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A CurtainUp Report

2010 New York International Fringe Festival

Updated August 30, 2010

For a list of awards, click here.

Again this 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 locations, performance dates and times as well as tickets, is available here.

Missionary Position (Photo: Celebration Theatre) Classically Trained, Practically Broke (Photo: Erin Soler) Hamlettes (Photo: Brian Hashimoto) Shine (Photo: Frank Roberts) The Mad 7 (Photo: Frank Wojciechowski) The Hyperbolist (Photo: Susan Ask)

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

AK-47 Sing-Along | Alternative Methods | As You Like It | American Gypsy | Banshee of Bainbridge | Baristas | Classically Trained, Practically Broke | Driving the Saudis | Eternity in an Hour | Faster Than The Speed Of White | Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories | For the Birds | The Fourth Estate | Friends of Dorothy: An Oz Cabaret | Getting Even With Shakespeare | Hamlet Shut Up | Hamlettes | Headscarf and The Angry Bitch | The Hyperbolist | In the Schoolyard | Invader? I Hardly Know Her | Just in Time: The Judy Holliday Story | Julius Caesar: The Death of a Dictator | Jurassic Parq: The Broadway Musical | Lemonade: A Play of World Domination | Lenny's Dead | Living on the Edge | Lost and Found | Love in the Time of Swine Flu | The Mad 7 | The Maid of Orleans | Menny and Mila | Missionary Position | The Morning After / The Night Before | A Personal War-Stories of the Mumbai Terror Attacks | No One Finer Than Frank Shiner | Picking Palin | The Pig, the Farmer, and the Artist | Pigeons, Knishes and Rockettes | Platinum | Richard 3 | Rites of Privacy | Running | Saving Throw Versus Love | Scared Skinny | Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto | Shine: A Burlesque Musical | South Beach Rapture | Spellbound | Strange Love in Outer Space | Swaha: Rituals of Union | The Swearing Jar | Tristan and Isolde | Two Sizes Too Small | Veritas | Viva La Evolucion! | When Last We Flew

EDITOR'S NOTE: Now in its fourteenth year, FringeNYC runs August 13-29, 2009. This year's festival has scheduled almost 200 shows at eighteen 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 1 East 8th Street (at Fifth Avenue) (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 for advance purchase, $18 at the door, 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.


Headscarf and The Angry Bitch
Zed Headscarf (Zehra Fazal), a Pakistani American starts her Sunday Islam 101 gig at a community center to educate the American public about what it’s like growing up Muslim in the USA. Although more acquainted with a guitar than the Quran, she does well while teaching the differences between the important concepts of HALAL (kosher) and HARRAM (totally non-kosher!) – until she slips into personal stories about losing her virginity on Ramadan, giving up her five daily prayers in favor of five premarital rolls in the hay, and then accidently becoming a lesbian. Allah, there’s only so much embarrassment a local Imam can take! Whether you’re a Muslim American trying to fit your Western reality into your heritage mold, a sucker for a cultural mélange, or just trying to boost your Urdu, this one-woman musical will surely make you laugh. With her great singing voice, Zehra’s hilarious stint "Give Islam a Chance" – a take on Lady Gaga’s "I Want Your Love" - is a show in itself. At Cherry Lane Studio. 1 hour. [Zeldovich]

AK-47 Sing-Along
Although called a black comedy by its playwright, Samara Weiss, AK-47 Sing-Along is a painful gruesome depiction of the second Israeli-Palestinian intifada, broadcast through the prism of Hamas’s version of Sesame Street with some dark humor thrown in and a few tunes lost in translation – which makes it even more disturbing. Two friends, an Israeli and a Palestinian, who used to produce the original Hebrew-Arabic Sesame Street before the war, watch Hamas’s animal mascots teach children to fight and die for their land on the Ruad al-Ghad (Tomorrow’s Pioneers) serial – while rockets explode over Gaza. The mascots don’t live long as they teach by example; Yakov and Hassan’s friendship may survive, but will the Middle East? Whether you take sides or not, you will leave with a heavy heart, a lump in your throat and a head full of thoughts to keep you up at night. If you brought friends, expect heated political arguments on the way home. It’s a show that should be seen; ask for the playwright’s statement before curtain and Google the subjects it screams about afterwards. Samara only accepts hate mail with proof you’ve seen the play. At HERE - Mainstage. 2 hours, 1 intermission. [Zeldovich]

Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories
"Write about what you know," so they say. Which is what Faye Lane did and now she is living her dream at La Mama, presenting a funny, warm nostalgic memoir about growing up in her Mama’s beauty shop in Texas. As a little girl, she imagined her stage would be Madison Square Garden and she would be wearing a diamond bikini. Here her stage is black and her dress is black, but this down-home gal’s spirit is as bright as the rhinestones in her BeDazzler. Faye Lane, a lovely woman with movie-star platinum blonde hair and serious scarlet lipstick, was once fat little Rhonda Faye, a kid with a flamboyant imagination and a drive to entertain. Munching on MoonPies, Rhonda Faye absorbed the beauty shop stories. Lane has good timing and convincing deliveries both in her prose and some catchy country tunes by Carol Hall, Larry Rosen and Keith Thompson. Jay Rogers crisply directed the show toward a well-structured resolution. Coming of age, theater or cabaret, whatever, this is well done. If y’all was once a kid with dreams, just go see Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories. Y’all will be glad y’all did. La MaMa - Club. 55 minutes. [Ahlfors]

The Maid of Orleans
The singing is the thing in Pamela Wilkinson's adaptation of Friedrich Schiller's The Maid of Orleans. Note for note, the performers in this production are first-rate. When not singing their high-flown arias, however, the acting ensemble is not quite as powerful or nuanced in their performances. Fortunately, one actor admirably straddles both the acting and singing demands of her role: Gudrun Buhler playing the titular character Johanna. Buhler is gutsy rather than exalted as the Maid of Orleans. And it's fascinating to listen, not only to her vocal selections (from Vincenzo Bellini's I Capuleti e I Montecchi), but her character's painful retelling of a chance encounter and her "fall from grace" (she falls in love with an Englishman) on the battlefield. The set for this production has a fitting bareness. Its central prop, a tall metal column, obviously suggests the stake that Johanna will eventually be burned upon. Although this column is mockingly referred to by the English as the maid's "druidic tree of witchcraft," its height evokes both a cathedral's loftiness and the steeliness of medieval warfare. This dramatization of Johanna of Arc's life is far different than G.B. Shaw's St. Joan or Jean Anouilh's Jeanne d'Arc. Not surprisingly, Schiller is often called the German Shakespeare. Go to this Demimonde Theatre and Opera Company's production of his classic, and find out why. At Connelly. 1 hour, 45 minutes. [Donovan]

