but could relieve the play of the need to back-pedal the bits of explication that come too little and too late. Sanaz Ghajarrahimi’s intricate sound design contributes much to the production which, despite its construction issues, is well worth seeing. Do yourself a favor and look up Scheile’s self portraits and life story before you come. At Connelly Theater. 90 minutes. [Osenlund]

The Umbrella Plays
The Teacup Company’s fringe offering is a collection of short plays by Stephanie Janssen. Six separate incidents share a theme of umbrellas and rain and often involve unceremoniously dumped 5 gal buckets of water. Early pieces set up expectations of connections among the plays and monologues to come. Although that would have been rewarding, for the most part connections were never slated to be delivered. Mark Setlock gives a many faceted, stand out performance in a fine comic-in-extremis monologue titled "Bruno". These small, mostly everyday dramas, which range from humorous to pensive to combative, have an appealing colloquial, drifting quality. At Walkerspace. 75 minutes. [Osenlund]

Oozing with promise, this ambitious recent product of Yale undergrads may, with fine tuning, actually manage to deliver a gothic masterpiece to the world of musical theater without, like all of its antecedents, embarassing everyone involved. Molly Fox's book draws on, without following, Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher," and in doing so both enriches it and falls short of its intensity and depth. Poe's narrator is now James Cleary (Casey Breves), a painter, invited by his sickly schoolmate friend Roderick Usher (Ben Wexler) to come to the House of Usher to paint his portrait, to add to the gallery of dead relatives. Once there, James discovers Roderick's (twin) sister Madeline (Claudia Rosenthal), also mysteriously ailing, who had captured his attention when they were young. The rest I leave to your recollection of the story and imagination, since the musical charts its own somewhat alternate course. The score (music by Sarah Hirsch, lyrics by Ms. Fox) ranges from near operatic to almost pop, and is very good. (An orchestra of nine supports, though I wish I could say as much for the sound system. Fringe does have its limitations.) The leads are uniformly engaging and talented, as is the ample supporting cast. I hope some wise theater takes this show under its wing and nurtures it. In in meantime, it's definitely worth the trip all the way downtown to see it in its infancy. At Pace - Schimmel Center. 1 hour, 50 minutes with intermission. [Gutman]

Under the two towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, below the twisted Lombard Street, a strange plot is cooking in San Francisco. Michael W. Small's new comedy mixes sex, greed and roguishness in a way that's highly reminiscent of the Marx Brothers, only with a little less polish. Rodney (Ray Wills) is a small-time crook with big plans. The idea is that in the twenty-first century, crooks, like corporations, need to diversify. He devises several scams and tries to keep them all afloat at the same time: a cruise for those seeking spiritual enlightenment, a talent agency that will launch non-talents into stardom, and most important of all, a drug that will send users into a 37-minute orgasm. With the help of a fellow crook, a reality show host, a bicycle messenger, truth-seeker from New York and a kazoo player with a "nine-inch instrument," Rodney plans on taking San Francisco by storm. Needless to say his plans fall awry. But not before just about everyone has experienced the joys of his wonderful new drug. If Small keeps the jokes naughty and obvious, director BT McNicholl keeps them coming quickly. Kaboom is hip, boisterous and puerile. It will probably be a big hit. At Cherry Lane Theatre. 1 hour, 55 minutes. [Simmons]

Johnny Law
The Fringe Festival, which calls for simple sets and bare-bones productions, probably works best for solo shows. But it takes a talent like Ryan Meinelschmidt to demonstrate just how much one entertainer can do in an hour and 15 minutes. Written by Meinelschmidt and attorney Thomas L. Fox, Johnny Law is a funny, informative and moving account of the tribulations and triumphs of a public defender. Meinelschmidt plays judges, professors, prosecutors and a variety of criminals as he explains just what the American judicial system is and isn't. As Johnny Law, he takes well-aimed shots at senile judges, heartless prosecutors, and a system that encourages attorneys to "plead 'em out." Johnny is speaking from his hotel room, across the street from the court where he is defending a young man accused of growing and selling marijuana. He is frequently interrupted by phone calls that inform him of the latest developments in the case. This gives both structure and urgency to what might otherwise be no matter how fascinating, merely reflections. Director Christopher Fessenden seems to have a natural understanding of Meinelschmidt's strengths and the needs of a very unique show. Together they never let Johnny become too self-righteous, too despairing or too clownish. Johnny Law is a perfect balance of satire and sincerity, irony and indignation. At Pace - Schaeberle Studio Theatre. 75 minutes. [Simmons]

Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
Mark Sam Rosenthal, writer and sole actor, imagines the emotionally fragile Blanche Du Bois introduced into the Katrina-FEMA disaster, where she must cope with flooding, evacuation, and all the accompanying indignities. Eventually put on the list for a trailer, still clinging to her long lost Belle Reve heritage, she asks, "Can I even say the word?...a trailer?" Blanche casts the audience as black Katrina refugees with grammar issues, camped out in the Superdome. She also takes a beer out of the hand of a dead man and makes and drinks an Irish coffee at an AA meeting. Good thing PC has been somewhat relaxed lately and that the serious empathy beneath her surface insensitivity shines through. Hunky Blanche’s deficit in the delicacy department is offset by her comic self-absorption in the midst of general upheaval. The play is peppered with touchstone lines from Streetcar --guaranteed laugh generators, particularly "buzzes right through me," which grows funnier at each recurrence. Rosenthal has an ear for comic overblown Blanche-speak, but he still maintains a boundary between himself and Blanche, demarcated by the little space between wig changes. Under the direction of Todd Parmley, events are dwelled on sufficiently, then things move along. Well-timed snatches of recorded music and changes in lighting tones support the transitions. Rosenthal and Parmley have a feel for Tennessee Williams cadences and for Blanche, so rather than being just a really funny parody at Blanche’s expense, this show is an homage to Blanche and to Katrina’s victims. At Players Theatre. 75 minutes. [Osenlund]

O! Balletto
In this spoken word & dance performance, a teacher, hair in a pompadour, lays down rules of decorum for courtly dance and manners. The uninspired narration is partly adapted from a 1600s text by ballet master Fabritio Caroso. The piece gets interesting when the concept emerges. Movement forms a counterpoint to commentary as the dancers subvert the desired politesse. The intricate choreography is best shown off in dances with single partnering, particularly in the provocative, illicit dance of the mistress and the servant. O! Balletto has atmospherics going for it -- good, rich subdued colors, fine lighting and costumes, and there are several high quality dancers. But the devil’s in the details. This comes across less as a company than as an assortment of individual dancers who happen to be performing together. On the whole, the ensemble needs work in the drill department to correct consistently unmatched movement shaping and a slack approach to timing. With close attention paid to the important fine points, this could be a transporting performance. At Theatre 80. 40 minutes. [Osenlund]

This play by John Fisher imaginatively reconstructs meetings between Oscar Levant and Arnold Schoenberg that took place during WWII. It’s an engrossing glimpse at a circumscribed relationship between two very different Jewish musicians. As it opens Levant provides brief information to bring us up to speed on his own and Schoenberg’s backgrounds. Good move. The short series of compelling exchanges that follows reveals much about both men as it contrasts their personalities and approaches to life and art. Oscar Levant, unsure and attempting to be ingratiating, asks Schoenberg to teach him the art of composition. A musical revolutionary and demanding disciplinarian, Schoenberg calls Levant an entertainer, a neurotic and a clown, while admitting to paranoia himself. War film footage, including horrific concentration camp pictures, plays in the moments between meetings. The play shares a basic format with My Dinner with Andre (which, though it prompts questions like, where can I get the action figures, is nevertheless an absorbing film for enthusiasts). At times this comes across as Fisher taking an opportunity to present a collection of Schoenberg aphorisms, and it absolutely depends upon brilliant acting and direction in order to work. Fortunately, John Fisher and Matt Weimer are superb. At 45 Bleecker - Bleecker Theater. 90 minutes. [Osenlund]

An intimate play about the secrets couples keep from each other, Walls, a new play by Aron Ezra, is a solid and rewarding addition to the Festival. The plot is straightforward: a mysterious wall literally sprouts up overnight between a young couple (played by Julie Jesneck and Adam Richman), and it quickly becomes clear that it will only crumble when they stop keeping secrets from each other. A pretty obvious metaphor, but it works well enough. The secrets grow proportionally larger as the play goes on, and seem to encompass every possible issue that a couple might have: adultery, ex-lovers, a workaholic spouse, financial resentments, professional failures, lack of communication, and even violent pasts. All this can and does become a little unbelievable after awhile (how many secrets can two people even have?). Nevertheless, Ezra knows how to write arguments that are believable and rooted in character, and Jesneck and Richman sell their roles well. Watching a couple fight can be a torturous theatrical experience, but this play makes the experience fascinating, and cathartic. At Cherry Lane Studio. 95 minutes. [Furay]

A Nasty Story
It is, indeed, a distasteful story: a well-meaning but oblivious boss (Danaher Dempsey) ruins his employee's wedding and unwittingly costs the poor subordinate a fortune. It's also a ruthless satire by none other than Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which is reset to the here and now by playwright Sara Jeanne Asselin and staged with swing-time energy by Melissa Firlit. Dostoyevsky's fingerprints are still all over the play, though: despite the energetic narration (by Asselin herself), Americanized names for all the characters, and Benny Goodman soundtrack, A Nasty Story feels more like a Russian short story than a Fringe festival play. The irony, the employees' poverty, the boss's cluelessness – all are interesting enough, but have an old-fashioned air. Asselin and Firlit haven't made the story altogether relevant for today's audiences. Even the surprisingly slow pace of the show feels Russian. Nevertheless, Dostoyevsky's story retains its bite, and this play tells that story with clarity and committed performances. At Connelly Theater. 60 minutes. [Furay]