Getting Even With Shakespeare
If you yearn to go on a wild Shakespearean tangent for 90 minutes, then Matt Saldarelli's Getting Even With Shakespeare may be your show. This farce takes a handful of the Bard's tragic heroes-Hamlet, Macbeth, Lear, and Romeo and Juliet-and throws them into the world of a New York City pub. Somewhat reminiscent of Tom Stoppard's Shakespearean spin-offs, this comedy has an interesting conceit, is theatrically clever, and is funny. As bits of Shakespeare's tragedies are interwoven into the fabric of the piece, you obviously must be familiar with Shakespeare's stories to "get" all the jokes. There's a continual blurring of literary boundaries in Saldarelli's play, with its Shakespearean characters surreally discussing each other's tragic flaws and general emotional make-up. One scene even has Ophelia # 482 (Kelsey Formost) transmute into an Act 5 Cordelia, when she falls into the lap of a grieving King Lear (John D'Arcangelo). Curiously, the character who is the most convincing is the 30-year-old attorney Matt (Greg Ayers), who we later learn is a fledgling playwright. Matt arrives in the pub rather late and discovers the Bard's tragic heroes in the flesh. He unwittingly interrupts Romeo (Ben Holmes) re-enacting the balcony scene with Ophelia #482. To be sure, this is a very meta-theatrical work, with Pirandello's ideas writ large. By the time you exit the theater, your mind will be saturated with echoes of Shakespeare, Beckett, popular culture, and more. There are jokes about the theater and amusing cracks about Shakespeare's characters. But, unfortunately, all this entertaining stuff loses its dramatic center after an hour. The play is hilarious to watch early on, but after 90 minutes I found it forced its comic conceit. Or to paraphrase a line from Hamlet: This play needs more matter and less art. At Players - Theatre. 90 minutes. [Donovan]

Swaha: Rituals of Union
For anyone unfamiliar with Odissi Indian dance, Manhattan-based Trinayan Dance Theater's Fringe presentation will make a great introduction. A troupe of five women (men are always in short supply) begin with a stylized movement greeting to gods and audience and continue with excerpts from lengthy narratives featuring gods and mortals. Each piece normally comprises highly controlled slow moments later breaking into the ecstatic, often with barefoot version of tap. A cooldown conclusion connects the dancers and audience with universal divine energy. The program offers many details about the characters and story line, but the uninitiated will have a hard time matching the sections to what they are seeing. No matter because the dancers are expressive and well trained. The deep-hued women's costumes comprise full bodice, ample pants with fan-like front piece to give a modest image. Most typical are white headdresses woven from special reeds and the ankle bells. Keep your eye on saffron-robed Leena Mohanty, whose intense glance and unfailing sense of gesture illuminate this 2000-year style. At Dixon Place. 65 minutes. [Lipfert]

Hamlet Shut Up
For those people who can take their Shakespeare or let it alone, the Sacred Fools Theater Company quietly offers Hamlet Shut Up. Adapted and directed by Jonas Oppenheim, it is an irresistible show that transmutes the Bard's classic tragedy into a silent comedy. It completely reverses the notion that acting Hamlet is a booking monologue for thespians. Derek Mehn, in the nominal role, never speaks the speeches trippingly on his tongue. Instead he hammers out Shakespeare's vital truths in Chaplin-esque style. Indeed the entire troupe has meticulous physical poetry, and nobody delivers a tad of iambic pentameter during the proceedings. You might wonder, as I did, how some of the great soliloquies could possibly fly without words. True, some are omitted ("O, that this too too solid flesh". . . "O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!"). But the most famous one (You guessed it!) is retooled as a comic sketch featuring Hamlet center stage between 2 giant faux bumble bees labeled respectively, "to be" or "not to be" with Hamlet desperately swatting at them in flight. Since the emphasis is on physical humor, you will continually be amazed at how well this tragic masterpiece is re-invented through vaudeville-like routines. Whether it's Claudius (Stephen Simon) trying to steal the crown off a plain wooden table from Hamlet in Scene One or Ophelia (Tegan Ashton Cohan) literally walking into walls in her madness scene later on, you will find this a riveting retelling of the old tale. Hold on to your program too! There's a good Hamlet synopsis, written by Oppenheim, that encapsulates Shakespeare's myth in the language of today. Oppenheim, and his creative team, magnificently succeed here. This production reminds you that the essence of theater is not spoken words, but acting. At La MaMa - First Floor. 85 minutes [Donovan]

Scared Skinny
Even if you don't need to lose an ounce, check out Mary Dimino's one-woman show, Scared Skinny. Dimino, who won the 2008 Gracie Allen Award for the PBS documentary, Fat: What No One is Telling You, returns to the limelight with self-penned stories on how she triumphed over her food obsession. It is not necessary to be familiar with her other stints on stage and TV. This show is self-contained. A born raconteur, Dimino chronicles growing up as a roly-poly Italian-American child in Queens, where her mother routinely served her sausage-and-pepper sandwiches (and a cannoli for dessert) for lunch. Not surprisingly, she became very pudgy, an easy target for the neighborhood children to tease mercilessly. Though she was too young to worry about her cholesterol level, she did worry if she would ever wear cute clothes or be kissed by a boy. According to Dimino, the turning point of her young life was when she overheard 2 "Guidos" call her fat. Their demeaning attitude and cruel words pushed her to realize her childhood dream (foretold by a Ouija Board) of being skinny. Despite the real pain tucked into her life story, Dimino is extremely funny as she spins her yarns. She has a vast range of anecdotes on dieting do's (Walking is effective!) and don'ts (Buying cartons of Devil Dogs at Pathmark leads to bingeing!). Obviously, she's determined to wring the neck of her food passion. And if the past is prologue, she will continue to triumph over her penchant for compulsive eating. With many years of acting in her cupboard, this comedienne, writer, and actor looks quite at ease on stage. Dimino has appeared as a guest on NBC's Today Show, The Chris Rock Show, Comedy Central, just to mention a few. She has been in sketches on Late Shows with both David Letterman and Conan O'Brien and is a regular on the comedy club circuit. On stage she has played the Maid of Honor in Tony and Tina's Wedding and had a featured part in the Off-Broadway musical Surprise. Perhaps the reason that Dimino is so popular on both TV and stage is that she doesn't try to impress you with her brilliance. She invites your interest and approval. Beyond that, she has 2 qualities that are essential to a solo-performing artist: exuberance and heart. At Paradise Factory. 77 minutes. [Donovan]

The Morning After / The Night Before
Todd (Jed Resnick) wakes up one morning with a host of problems far more daunting than the hang-over he likely anticipated after the engagement party he threw the night before for his high school girl buddy, Cynthia (Michelle K. Moore), and her fiancé, Rob (Jason Collins). First and foremost is that he discovers Cynthia in his bed, while his live-in girlfriend, Ginger (Aly Viny), eagerly makes him coffee. But that's only the beginning of the story; neither he nor any of the other party guests -- a stoner lawyer who has trouble getting dates (Max Spitulnik), a sexually frustrated physician (Shira Gregory), Todd's horned-up ex-bandmate (Whit Baldwin) and the latter's mother (Stacey Scotte) -- have any idea how things ended up as they did. This morning after causes more headaches than the night before as everyone tries to piece together what happened, aided by a generous helping of flashbacks. Writer/composer Jeff Bienstock has turned all this (and more) into a well-crafted romantic musical comedy that manages to find a clever way of tapping into what can be a pretty hackneyed genre. His very funny book and tightly constructed lyrics are first rate, even if his choice of musical styles feels generally out of sync with his characters. Diana Glazer has done a very effective job of staging the show which presents many farce-like challenges, the entire acting ensemble is terrific and Remy Kurs leads a fine five piece band onstage. At Lortel. 90 minutes. [Gutman]

Two Sizes Too Small
Jessica Kane's Two Sizes Too Small is a fairy tale for grownups. It has its own completeness, and operates with its own logic. This farcical comedy is as unusual as it is agreeable, and your funny bone will be struck a considerable whack. To put the plot in a nutshell: Paul, a powerful stockbroker, wakes up one morning and finds that his shoes have shrunk two sizes too small. He panics. Everybody in his life -- his mother Susan, his co-worker Larry, his girlfriend Marilyn -- rack their brains to come up with a workable solution to Paul's dilemma. His mother, thinking she has saved the day, summons a doctor specializing in foot and shoe dysfunction. Once Paul takes his prescribed medication, however, he suffers catastrophic side-effects: all of his clothes shrink two sizes too small. In spite of its surreal plot-line, the play makes a clear point: One can get impossibly stuck in one's life, and getting "unstuck" demands serious reflection and genuine friends. The acting of the entire cast is solid. As Paul, John Wernke is inches from perfection, largely because he projects the sincerity which his character must have, and which is at the base of the author's inspiration. Eric Purcell, as Doc, commands our scrupulous attention, and he has been intelligently directed (by Kane) to give his character the right touch of professional nitwittedness. Lorraine Serabian Is charmingly narcissistic as the mother Susan. And Minna Taylor, as Marilyn, has the suitably earnest look of a devoted friend and lover. Scott Janes has a less-developed part in Larry, but he delivers with gusto. And Michael Douglass, as the Narrator, possesses the necessary poise and deftly pulls all the threads of the story together. There are a few forced notes, and one somewhat dull spot, but everyone plays in pitch. Stripped of theatrical embellishments, Two Sizes Too Small is intentionally staged as a radio play. It's worth tuning into. At La Mama - Club. 90 minutes. [Donovan].

Lenny's Dead
This is a play about the personal impact of the Vietnam War, a war that rocked the nation like nothing before or since. Bad as things are now, in those days bodies were shipped back by the hundreds. In Lenny's Dead , two actors play Hank (alive), Lenny (dead) and several other characters between them. Except for instances of decent Nam sound effects, it's a bare bones production. Good, emotional material is to be found in there, and a lot of work has been done on it. It needs a lot more. Essentially the play is all over the place. A long narrative of war-related reminiscences with lots of detours, it wants focus as it deals with various friends, losses, fathers, nicknames, and the matter of truth. Although the dead Lenny in question is there, and things eventually will get around to him, the play is actually more concerned with another character, Hank's best friend with a great name, Slippery Earl. It's over explicated. Time is taken to explain the draft lottery. This sidebar would do better written in the program. The characters themselves point out the play's problems: "This walk down memory lane… maybe you should write a book about it someday." And later: "You're going to put everyone to sleep." A distinct possibility. My companion is nodding even though this was his war. At Kraine. 80 minutes. [Osenlund]

Just in Time: The Judy Holliday Story
Written and directed by Bob Sloan, Just in Time--The Judy Holliday Story is a fast-paced journey through the life of this talented and not-at-all-dumb blonde who died too young. Judy Holliday, born Judith Tuvim, is played by Marina Squerciati who projects a compelling dimension to the star. The portrayal, however, is limited by Sloan’s stop-and-go plotline with quick information inserts. Holliday’s character is never given space to expand and the story does not promote any layered knowledge about the actress and singer who really wanted to be a writer and director. The play begins with Holliday and her mother waiting for the Academy Awards presentations for 1950. Off-stage, we hear the names of the Best Actress nominees, a notable group including Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson. Just as Holliday is about to be announced as winner, focus goes to her mother, Helen (Mary Gutzi), telling the story of how her only daughter was "born on a stage – the Zeigfeld." Zip ahead to a humorous scene where Holliday works as a switchboard operator for Orson Welles and John Houseman’s Mercury Theater. Keep moving on to unfulfilled Hollywood days, Broadway success, advice and support from her mother, and Holliday’s phone calls to her young son, Jonathan. Scenes include the actress’ appearance on What’s My Line? paired with Holliday’s testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee, which led to three years of radio and TV blacklisting. Clever and enthusiastic, Catherine LeFrere and Adam Harrington play additional characters, the most engaging being Betty Comden and Adolph Green with their witty Movie Game, and a glimpse of their cabaret days as The Revuers. Basically, this show offers just a hint of Judy Holliday’s short, fascinating life but it does serve as an appealing introduction to those who didn’t know her. At SoHo Playhouse. 90 minutes. [Ahlfors]

Rites of Privacy
In this impressive offering writer/actor David Rhodes performs character sketches, disclosing critical hidden incidents in several people's lives. An autobio river runs through it, more than we need to know really. But it's hard to tell if and where his background and life may intersect with these stories. Dressed as a woman in an elegant dress and loads of faux rhinestones he comes clean about a secret cover up. He's a paunchy old holocaust survivor who tells a terrible secret and dances a liberating dance in front of projected Nazi rallies and atrocities. The emotionally moving dance has the effect of Spike Jones singing "In Der Fuhrer's Face." Rhodes transforms into a Jewish Euro-rent-boy, who dishes things maybe better left unsaid while he performs interpretive dance. One character has a tale so detailed and graphic that I expected to see blood. With a smile Rhodes dispatches inclusive, ironic glances to the audience, drawing everyone in to the intimacy of the confessional. Set design is minimal. It's all in the costumes, wigs, and projections. Would that the space allowed for rear projections to banish the shadows that mar the backdrop screen. How much does David need to tell? This is a strong and puzzling tour de force. At HERE - Williams. 90 minutes. [Osenlund]

Picking Palin
Playwright Stephen Padilla gives us a postmortem peek into a Phoenix hotel room where a quartet of GOP strategists is desperately trying to save McCain’s presidential campaign. What’s more, it also lets us peek into the Grand Old Party mindset. "First, we’ll worry about winning," Bob (Bill Timoney) announces to the team. "Then we’ll think about the country." Later he adds, "There’s eighteen million votes out there had voted for Hillary – and we must get them!" And so, Alaska, the last frontier state, gives the GOP its last frontier – the Thrilla from Wasilla. The play brings an interesting retrospective not only to how Sarah Palin made her spectacular ascent from her frozen state to the Republican ballot, but also at the pre-crisis time – the world as we remember it before the Wall Street meltdown. "The economy is strong, it doesn’t worry me," Bob says dismissively. "Barak Obama does! Although, when the time comes, I know American people will never vote for somebody with the middle name Hussein." Interesting, although a touch slow at times, Picking Palin already got a boo from The New York Post. I’d see it just for that reason. At Connelly. 1 hour, 40 minutes. [Zeldovich]

Love in the Time of Swine Flu
What happens when theater meets stand-up comedy in the time of Swine Flu? They give birth to Stupid Time Machine – a comedy ensemble that mocks and makes fun of everything you always wanted to laugh at, but were afraid to start. From a mixed Vampire-Human couple love arguments to ridiculing a senate session where one senator wants to power windmills with oil while another thinks the deficit is a physical disease, and from a team of film producers considering a sex-flick featuring Berenstain Bears to a doctor so afraid of germs that he doesn’t kiss anymore, Love in the Time of Swine Flu is a non-stop laugh-out-loud marathon. No social phobia, fake or real, gets a break, every scene acted so vividly you totally buy into the absurdity. And if nothing else, CJ Hunt (actor and the artistic director of Stupid Time Machine) should win an award for the best Obama impersonation ever. At Dixon Place. 1 hour, 15 minutes. [Zeldovich]