The Permanent Night
New York City's famous blackout of 2003 is the setting for this excellent new play, written by Kari Bentley-Quinn and performed by a very talented cast of four. As the lights go out on the city, well-to-do and picture-perfect husband and wife Spencer and Heather (Dave Beagle and Vina Less) are waiting for his rebellious, bitter young sister Jane (Kat Garson, who's a terrific find) to visit. When she arrives, it doesn't take long before alcohol, the heat and the darkness bring out latent familial tensions. We watch the disintegration of Spencer and Heather's relationship concurrently with Jane's budding romance with jocular and newly wealthy neighbor Justin (Cory Whitfield). The play is, of course, set just two years after 9/11, and its effect still looms large on the characters as they come to grips with old grudges, open wounds and unspoken problems. Bentley-Quinn and director Heather Arnson have lightened the pathos with some nice moments of humor (Ms. Less in particular makes for a very funny, manic young socialite), which makes the show even more enjoyable. All in all, a standout production. At Barrow Street Theatre. 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission. [Furay]

Traffic Jam
The program notes tell us that Traffic Jam started as a monologue that Jennifer Bogush (who wrote, produced and also stars in this short play) used in auditions. Ironically, it shows her off much better as a writer than as a performer. While sitting in a hospital waiting room for the grandfather she despises to die, the over-caffeinated Cassie (Ms. Bogush) strikes up a conversation with Gary (Jeff Branson), who is also in wait mode. They end up having sex in his car. Unseen by Gary, Death (Joe Tuttle) wanders in and out and resists Cassie's urging to get on with his job. He eventually does, and Cassie has a transformation. Bogush's dialogue is sit-com smart, though the point of this exercise never materializes any more than it would need to in an audition. The two men acquit themselves well; Bogush's acting doesn't rise to their level. At Soho Playhouse. 40 minutes. [Gutman]

All Hail the Great Serpent!
It was Lorne Michaels who said that sketch comedy is "always about reinvention." But more commonly, one sees a rehashing of existing styles and pleas for laughs. Thankfully, there are some that still subscribe to Mr. Michaels' approach, and among them is Murderfist, a sketch group that brings a messy, surprising insightfulness to the New York stage. Seeing this show was like going down the rabbit hole, down into the unsettling darkness of our collective subconscious where the natives thoroughly delight in the macabre. There's no fear that this band of rough riders will shy away or slack off. Ever. Through a series of only seven sketches (out of their collection of hundreds) connected by an all out dance party betwixt and between, they weave an inventive patchwork of disturbing, compelling and utterly hilarious material. What makes the whole experience so singularly amazing is the pleasure they take in pushing the envelope—being seriously twisted never looked so fun. The sketch world had a gaping hole just waiting to get Fisted. At New School for Drama.1 hour. [Winchester]

A Fire as Bright as Heaven
Solo performer Tim Collins tracks the emotional currents of the American public – seven years' worth – in A Fire as Bright as Heaven. Collins takes us through his own past as he interviews people around him and gets their reactions to 9/11, the Iraq invasion, the 2004 vote, Katrina, this year's election, and more. A range of opinions are represented: conservatives and liberals, Americans and foreigners, informed citizens and uneducated reactionaries. The play, a fiercely political one, differs from many solo performances in that mimicry and character aren't really the point. Rather, Collins's project aims to get to the heart of what each of these people are saying, in the hopes that we start to understand each other better. It's a tall order. No surprise, then, that the various characters, given room to express themselves, seem to let their anger get in the way, and give in to furious rants rather than a real attempt at communication. But Collins's thirst for a real discussion is a noble one, and there's plenty of food for thought here. An hour and a half of political rants is a lot to bear, though, and Collins hasn't quite found a way to make a bunch of ideas into a coherent piece of theatre. At Cherry Lane Studio. 90 minutes. [Furay]

Choose Your Own Play
Choose Your Own Play, in which the audience gets to decide what happens next, naturally takes its inspiration from the beloved "choose your own adventure" series of children's books. Periodically throughout the show, the cast will freeze and the emcee (Timmy Wood) will ask the audience how to proceed. More than eighty endings are possible, so it's conceivable that what you see would be completely different from what I saw. The idea is clever but risky: with eighty possible ways to go, chances are that many of these stories are, well, a little stupid. The stories I saw were all pretty lame, in fact. Though there are a few nice moments of goofy humor (like the mockery of Dan Brown, bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code), the vast majority of action feels utterly random and just isn't very funny. The whole thing is probably doomed by the fact that Jared Doreck, the actor playing You (the one whose actions we get to decide) is hesitant and awkward, and never dives into the comedic possibilities as cheerfully as the other cast members do. I still love the idea of Choose Your Own Play, but this might be one that works better as a piece of improv than a prescripted piece of theatre. At CSV Center – Milagro Theater. 90 minutes with intermission. [Furay]