Saving Throw Versus Love
We've come a fairly long way since I had to sheepishly admit my own past involvement in gaming, during my 2007 review of the NYC Fringe's Gamers. Gaming may not have gone entirely mainstream over the last three years, but it's acceptable enough that TV shows, films and celebrities have begun to celebrate the culture. Into this brave new world walks Saving Throw Versus Love, a fairly unsubtle comedy about gaming geeks and the people who love them, in spite (or because) of the habit. Playwright Larry Brenner doesn't say, but I'd guess he's got a bit of gaming in his past (or present) himself, given the easy way he conveys the all-encompassing quality of the gaming world with neither cruelty nor malice. Both he and the actors are obviously having fun here, and there are a number of genuinely funny moments-especially during the extended gaming session which takes up the middle of the play, when the cast's chemistry really shines. As is often the case with Fringe shows, the pacing is uneven at times, and the play is about twenty minutes too long (ending after the gaming session would have given the production much more comic punch); the plot isn't really up to sustaining a full length show. Nonetheless, Saving Throw Versus Love is a lot of fun, and if you've ever been curious what all the fuss around gaming is about (or, perhaps, contributed to the fuss yourself), this is exactly the kind of thing the Fringe does best. Bring along your sense of humor and a twenty-sided die or two. At Players - Theater. 1 hour, 20 minutes. [Wilson]

Living on the Edge
I have a great amount of respect for Parkour, the art/sport of freerunning across urban environments (though there's some dispute as to whether Parkour and freerunning aren't two different things). Originally invented in France, where it served as escape from the rather bleak, claustrophobic environment of the Parisian suburbs, Parkour emphasizes both efficient use of the environment to get from one point to another and creative expression in the process. At its best, it's breathtaking to watch, combining athletic skill, discipline and extensive training with a joyous, creative flair. Living on the Edge, which bills itself as a "collaborative multimedia Parkour performance" (though I couldn't see any evidence of "multimedia," unless lighting and music are supposed to count), obviously intends to recreate that joy. All of its performers are obviously committed to the form, though of widely varying degrees of talent; a few clearly aren't up to the moves they're attempting, and there were at least two near-injuries in the performance I saw. And these folks are athletes, not actors. But the bigger problem is that I don't think the form lends itself to the venue, or vice versa; a wafer-thin plot really isn't worth the time wasted on naming its individual parts, which don't fit together very coherently anyway. And by trying to shoehorn a fundamentally free-flowing, improvisational art form into a surprisingly static set (the Ellen Stewart Theater at La Mama could hold something much more interesting than the pedestrian scaffold used during the show, even with the Fringe's time constraints) and disappointingly obvious, undeveloped plot, neither Parkour nor conventional drama are ultimately served. Director and choreographer Nadia Lesy would have been better off creating a more interesting environment and letting her performers' imaginations do the rest; instead Living on the Edge tries to serve two masters, and doesn't please either. At La Mama - Stewart. 30 minutes. [Wilson]

Banshee of Bainbridge
Leap back to the summer of 1985 and the overheated tumultuous neighborhood of Bainbridge in the Bronx, a once staunch Irish Catholic enclave giving way to Latino gangs and increasing violence. Written with a wicked edge tinged with black humor by Jim Tierney and savagely directed by Dianna Martin, this is the story of Mij Sullivan (as played by Michael Wolfe)- mama’s boy, comic book aficionado and budding alcoholic- attempting to deal with the recent death of his mother and the seedy decline of everything around him. As the summer wears on and Mij continues to question the fairness of a life that constantly dumps on him with no relief other than rotgut booze and comic books, he spirals into delusion and violence eventually donning a super hero outfit crafted from one of his deceased mother’s dresses. Wolfe does a splendid job portraying Mij’s innocent confusion and genuine social ineptness. He is backed up by a cast of actors doing a heart breaking job of bringing their characters to life; especially Jack R. Marks in the dual roles of Mij’s sad sack, never there pop and the holier than now Father Bischoff, and Ralph McCain as Sal the Braveheart-esque poet warrior of the sanitation department. Like the city itself, this show is brutal, comical and imminently entertaining. At Moss. 75 minutes. [Venditto]

Friends of Dorothy: An Oz Cabaret
With the Garland connection I expected a gay cabaret, but surprisingly, that's not what this is about. It is burlesque, a themed, episodic variety show. The Wicked Bitch of the West (Bianca del Rio), however, is an elegant drag fairy, quick with on-the-spot, improvised remarks. Striptease artists are the Good Witch Glinda, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and finally, Dorothy? Oh my! Along the way Lullaby League performs a stunning aerial act, making cats' cradles way up in the air by twisting and manipulating ultra-long red sashes from which she suspends. Another breathtaking piece is the beautiful and scary flying monkey trapeze act. Then there's the Tin Man rapper. He bad. And the Twinkie does a mean show. The Wizard himself is a cool customer and a stripper of great underwear capacity. It's all sparkly shoes and pasties, comic striptease and upbeat dancing, a joy to watch. That's entertainment! At La MaMa - Stewart. 1 hour, 45 minutes. [Osenlund]

Richard 3
Almost didn't see this one. The Fringe is no place to see Shakespeare, I thought. See something new. Turns out, this production is not only Shakespeare, it's true Fringe. Adapted and directed by James Presson, it has a whopping 20 cast & musicians. Many in this crowd passed through Fordham on the way to the Fringe. The action is supposed to transpire in a post-nuclear wasteland -- framed by Stanley's (Dylan's "Talkin World War III Blues") dream. But the concept is not made crystal clear. However, the whole performance is remarkable. The direction and acting are impressive. Very Richard 3: Swearing friendship while dripping contempt. There are good, really fitting songs like Arcade Fire's "My Body is a Cage", David Bowie's "Golden Years", Cocorosie's "Tekno Love Song" (I fell in love with a bad bad man), and more. One less effective choice is "Eagles Wings", sung by the ensemble throughout, although the one "shine like the sun" (of York)?) lyric fits. Fabulous singers include Elizabeth (Rachel Buethe), Buckingham (Tom Pecina), Clarence (Eric Scott Mossman), Stanley (Brendan McDonough), and Richard (Jake Ahlquist). The musicians rock and there's comical use of musical comment. Richard and his queen-with-'tude do a Pulp Fiction-based dance. The costumes are punk and ballerina tulle; hair and eyes, a touch of zombie. What more can you ask for? It is grotesque, touching, well put together, and a heavy contender for best of fringe status. At La Mama - Stewart. 2 hours (with no intermission, which has to be a misdemeanor). [Osenlund]

Menny and Mila
Paul Schultz's new romantic musical, Menny and Mila, arrives at the Fringe, and it's not your same-old, same-old tuner. Here's the plot in a nutshell: Menny (Josh Canfield) and Mila (Danielle Heaton), a tabloid reporter and his Russian mail-order girlfriend, have a romance sparking in New York City. Menny is a control-freak; Mila is an attractive, smart professional woman (a translator and computer expert) who puts her independence first. They go out on dates, with Menny serving as Mila's personal tour guide through New York City. Their new-age romance blossoms. And Menny bravely decides it's time to take Mila to the family homestead. Old-fashioned and extremely anxious over their son's future, his parents give Mila the silent treatment over dinner. The young couple take this in stride, but other problems loom ahead. Menny gets (unfairly) fired from his newspaper job for a wild front page gaffe (don't ask!). And Mila, ironically, gets a career promotion for designing a brilliant new computer program. Their romance continues, with complications. Schultz's musical has a promising scenario, but it's not "getting over" to the audience because many of the actors aren't projecting their voices. Indeed those in the cast not wearing head microphones should consider investing in one. There are quite a few good numbers, including the earnest "I Would Not Steer You Wrong," the feminist-themed "Russian Doll," and the witty "Do You Want To Be A Hyphen?" But if the song's lyrics were not displayed on the giant screen on stage, few would have a clue as to what was being sung. There are surely knowledgeable theater folks involved in this production. So perhaps they can improve the "sound" problem before the show shutters. Schultz, who had a delightful musical in last year's Fringe, has the theatrical savoir faire to pull together a tuner. But his current venture is literally lacking in soundness. At Lortel. 1 hour, 45 minutes. [Donovan]