Kansas City, Or Along the Way
Billed as a play with music, Kansas City, or Along the Way does indeed feature some authentic-sounding folk songs, performed by cast member Adam Groves. But what really makes this show sing are the compelling performances by Groves and Rebecca Benhayon, and playwright Robert Attenweiler's colorful dialect and lively characterizations. The play, set in Depression-era Cincinnati, has something of an odd structure: the first half consists of dueling monologues from Groves and Benhayon as Joseph and Louise, who tell seemingly unrelated stories of loss and hardship. The two characters meet in the second half, though, and through their actions and dialogue, we gradually realize the earlier monologues are intricately related after all. It's pretty confusing, frankly, and director Joe Stipek's choppy transitions don't help much. On the other hand, when we're not puzzling over the timeline and its contradictions, there's plenty to enjoy. Attenweiler's script is infused with innocent charm and expressive language; all those nearly forgotten 1930s expressions (like "lickety-split") are a real delight to hear. 2008 American English feels watered down by comparison. Even better are the wholesome and committed performances by Groves and Benhayon, who effortlessly sell characters who, at first glance, seem too simple-minded to relate to. If it doesn't quite live up to its possibilities, there's plenty to like about this new play. At CSV Center – Milagro Theater. 75 minutes. [Furay]

Psalms of a Questionable Nature
Dark, intimate and truly compelling, Psalms of a Questionable Nature has just about everything going for it. To begin with, the space is absolutely ideal: the play takes place in a basement over real time, making the downstairs auditorium in the Lafayette Street Theatre feel shockingly realistic. This new play by Marisa Wegryzn is centered on a pair of stepsisters who meet for the first time in order to clean out their recently deceased parents' basement. A familiar setup, but a level of menace is added by the fact that the parents in question had a very frightening hobby: sending biological weapons to unsuspecting victims through the mail (a timely subject, considering the anthrax stories in the news lately). The basement was their lab, and is packed with dangerous phials and infected rodents, and it's unclear whether the two sisters are infected or not. What's even more disturbing are the secrets and dark pasts of the two stepsisters: paranoid and damaged Moo (Emily Kunkel), who lived with the terrorist parents, and the older, confident news anchor Greta (Carrie Heitman), who has some demons of her own. Wegryzn has an excellent ear for dialogue, and an ability to surprise us throughout with character revelations (only a few of which strain credibility). Kunkel and Heitman, both excellent, are well served by director Tracy Francis, who utilizes the realistic setting to forge a real connection between Greta and Moo. "We are horrible people who come from horrible people," as Greta says at one point in the play. Maybe, but it sure makes for compelling theatre. At 45 Bleecker – Lafayette Theater. 90 minutes. [Furay]

The Deciders
This show, which can perhaps be considered a poor man's Stuff Happens with music, is really just an extended skit about the now familiar and already surprisingly dated-feeling denizens of the not-soon-enough-to-be vacated White House. So we have Dubya (Erik Hogan), Cheney (John Stillwaggon) and Condi (Carla Euphrates Kelly) interacting with Saddamn [sic] (Paul Sadlik) and Cindy Sheehan (Amber Carson). History has been rewritten some -- Bush is trying to negotiate with the butcher of Baghdad who wants little more than to have his musical produced on Broadway. If there's an original idea in all this, it escaped me. An anemic framing device involving an Iraqi woman blogger now living in Damascus goes nowhere. The songs are middling rock, occasionally not bad and well sung, especially by Ms. Kelly who also comes closest by far to pulling off the requisite impersonation) and at other times downright humiliating (as when Mr. Hogan and Mr. Sadlik attempt writer Mitch Kess's idea of hip hop in a song called "Chi-Chi-Chalabi"). A good rock band is upstage. The staging is closer to concert than theater. Perhaps the sequel with the next adminstration will fare better but I can't say I'm looking forward to it. At Pace - Schimmel Center. 1 hour, 10 minutes. [Gutman]

Now That She's Gone
Now That She's Gone has a lot on its mind. It addresses international affairs, American politics, feminism, marriage, and the life of its playwright and performer Ellen Snortland, focusing with special interest on her relationship with her affection-impaired Norwegian mother. It advances a number of tentative framing devices--the International Declaration of Human Rights (the thirty-item abridged version, thankfully), the KEEP and DONATE boxes that ask us to assess a life after it's over, and chronological bite-sized chunks of Snortland's experience sitting by her mother's deathbed. Unfortunately, the three organizing schemes step all over each other's toes, and without an overarching approach, the play feels awkwardly cobbled-together, prone to lines like, "I thrive in this new school, and then Martin Luther King is assassinated." Snortland's impressions of her mother are funny and affectionate, but the play is less a postmortem investigation of a person who was, in life, a mystery than a loose collection of things that have, over the course of Snortland's life, been important to her (or seemed so at the time). The individual components deserve more thorough treatment, and the hodgepodge of devices precludes a sense of dramatic progress--it's hard to tell what the conclusion is once the lights have come up. Still, a number of excellent punchlines--and Snortland's evident passion for her many subjects--keep the play from sinking entirely under its own weight. At SoHo Playhouse. 1 hour. [Eisenberg]