Stephen (Seth Barrish) is running in his first Marathon in the morning, but this is not a play about that kind of running. Having dispatched his wife to London so he would have peace and quiet the night before the big race, the last thing he needed was for one of her former roommates, the very chatty Emily (Lee Brock), to show up at the door with a hotel horror story and, putatively, no place to stay. A good night's sleep becomes progressively less likely as Emily has Stephen jumping increasingly high hurdles all night. The fact that Emily has something more on her mind than a lot of chit-chat will come as no surprise, but this is not a play about that either. Arlene Hutton, whose claim to fame in the world of Fringe is that her fine play Last Train to Nibroc was the first Fringe show to transfer to an Off-Broadway run, has not really delivered as well this time. Although she has a fine ear for dialogue and a good dose of humor to lubricate it, this play is burdened by a lack of propelling action in its lengthy middle, combined with some leaps of logic that undercut its overall believability. The two actors, who are a couple in real life, couldn't be better: honest and convincing performances from both. In fact, at times the acting is so good that it's clear Hutton, who wrote the play for them, has actually overwritten it. At Cherry Pit. 90 minutes. [Gutman]

A Personal War-Stories of the Mumbai Terror Attacks
It may sound ironic, but the Indians dubbed their tragic terrorist attack a 26/11 as it happened on November 26 and they use the European date notation. The story of the Taj Mahal Hotel attack written by Divya Palat comes to us through the life and death experiences of six Indian citizens caught in the midst of the disaster: a news reporter forced to interview desperate family members crying outside the palace rather than provide real situation updates; a college kid on his first date in a hotel restaurant watching his girlfriend killed by a stray bullet; a waiter trapped in the kitchen with his customers, serving water until he is shot by the gunmen; a young lawyer, who survived the shooting buried underneath his father’s and uncle’s body. Incarnated by a cast of Bollywood actors, this multi-media show is so real, it leaves you shell-shocked and burnt. At Dixon Place. 1 hour. [Zeldovich]

Platinum is a comeback version of a 1978 musical about two entertainers trying for a comeback: The head of Sunset City Studio attempts to turn a faded Hollywood legend into a singing star, and to pressure a nonproductive rock star to deliver new material and go on tour. A sound tech guy is writing songs and a young singer is looking for a hit. Has-beens and new guys, everyone's trying to make it. But the songs in this show are sleepy, the singers disappoint, and the lackluster dialogue does not inspire. Even a bouncy little tune about living in a movie star mansion can't lift up this downer. The thru line is weak; People leave and come back, leave and come back. "Platinum Dreams" and "Good Time Song" are the strongest points, yet even their energy seems counterfeit in the general maudlin atmosphere. The underwritten music exec role promises the most interest, but doesn't evolve. On the bright side, there is a skilled piano accompanist. This musical needs strong singers, stronger writing, and a spark to ignite it. By UnsungMusicalsCo.Inc. At Lortel Theatre. 1 hour, 30 minutes. [Osenlund]

Eternity in an Hour
The Theatre of Eternal Values' tribute to William Blake is a non-linear arrangement of Blake's visionary writings, poetry, and art-- celebrated through song, dance, and brief scenes from his life. Dancers in long, graceful dresses perform expressive dances accompanied by two acoustic guitars and low key percussion. The musical arrangements are pleasant, and the small company's singing of "Jerusalem" is touching. However, throughout the presentation the quietly spoken dialogue is hard to hear and understand. Ditto for the song lyrics. It's almost as if the company is performing a private ritual for their own edification. The admirable concept relies heavily on projections that are washed out by the uniformly over-bright stage lighting. This celebration of the visionary Blake, while beautiful in theory, is marred by serious production problems that prevent the performance from living up to its intentions. At New School. 1 hour, 10 minutes. [Osenlund]

Invader? I Hardly Know Her
A beautiful girl is marrying an earnest nebbish in the mold of Drew Carey. This is a space alien adventure. Something in a parallel universe with fifth dimensional capabilities has inhabited the prospective groom's toilet. Soon it's revealed that the bride is an alien, and revelations and betrayals ensue. Two entertaining Gabroxians from the bride's planet explain that to lie to loved ones is the Gabroxian way. The couple tries to work out the new wrinkle in their relationship: "When I told you I was from another planet," says the bride-to-be, "at some level you were shocked." Still, Jack, the groom loves it when she "talks all alien-like." The bridal pair (Robyn Ferrari and Jason Powell) are particularly good in their roles. The Fetish Girl gal pals are multi-talented actress/singers. Dozens of well-timed dance and combat scenes follow each other in quick succession, and after tons of twists they all find out who the nemesis is. The many songs are sung to pre-recorded music. At times the music overpowers the alien techno comic lyrics. Much content, for instance, is lost as Grazz, a galactic VIP, is frequently inaudible above the musical accompaniment. But the whole show is really funny, intricate, and enjoyable, with its spot on timing and snappy turns of phrase. There's no pretension of depth here. It's all warp speed wit and, happily, it's completely weightless. Well worth seeing. At Soho Playhouse. 1 hour, 40 minutes with intermission. [Osenlund]

Lemonade: A Play of World Domination
The story more or less follows dastardly competitors involved in acquisitions. They are married, it is discovered, and they have a common enemy in the Old Man, whose identity is secret. There is a plan to manage sun use through legislation. Oh, and there's a cloning lab nearby. There is a butler, a cat, a lab tech, a cop, a reporter, and a girl with a lemonade stand. Underground rebels are afoot. A lot of important people get assassinated. Except for the frequent use of live video reports projected on a cloth, the whole design budget seems to have gone for brown cardboard and black markers. The low tech look is consistent. Everything is cardboard from cigars and cell phones to guns. Even the stuff shown on TV is cardboard. But the best element in the production has to be the closely watched sound FX. A wiz on the keyboard handles music, foley, and commercial announcements. This guy holds everything together. The timing is tight in this pseudo econo-politico world domination play, but the plot line so convoluted that it loses steam as it goes on and on. Yet this is well coordinated, entertaining, unpretentious, bush league nonsense. At Paradise Factory. 1 hour, 30 minutes. [Osenlund]

For the Birds
Think about a piece of paper. It can be flat, neat, without a crease, or it can be folded into intricate patterns, like an imaginative bird. Once folded, however, the creases cannot be undone. Co-writers Siobhán Donnellan and Jen Browne compare the folds of paper to the immutable events of people's lives in a world premiere production, For the Birds, the only Irish show in this year's Festival. A moving drama evolves using five performers to illustrate an unexpected connection between two relationships, one set in Ireland and one in New York. Director Halina Ujda keeps a riveting pace over a twenty-year span, dramatizing the characters' highlights of exhilaration and despair, finally propelling them to a conclusion. On one side of the stage, co-writer Siobhán Donnellan (Ita) presents a moving portrayal of a nurturing Irish psychiatric hospital worker, the only person showing any compassion for a suffering, lonely patient, Haulie, played with potent conviction by John O'Dowd. On the other side of the stage, Jen Browne plays Helen, a New Yorker, with an unsteady marriage to Roy (Arash Mokhtar), and yearning for a baby. Stepping in as occasional narrator is Frank (Logan James Hall), with reminders of the durable folds of the sheet of paper and people's lives. The performances are compelling and the mood is poignant, particularly the relationship between Ita and Haulie. Original music is by Cliodhna Donnellan. Siobhán Donnellan and Jen Browne are both co-artistic directors of the Blue Wren Collective, which enlists artists from around the world. Donnellan, living in Ireland, and Browne in the U.S. began writing For the Birds in 2009, developing the play over Skype and email. It was presented as a reading in Limerick, Ireland in January 2010. At Cherry Lane - Studio. 55 minutes. [Ahlfors]