This play about a fireman, Al (Ronald Quigley), and his relationship with his wife, Kate (Adrian Lee) and daughter Barbara (Jacqueline Hickel), is about as finely observed as any play of recent memory. The family is a dysfunctional mess. Enter a sculptress (Lorianne Hill), who sees the wife and decides to ask her to become a subject, as a way of overcoming sculptor's block with a work-in-progress. (Also along for the ride is the sculptress's boyfriend (Greg Manion)). What follows in this carefully layered study of characters, relationships and art is a surprising disruption of the status quo. Although the story is somewhat overwrought, the dialogue and detailing are precise, and the acting -- especially Ms. Lee and especially especially Mr. Quigley -- is excellent. Toward the end, one senses that playwright Frank Tangredi is grasping for a suitable ending and can't settle on which way to go, but what we see until that point -- there's a good 10-15 of shaving that would definitely help -- makes this a most worthwhile offering. Alex Sol stages it with aplomb and an assist from Ross Kramer. At Barrow Street Theatre. 1 hour, 45 minutes with intermission. [Gutman]

Gargoyle Garden
The aesthetic of Gargoyle Garden is just right: the effective set and clever props are neatly executed and establish the offbeat-but-earnest mood instantly. The book, though, carries this aesthetic less adeptly, wrapping itself in Poe references (the main character's name is Edgar Allen, and his only friend is Annabel Lee, whose ultimate fate is much like her namesake's), when it really should be going for Gorey, whose wholesomely creepy child-centric oddities would serve the subject matter more aptly than Poe's melancholia. The most stylized parts of Gargoyle Garden are the most enjoyable (including the young Edgar Allen's head-banging number about being an elementary-school misfit, which is great fun, and must be especially thrilling for the many children in the audience), but it loses its footing when it ventures too eagerly into heartfelt, message-imparting terrain. The show seems reluctant to compromise its little hero's relatability by making him genuinely weird, so it pays prodigious lip service to his weirdness but never produces much evidence that he is anything stranger than a lonely, abandoned child. Music and lyrics are serviceable, albeit a bit broad and often clunky, especially during the inspirational bits in which the word "heart" figures far too prominently. The standout performer is Brian DePetris (as a key gargoyle and the young hero's absent father), who nails just the right combination of stylized grotesque and emotional sincerity in a way that the play as a whole never does. At 45 Bleecker - Bleecker Street Theater. 1 hour. [Eisenberg]

The Alice Complex
The Alice Complex evolved out of playwright Peter Barr Nickowitz's fascination with the true story of Germaine Greer being briefly held hostage in her home by a student. Here, he has envisioned the incident as a confrontation between a vaguely disillusioned second-wave feminist, Sally Keating, and her devoted student Rebecca Sharp (yes, like in Thackeray) over the titular book, which Sally wrote early in her academic career and has subsequently disowned. The play is maybe a quarter actual drama: Nickowitz spends most of his time providing unnecessary backstory, preempting the audience's criticism with metatheatrical interludes, and summarizing, rather than showing, the action. This is in addition to the secondary story that has the actors playing other actors playing these parts, alternately discussing the characters' motivations and their own affair. Still, the little he does show us often rings false—Sally, bound with a measuring tape and a telephone cord, swings far too easily between terror of and intimacy with her captor, and Rebecca lapses immediately into a support role for the woman whose betrayal has enraged her: "It's not too late," she assures the older woman. "You can still change." The intention of this over-fractured narrative may be to tease out a subtle theme about the interactions between women, but the effect is sloppy characterization and a fatal excess of precious devices. And crucially, though it purports to be concerned with the intellect, The Alice Complex has a void at its center: the book that has caused all this trouble is never introduced in any depth, so the audience never gets a chance to sink its teeth into the real intellectual issues at which the various scenes hint or understand in any real way how its ideas function in the lives of the play's characters (whose extreme reactions to the book, because of this vacuum, seem slightly laughable). A waste of an intriguing premise and two extremely capable actors, The Alice Complex only squints at its subject, as if afraid to be blinded by a direct look. At Cherry Lane Theatre. 1 hour 15 minutes. [Eisenberg].

Call it waiting noir, but don’t expect Gia Marotta’s new play in 3 phases to offer any sustained clarity or solace. The first sketch "Vigil" is by far the best, with a Goth teenager named Clara (Erin Maya Darke) sitting in a barely-furnished room with a coffin of a loved one. Clara breaks the heavy silence by reading accounts of historical live burials from GHOST! magazine, relishing the tales about the supposed dead who have resurrected themselves at their own funerals. All this is a necessary preamble to Clara’s slow acceptance that a loved one has recently died, and that the coffin eerily remains in the room. Without revealing the ending, Clara finally manages to demonstrate that she’s not stuck in denial, but can feelingly confront the reality of death. The piece concludes with a kind of prayer, and the sense that the young Clara is not complete but evolving as a human being. The other 2 phases of the play seem more like gags than serious attempts at drama. "Memorial" begins with a young woman named Nicole (Alexandria LaPorte) standing like a fixture at center stage, her face uplifted in a faint smile. A taped recording of Nicole's Voice immediately wafts over the stage, haphazardly recounting personal anecdotes and trivia of the past. It’s impossible to determine from the tableau whether Nicole is supposed to be a mock image of herself for some online dating service, or perhaps a jaundiced version of Shakespeare’s Hermione in her frozen-statue phase. No matter. Before we can fathom the riddle or guise, Nicole walks off the stage, with the taped recording of her Voice playing on and on. If there was a thematic message here, it escaped me. The last section, "Visit," is like a crossing of Alice-in-Wonderland with an Edgar Allan Poe short story. There are 3 characters presented in the sketch: The Easter Bunny (Joe Kolbow), the drably-dressed Elizabeth (Jennifer Lauren Brown), and An Unflappable Bureaucratic Woman (Jamie Klassel). Although a few lucid moments emerge about coping with grief in a calloused society, most of the piece seems rather sentimental and contrived. The advertisement for this play stated that it would explore "memory and mourning in our contemporary culture," but the whole effect is like the playing of Mozart’s Requiem Mass on a penny whistle. At Pace - Schaeberle Studio Theatre. 1 hour. [Donovan]

Joe Salvatore’s III smoulders with talent. It is not only a human-interest story about the real-life menage a trois between photographer George Platt Lynes (Daryl Embry), MoMA curator Monroe Wheeler (John Del Vecchio) and writer Glenway Wescott (Joe Salvatore), but serves as a kind of measuring stick for existing social attitudes towards gays then and now. At first, it seems to be a play about the sexual dalliances of the famous gay threesome; as it proceeds we realize it aims to encompass much more. Salvatore has pieced together the letters and journals of Westcott, Wheeler, and Lynes, and created a three-dimensional work that transcends the literary conflation of the Readers Digest. What gives the play its specific value is that it reconstructs the family life of these 20th-century artists, and portrays the emotional struggles they encountered during almost 25 years of cohabitation. Salvatore is the real star of the production. He has directed with the same careful intelligence with which he has written the drama--and proves himself to be a capable actor as well. Troy Hourie has provided sets of the utmost simplicity, with each prop in complete service to the themes and characters on stage. The play evolved from the author’s 2002 theatre piece called mindlynes, and broadly traces the artists’ relationships from 1919 to 1943, shifting mostly between New York City and Paris. Surprisingly, this is a very buttoned-up work, with little explicit sex. What pulls us in, however, is that Salvatore has brilliantly dramatized the psychology of these gifted artists living in a gay enclave before the Gay Liberation Movement. At Cherry Lane Theatre. 1 hour, 40 minutes. [Donovan]

The Complete Performer
So slight that it feels like a warm-up act rather than a show in and of itself, Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer nonetheless carries a few nice laughs. Greenberg has written for the David Letterman show, and that off-kilter sense of humor is well in evidence here. The show is more or less Greenberg's excuse to interact with his audience and tease them lightheartedly; he also pokes a great deal of fun at himself as well. It's a piece that would work better at a comedy club, but Greenberg is an appealing performer, and there's certainly no time to get bored, either. At Jazz Gallery. 30 minutes. [Furay]

The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
Saturday Night Live comedienne and musical theatre actress Ana Gasteyer directs this solo show, written and performed by Chicago's Hanna LoPatin. LoPatin takes us through her life in three-quarters of an hour: her musical theatre aspirations, her day job producing commercials, her endless dating problems. All pretty mundane stuff, but what makes the piece more interesting is that Lopatin has written songs on all of these subjects, spoofing both herself and musicals in the process. The numbers are generally clever and attractive, but I'd prefer to see these sorts of songs in a book musical. As it is, this one just feels a little flimsy. At Jazz Gallery. 45 minutes. [Furay]

Dreadful Penny's Exquisite Horrors
A demented presentational sideshow, Dreadful Penny's Exquisite Horrors explores the dark realm of our basest desires and the lengths to which one will go to satisfy them. Each member of this well-matched ensemble gets their moment to shine in variety acts with a twisted take, presented by ringmaster Dreadful Penny (Jennifer R. LaTurner). Audrey Klein warbles a warm bluesy number ending in tears and destruction. Puppeteers Toni Machi and Erin Rijik play out a sweet romantic interlude that takes a turn for the worse. Machi switches gears to perform a not so magic act, and Rijik owns the stage in her intentionally botched burlesque act. Amy Sherman and Mike Simmer are last but not least to throw their hats in the ring with a melodrama that quickly escalates to crisis. The premise is interesting, but a unified show it is not, and the thematic thrust ends up feeling forced, despite committed performances by all. Still, this multi-layered piece is disturbingly pleasing and goes one step further to ask the audience why disorder delights. At Spiegelworld-Deluxe. 1 hour. [Winchester]