Jurassic Parq: The Broadway Musical
This musical presents the dinosaur POV of the Jurassic Park story, with heavy gender considerations. According to Crighton's Jurassic Park, all dinosaurs are female. A crisis occurs as one stunningly talented T-Rex (Natalie Bradshaw) suddenly turns into a male, sprouting a disturbing thing that goes out where she used to go in. A long-simmering battle between faith and science boils over. Stage veteran Mary Ellen Ashley is something of a surprise to find here cast as a velociraptor who raps and theorizes about science. She is the twin sister of the Velociraptor of Faith (John Jeffrey Martin), who sings well, but mistakes the science lab for God. Sensitive, he tries not to be in-dinosaur. A lowly dilapasaurus discloses that he is a Chaos theorist. It's that kind of play. Morgan Freeman (Lee Seymour) more or less narrates. In a running joke, everyone mistakes him for Samuel L. Jackson. Costumes consist basically of practice dancewear with wrap skirts for all dinosaurs (male and female actors alike), since all dinos are female. The choreography, while particularized and interesting, is mostly species-nonspecific. If the movement were more dinosaur-specific, e.g., characterized by stillness and sudden, sharp lizard movements, then no added masks or costume elements would be called for. As it is, the prehistoric gals could use some costume help in the reptile dept. It would look more Jurassic, accent the mood. A maligned and marginalized pianosaurus accompanies the action on the keys. The songs are well done and the music is tuneful. The whole thing is a bit disconnected and the comedy is often of a low-brow, sex-based variety. Yet, there are surprisingly great, lifting, emotional theatrical moments to be found. Good idea to check it out. At La Mama - Stewart. 1 hour, 15 minutes. [Osenlund]

The Pig, the Farmer, and the Artist
David Chesky's operatic satire about sex, music and art, tells the story of a pig farmer (Cory Clines) who acquires a pig (Ryan Scott Lathan) with a penis long enough to be used as a jump rope; a cow named Shirley (Wendy Buzby), who is a former hooker from Amsterdam with a transvestite husband, Harvey the Bull (James N. Kryshak); and an artist (Christopher Preston Thompson) who cannot sell his work. Chaos ensues, especially when Shirley and Harvey flee to New York's East Village to escape being slaughtered. In the East Village highbrow and lowbrow art meet. The show is filled with tongue-in-cheek comments on modern culture and art in our lives. The music, modern symphonic, and the singing are quite interesting and entertaining. Forays into current politics seem a bit unnecessary, but add to the general fun. At La MaMa - Stewart. 1 hour, 40 minutes with intermission. [Simmons]

Lost and Found
John Pollono's Lost and Found is a poignant domestic drama. It focuses on the Broncatos, a Boston family of cops whose life goes topsy-turvy when a mysterious stranger named Vincent (Jon Krupp) appears at their door. Having just flown in from his native California, Vincent is amiable, genteel, and well-spoken. We soon learn that he is the adult illegitimate child of Eva Broncato (Geraldine Librandi), who gave him away for adoption at age 18. Eva never shared this part of her past with her 2 adult children, Marie and Tommy. Yet with Vincent conspicuously standing in front of them, she now has little choice but to take her skeleton out of the closet. No doubt Vincent becomes the catalyst of the drama. And we watch as he reveals his identity to them, and later discloses that he is gay. There's a plethora of themes interwoven into the fabric of this play: love, grief, homophobia, and regret. And there's 3 spicy sub-plots tethered to the main one: Vincent's romantic relationship with his boyfriend Alex (Jonathan Bock); Marie Broncato's (Dana Domenick) rocky relationship with her boyfriend Keith (Joey Gambetta); and Tommy Broncato's (John Pollono) affair with an attractive neighbor (Reiko Aylesworth) whose military husband is deployed to Afghanistan. But Eva is at the heart of this story and how she reconciles her past to her present life is profoundly moving. The acting is good. Geraldine Librandi ("The Sopranos") plays the mother Eva with appropriate forbearance. Reiko Aylesworth ("24" and "Damages"), as the unfaithful wife Betty, is utterly convincing. In fact, the entire ensemble is well-cast and seamlessly inhabits these Boston folk. Pollono ties all the loose ends in this sober portrait of a family, with one unforgettable scene of Eva reuniting with Vincent's father (Casey Predovic). What this play lacks in happiness, it gains in emotional honesty. At Cherry Pit. 1 hour, 50 minutes with an intermission. [Donovan]

South Beach Rapture
Sex and salvation are the subjects of David Caudle's South Beach Rapture. Meteors create a light show on a deserted beach where three very different people meet: Albert, a middle-aged set designer turned professor (John G. Preston); Cynthia, a spoiled and confused post-adolescent (Amelia Jean Alvarez); Felipe, a sexy Latino religious fanatic with a shady past (Bobby Moreno). Caudle's dialogue is witty and portentous. There are a bit too many coincidences. But if you suspend the disbelief, you'll be rewarded by the fireworks. At Dixon Place. 90 minutes. [Simmons]

Julius Caesar: The Death of a Dictator
The Gangbusters Theatre Company's Julius Caesar: Death of a Dictator is a harsh achievement. Based on Shakespeare's text and heavily leaning on Orson Welles's adaptation, this one-act show takes the stuffiness out of the classic, and replaces it with gutsiness. The trademark of this Los Angeles-based company is "speed and violence," and you experience it in spades here. The action unfolds on a square vault of bare stage, stabbed with light from every point of the compass. The tragic story is set in a militant future, and the cacophonous music is courtesy of Metallica. My only criticism must be that the musical score, though highly effective, is ear-splittingly loud in a few scenes. But it is what it is, and it clearly punctuates the murderous proceedings. Many directors make the cardinal error of staging Julius Caesar in a reverential fashion. But Leon Shanglebee, who directs with an iron grip here, is entirely bent on emphasizing the horror of Caesar's bloody assassination and the equally bloody political aftermath. He succeeds in his minimalist approach. Shakespearean purists may object to the severe streamlining of Shakespeare's Roman play. True, many scenes are jettisoned, but the most celebrated speeches and lines ("Friends, Romans, and countryman". . ."This was the noblest Roman of them all") are wonderfully retained. The acting is athletic and the Bard's language is meticulously executed. These actors really pounce on their syllables, and get those iambic pentameters in motion. This is an exhilarating presentation that doesn't apologize for its hard-edges or emotional rawness. Without being the least cerebral, this Julius Caesar offers the audience a powerful lesson in modern ethics and politics. In short, this production is bottled thunder. At HERE - Mainstage. 95 minutes. [Donovan]

Strange Love in Outer Space
This splendidly silly musical "traumedy" is a strong contender for the most improbable show in this year's Fringe. Written by a twelve year old, Janyia Antrum, and mentored by students at Yale School of Drama (who also produced and performed it) through an after-school playwriting program, it tells, in a surprisingly adult if altogether over-the-top way, of the perils and pleasures of love (unrequited and otehrwise), marriage, divorce, lonliness and finding oneself, all in outer space. Splontusia (Caitlin Clouthier), late of the planet Contasia where her four eyes are presumably pretty standard, marries and later divorces a slimey but ultimately very sensitive worm (Brian Valencia). These circumstances are brought on by another couple, one a mer-man (Christopher Mirto, who also directs the show, and very well) and the other a dog-pirate hybrid by the catchy name of Bonegettagettaquisha Star Jones (Aja Naomi King). Aided by some splendid songs (music by Nick Morgan), terrific sound effects and a healthy dose of audience participation (you'll know what to do with the bread sticks they hand you with the playbill when the time comes, they tell you), it is a bizarre but not as ridiculous as you would think extravaganza. The actors could not be more engaging or committed. From the mouths of babes indeed. At Cherry Pit. 50 minutes. [Gutman]

No One Finer Than Frank Shiner
It begins in the Fifties, innocently enough, as two young women (Anne Troup and Aja Nisenson) make their daily trip to the gate of the estate of their uber-talented infatuation, Frank Shiner. They are not alone. Busloads of young adoring women are apparently in the same pursuit (today we would call it stalking), but these two seem to have taken the undertaking to creepy if not pathological proportions. The sunny disposition of the opening segment of the play occludes the first of several unexpected twists in Sinead Daly's deceivingly well-considered script. By the time the play reaches its second scene (set some thirty years later), its original frivolousness has been supplanted by something more potent and maybe even creepier. The two young actresses acquit themselves nicely as the negotiate the unusual path the playwright has charted, and Danielle Kourtesis has done an admirable job of staging it. The costumes are perfect, the set very well done and the music (including the title song about Mr. Shiner that even brings on a mini-production number) right on target. At Cherry Lane Studio. 40 minutes. [Gutman]

Viva La Evolucion!
"Cubans can salsatize anything," Diana Yanez tells her audience making salsa moves to a rock song as she shares her family’s immigrant story: Castro, Miami, becoming a Cuban-American. And growing up gay – surprisingly for her own self. "Don’t tell Mama about my one-woman show," Diana warns the audience much like Sally Bowles sang in her Cabaret song. Sally and Diana are both concerned about their mothers learning the terrible truths: Sally dancing in a lace pair of pants, Diana being a lesbian – in a family of staunch Catholic republicans. A fag hag in high school, she never thought she was a lesbian even after numerous failed relationships with men. She just didn’t know such things existed. "When I asked my mother what’s a homosexual," Diana mimics the Cuban accent, "she said, 'When a man has sex with too many women it becomes boring, so he turns gay.'" Among the jokes, the accents and the drama, there is a story of coming out of the closet which took over twenty years. An American comedy of Cuban proportions – as Diana Yanez calls it - is funny, witty, engaging and well-acted. At SoHo Playhouse. 1 hour, 15 minutes. [Zeldovich]

Tristan and Isolde
In the spirit of Braveheart, The Shore Theater's Tristan and Isolde arrives at the Fringe. Adapted by Josie Peterson from Gottfried von Strassburg's poem, it is a bit of a formal affair that needs more fizziness to succeed. Watching this show, one inevitably thinks of Wagner's great opera, Tristan and Isolde, with its intoxicating music and grand gestures. Peterson rightly insists on simplicity as she retells the legendary tale, traditionally setting it in Ireland, Cornwall, and Brittany circa 750 A.D. Unfortunately, her good intentions don't go far enough. Peterson approaches the poem too preciously, and it loses something in her white-glove handling. In spite of this, the acting is mostly competent. There are good performances turned in by Andrew Mauney and Jessica Giannone in the titular roles. And Adam Baritot, as King Mark, subtly conveys the vulnerability of childless old age. To be sure, the show has its compelling moments. (The bridal scene with Isolde sitting between Tristan and King Mark is well-staged). And no doubt the ancient legend transcends its age with its themes of war, political skullduggery, and forbidden passion. One must applaud this production for its sheer ambitiousness, and the great bargain it offers to everybody in a recession economy. After all, when was the last time you had a chance to see a production of Tristan and Isolde for under $20? At Connelly Theater. 75 minutes. [Donovan]

In the Schoolyard
Not all the Fringe shows are imports. Paulanne Simmons's musical In the Schoolyard is a New York-based production that began its life as a play called Basketball Lessons, which was performed at Theater for the New City in 2001. Based loosely on true events, In the Schoolyard tells the story of 5 basketball buddies -- Larry (Brad Thomason), Jerry (Eddie Schnecker), Dave (Ben Prayz), Eddie (Vincent Ticali), and Manny (Evan Edwards) -- from Brooklyn's P.S. 8, and their annual schoolyard reunions playing basketball. This is the epitome of Brooklyn nostalgia with references to stoopball and stickball in the street, but it never once topples over into mawkish sentimentality. Simmons (book and lyrics) can write funny lines, and there are more than a few in her musical. What she may sometimes lack in this regard, her acting ensemble compensates for in their considerable showmanship. But this musical is not simply a showcase for some good actors to show-off their vocal cords or hoofing. And it's not about cracking jokes for their own sake. It gains genuine human dimension in its latter scenes when one alumn falls ill, and isn't able to join the group for their annual reunion. The mysteries of life and death insinuate themselves into the underlining of this musical. Whereas at first the evening seems like a bright celebration of Brooklynites who return to their borough to remember Old Times, the later scenes reveal that the Grim Reaper has joined their tight circle, and this Grim Reaper means business. This show is funny, sad, and ultimately tragic. Even if you don't cry easily, you just might find yourself shedding a tear at the ending. In the Schoolyard may be physically set in Brooklyn, but its truth lies somewhere between the mind and heart. At La MaMa - Stewart. 1 hour, 45 minutes. [Donovan].

Alternative Methods
Arrested nearby an insurgents’ camp, an Iraqi doctor Mohammad is suspected in treating an Al-Qaeda leader Khalil and interrogated to reveal the safe house location to stop Khalil’s civilian bombings. Mohammad refuses to part with whatever information he may or may not know for the fear of implicating more people, perhaps innocent or perhaps not, including his family. In his opinion, the only thing that could end this vicious chain is his death. When the traditional physical methods fail, his interrogators bring in Susan, a young American psychologist fluent in Arabic, who must pose as his lawyer to win his trust. Instead he wins her humane side. Deviating from "the plan," Susan reveals to Mohammad that his interrogators may play a tape of a woman screaming to make believe they’ve got his wife – only she may not know the game is no longer make-believe. Susan may be Mohammad’s Angel of Mercy. She may be his Angel of Death. In the world where the Geneva Convention does not exist and the Red Cross is unavailable, she may be one and the same. Truly great acting - and what would you do in Susan’s shoes? La Mama - First Floor. 1 hour, 30 minutes. [Zeldovich]