Refreshingly inventive writing and stellar acting had me hoping Pennybear's next sketch wouldn't be their last. This cast of four and writer/director James Whittington get it right in this self-written work, and it kills. Minimal props and creative staging lend excellent focus to the hilarity at hand including truth or dare in the trunk of a car, a never-ending rollercoaster ride, father/daughter bonding over menstruation, heinous airport customer service, and the accidental demise of two suicide jumpers. With a background in Chicago improv, Marla Caceres, Padriac Connelly, Nancy Friedrich and Jon Forsythe seal the deal with emotional commitment and spot-on comic timing. Ensemble acting doesn't get much better than this. At Players Theatre. 55 minutes. [Winchester]

Stars in a Dark Sky
The best kind of historical lessons are the ones filled with primary sources, like Stars in a Dark Sky. Playwright R.E. Vickers has put together the journals and correspondences of the Scholl family, two of whom were responsible for the antiwar White Rose pamphlets in Nazi Germany. The thoughtful and warm letters from the four Scholl children are vivid and compelling, and director Melanie Moyer Williams has found a nice theatricality in what is basically a series of monologues combined with old newsreels and other historical footage. The play veers off course, however, when Vickers imagines conversations between the Scholls during the war; the interactions are stilted and stagy. Nevertheless, the undeniable power of they story makes this a very moving weepie. At Theatre 80. 95 minutes. [Furay]

Parental Indiscretions
Quick, Abbot-and-Costello-like banter is the main feature of Parental Indiscretions, written and performed by the affable duo of Steve Hayes and Tom Cayler. They play twin brothers (one gay, one straight) in the new play, which has an unapologetically silly air and an endless obsession with old tv shows. There's ostensibly a storyline – something about their mysterious parentage – but mostly this is just an excuse for all sorts of gay vs. straight gags. The two performers are definitely likeable, but the jokes aren't funny enough to sell this very slight comedy. At Walkerspace. 75 minutes. [Furay]

Reasonable Doubt
Two jurors reunite years after they serve on a big murder case in Reasonable Doubt, a new play direct from Australia as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Old feelings bubble up quickly between Mitchell (Nick Flint) and Anna (Jeanette Cronin), as they rehash their disagreements about the case and explore their attraction to each other. Playwright Suzie Miller cannily withholds information about both characters, revealing character depth and motivation bit by bit as the play goes on. We're constantly interested in the mysteries of what's going to happen and what happened already, but some of the revelations are a little tough to swallow by play's (incredibly abrupt) end. Still, it's an interesting story, with strong performances from Flint and Cronin. At Cherry Lane Studio. 1 hour, 20 minutes. [Furay]

Salt Lake: A New Ballet
In Salt Lake, choreographer and performer Vicky Virgin squats amongst her sleek and beautiful chorus of "salt nymphs" like a beacon of dishevelment. Wearing a pulling foundation garment instead of a tutu and crowned with a cowlick of unruly hair instead of a tiara, she is prostate and graceless in her need for salt and in the thirst that it inspires. Her choreography for the salt nymphs provides a compelling contrast of physical expressiveness without copping out: instead of sticking the three proficient dancers with a prissy and hidebound Sugarplum Fairy routine, Virgin has given them something compellingly contemporary that does not sacrifice balletic virtue. Her own performance is not quite as subtle as her choreography for her colleagues, but its bluntness is not without payoff. Salt Lake walks the line of the contemporary avant-garde, sometimes tipping into the performance-art stereotype of self-conscious opacity, and the salt metaphor never quite delivers on its promise, but this piece still offers something provocative and powerful: a chance to think about the ugliness of desire. At 45 Bleecker - Lafayette Theater. 1 hour. [Eisenberg]

That Dorothy Parker
Carol Lempert's one-woman tribute to Dorothy Parker, the famous wit about whom most people seem to know almost nothing beyond a handful of well-known wisecracks, fills in a great many of the blanks about its remarkable subject. It gets going slowly, with a lot of mannered exclamations, the introduction of an invisible dog (a conceit called upon a little too often), and an awful lot of exposition, but once it's in full swing, it's become an enjoyable, if somewhat lightweight, tour through the ups and downs of Parker's personal and professional lives, peppered with entertaining imitations of Parker's co-conspirators of the Algonquin Round Table. It's difficult to imagine that the real Parker was ever this emotionally transparent, but Lempert does a nice job of portraying what may have roiled beneath the barbed exterior. That Dorothy Parker effectively whets the appetite for Parker's work, much of which is no longer widely read. At SoHo Playhouse. 1 hour, 30 minutes. [Eisenberg]

Becoming Britney
Like the real-life Spears, Becoming Britney finds its groove when it's dancing. Creator and star Molly Bell renders Britney's characteristic style of movement with incredible precision, and the show is at its sharpest with the whole versatile cast popping and writhing in unison. "...Millionaire Whore" and "Push It Out," which re-enact milestones in the annals of Britney (discovery and pregnancy, respectively) in the style of her performances, are the highlights: they're effective satire, and they get under your skin like a solid pop hook. The going is rougher in the book (breezy but scattered) and the ballads. "The Love of My Life (So Far)," Britney and K-Fed's duet, is tight and clever, but "My I Want Song" is a serious misstep--forgettable and also indicative of a weird quirk of this little musical's conception. As becomes increasingly evident as it chugs towards some kind of conclusion, Becoming Britney is targeted not just at pop-culture junkies, but at pop-culture junkies who are also musical theater nerds, eager for references to a slew of other musicals and the internal rules of this "inherently ridiculous art form." The climax, in which Britney's therapy group convinces her to either stay in rehab forever and be the star of her own imaginary musical or to actually take a musical based on her life to Broadway (it's too muddled to be able to tell for sure), squanders a lot of goodwill and conclusively brands the show as a theatrical in-joke, which fails to satisfy (who watches a musical about Britney Spears for jokes about musicals rather than jokes about Britney Spears?). Just like real-life Britney, Becoming Britney is crippled by a lack of self-knowledge. At 45 Bleecker - Bleecker Theater. 1 hour, 15 minutes. [Eisenberg]

Venue Addresses
45 Bleecker - Bleecker Theater, 45 Bleecker Street (@ Lafayette)
45 Bleecker - Lafayette Theater, 45 Bleecker Street (@ Lafayette)
Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street (@7 Av)
Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce (Barrow/Bedford)
Cherry Lane Studio, 38 Commerce(Barrow/Bedford)
Connelly Theater, 220 East 4th Street (Avs A/B)
CSV Center - Flamboyan, 107 Suffolk Street (Rivington/Delancey)
CSV Center - Milagro, 107 Suffolk Street (Rivington/Delancey)
Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson (Spring/Dominick)
New School for Drama, 151 Bank (West/Washington)
Pace University-Courtyard
Pace University-Schaeberle Studio Theatre, 41 Park Row, 12th Flr (facing City Hall Park)
Pace University-Schimmel Center, 13 Spruce Street (Park Row/Gold St)
Players Loft, 115 MacDougal (S of W3 St)
Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal (S of W3 St)
Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam (6/7 Avs)
Spiegelworld-Deluxe, behind Pier 17, South Street Seaport
Theatre 80, 80 St Marks Place (1/2 Avs)
walkerspace, 46 Walker Street (Broadway/Church)

Outstanding Play
The Umbrella Plays
Sailor Man
Too Much Memory

Outstanding Musical
China - The Whole Enchilada
Perez Hilton Saves the Universe...

Outstanding Playwrighting
Montserrat Mendez -Thoroughly Stupid Things...
Paul Cohen - Mourn the Living Hector
Suzie Miller - Reasonable Doubt
Halley Bondy - The Redheaded Man

Outstanding Music & Lyrics
Julie Nichols, Lames Asmus & Andrew Hobgood - Love is Dead

Outstanding Solo Show
Krapp, 39
Blanche Survives Hurricane Katrina...

Outstanding Direction
Bill Oliver -The Alice Complex
Heather Cohen - Other Bodies
Nell Balaban - The Boy in the Basement
Jon Levin - There Will Come Soft Rains

Outstanding Costume Design
Gem! A Truly Outrageous Parody! - Angela Harner
The Fabulous Kane Sisters... - Jennifer Kirschman
Charlie LaGreca - The Gargoyle Garden

Outstanding Lighting Design
Teresa Hull - The Permanent Night

Outstanding Actor
Molly Bell - Becoming Britney
Hogan Gorman - Hot Cripple
Movin Melvin Brown - A Man, A Magic, A Music
Deborah Weston - See How Beautiful I Am
Will Manning - Choke City & Revolution on the Roof

Outstanding Ensemble
Keep Your Eyes Open
Gem! A Truly Outrageous Parody!
Paper Dolls

Outstanding Set Design
Tania Bijlani - The Alice Complex

Outstanding Choreography
Lizzie Leopold - Green Eyes

Fringe Encores
For the third year, after the completion of the Fringe Festival, there is an unaffiliated program of shows from this year's festival. Further information on the Fringe Encores program, including all of the shows selected for inclusion, is available here.

1998 Fringe Report
1999 Fringe Report
2000 Fringe Report
2001 Fringe Report
2002 Fringe Report
2003 Fringe Report
2004 Fringe Report
2005 Fringe Report
2006 Fringe Report
2007 Fringe Report
Try for great seats to
Jersey Boys
The Little Mermaid
Lion King
Shrek The Musical

South Pacific  Revival
South Pacific

In the Heights
In the Heights

Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide
Leonard Maltin's 2008 Movie Guide


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