Driving the Saudis
Some of us gotta work, and some of us don't. Jane Amelia Larson recounts her seven-week stint as lone female chauffeur for a VIP Saudi princess and accompanying relatives, servants and security detail as they descended on Beverly Hills a few years ago. The phrase 24/7 gains new meaning for this working gal ferrying assorted royal family members between shopping and plastic surgery appointments and executing impossible errands. The entourage's Excess-from cleaning out Rodeo Drive shops to dedicating a luxury suite just to their tea-making equipment-in the end is striking only by degree compared to the rest of Rodeo Drive shoppers. As Larson meanders through her tale and key tense moments, an accompanying video keeps her narrative in check. Although her research produces facts and figures about the Kingdom and its enduring relationship with the US that might be unknown to some, it doesn't seem to give her any special insights into the culture and customs of the visitors. Instead hers was a lesser experience than the people she makes fun of, and the direction makes the monologue largely humorless. Pity then that she hardly responded to the solidarity the female servants offered and per numerous women observers the best part of the Middle East. In a curious silent coda Larson changes into to head-to-toe black Saudi-evoking cover with only her eyes exposed. It was odd because she barely enters into the spirit of her potentially-sympathetic head-scarfed characters. Maybe that's because her main purpose in doing the show it seems is to announce how royally peeved she remains that her tip was so much less than what her male colleagues got. At SoHo Playhouse. 90 minutes. [Lipfert]

The Swearing Jar
Canadian playwright-actor-songwriter Kate Hewlett performs triple duty in this interesting if slightly inchoate four-hander. Deliberately told in a fractured order, the story involves Carey (Ms. Hewlett) and Simon (Vince Nappo), husband and wife, his mother (Mimi Quillin) and Owen, a guitar playing bookstore employee (Christopher Stanton) who is her friend. The play opens at a performance, seemingly mostly for friends, at which Carey sings, accompanied by Owen. (We will have to wait for the play's last scene to totally understand what's going on.) We then meet Simon and learn (as he does) that she is pregnant, something he seems more unqualifiedly happy about than she does. We get a host of mixed signals from them; it takes much of the play to sort it out. His mother seems to present its own tangent, which is not always clear. Ditto for the swearing jar of the title, which is instituted by the couple to encourage them to clean up their language before the baby arrives. Hewlett, Nappo and Stanton have an endearing quality that overcomes the out-of-joint quality of the timeline and plot. Equally enjoyable are the numerous songs with which the show is peppered. Hewlett's as fine a singer as songwriter, and Stanton performs her music very well. This is not the easiest play for an audience, but it's well worth staying with it. More details here might help, but would spoil everything. At Connelly. 1 hour. [Gutman]

The Hyperbolist
Waiting for latecomers to arrive during a recent deluge of New York intensity, Chicago-based puppeteer and poet Joe Mazza played the audience. Hi/how are you? turned into an extended arch improv session that maybe few other performers could pull off. Stragglers in place, the show began on a puppetry note. Mazza used hand puppets with tiny heads while a rod moves one of the arms to make frequent rhetorical gestures. For text he used speedily-delivered Shakespearian sounding intros which quickly turned into rough-languaged rants that nonetheless made use of an erudite vocabulary. To amplify his theme, what is love?, Mazza showed quirky video clips of him in a red jacket and sporting the same heavy black circles around his eyes, silent-film style, as in this show. Exaggerated almost clown-like gestures and movements startle Loop passersby and park denizens alike. The centerpiece was a demo on this same theme of love using two fleas, Dante and Florence, of course invisible, which the audience gamely took on faith. Maybe Mazza never quite answered his question, but his bemusing verbal acrobatics maintained a constant flow of chuckles from the audience. And all that meet and greet at the beginning? It paid off. After the final applause, instead of customary New York know-it-all comments, Midwest friendliness prevailed. At HERE - Williams. 65 minutes. [Lipfert]

Pigeons, Knishes and Rockettes
It’s Christmas in New York with Diana Rissetto’s charming Pigeons, Knishes and Rockettes. Boy-meets-girl with a twist of classic holiday magic: Eve Natale (Italian for Christmas) loves Christmas and everything about it. She meets Peter Martinelli, a young, up-and-coming jazz musician who shares her love for 1940’s and sense of humor – but he hates Christmas. She’s bubbly and insecure, he’s a bit more reserved, but the chemistry is almost instant, much thanks to the performances by Julia Arazi and Carl Howell, who perfectly capture that awkward, but sweet feeling of early romance. With the help of Eve’s roommates, a gorgeous actor and a Rockette, Eve and Peter pursue a relationship; can love conquer his Christmas-shy ways? In the hands of a writer who has clearly been a student of the great romantic comedies, and lovingly, shrewdly observed the magic of New York, anything is possible. At Cherry Pit. 90 minutes. [Blumenthal]

Patrick Shaw's Hamlettes begins with squeaks of adolescent anguish, and ends with the roar of tragedy. It revolves around 3 middle-school girls who decide to stage a production of Hamlet. Alex (Alexandra Bassett) plays Hamlet; Ophelia (Lauren Weinberg) of course, plays Ophelia; and Chloe (Savannah Clement) plays the other characters. And-no surprise here-each girl wants to be the star of the production. As the evening unfolds, you watch these aspiring actors hone their skills by listening to the likes of Laurence Olivier and other exalted Shakespeareans. The play catches fire when the girls mutually decide on an exercise, in which they promise to never drop their character. And they follow through with a fanatical fervor. Whether they are talking in casual conversations on the phone, or practicing a speech during rehearsals, they eat, breathe, and live their character. This exercise horribly backfires, however. They begin to bicker over everything, melodramatically peppering their language with "thee's" and "thou's" to make their point. No longer sure where to place the boundaries of reality and illusion, they begin to lose their grip on reality. In fact, long before the curtain line arrives ("Why did we do this, anyway?"), the girls sense that a tragedy is in their midst. To be sure, this is a very meta-theatrical play, and part of its charm (and terror) is that it illustrates how easily adolescents fall into self-dramatization. But the real accomplishment here is that Shaw is able to excavate the old text of Hamlet and transform it into a living theatrical experience. His writing is uneven in this 90-minute production, but it is never boring. Likewise, the acting isn't flawless, but it is compelling. When you exit this show, you might recall Samuel Coleridge's famous remark: "I have a smack of Hamlet myself, if I may say so." At Cherry Pit. 90 minutes. [Donovan]

Classically Trained, Practically Broke
Franca Vercelloni didn't plan on playing in piano bars when she entered Cincinnati Conservatory as a Piano Performance major. No one would. But here she is-a survivor of years of piano lessons, auditions and now cheap patrons. With endless original songs plus her own corny but catchy lyrics, she holds forth in this well-honed, entertaining one-woman riff on the joys and trials of a career in music. Calls from her mother in upstate New York punctuate Vercelloni's animated recounting of key trying moments growing up including a mischievous aunt that convinced her the Smurfs were green! All these trials and tribulations don't seem to have dented this fine pianist's spirit, and she's equally ready to offer one-liners as spit out part of a Beethoven sonata. Versatile Vercelloni is no slacker as a pop singer, and the accordion is second nature for her. (As Fringe veteran, she's already appeared as singer accordionist in Legend of the Gypsy Bride set under the BQE.) Overall this is a show worth catching. At La MaMa - Club. 75 minutes. [Lipfert]

The Fourth Estate
The perils of journalism at home and abroad are conscientiously dramatized, under Rebecca Henstenberg’s direction, by playwright Glenda Frank in four short, unrelated (except by theme) vignettes, all based on real incidents. "The Rookie" is set in Afghanistan, 2009, where a photo journalist (Aleta Davies) and a reporter (Colin McFadden) are torn between getting the last photo op and escaping, or returning to an unsafe building to rescue a group of children. In "Komawoyo," two Asian women journalists (Sarah Kay and Jaygee Macapugay), after being captured and imprisoned in North Korea in 2009 for crossing the border while reporting abuses to human rights, keep sane by telling each other stories. In "Johnny Walker Black," a reporter (David Sedgwick) listens to the CEO (Dennis Sedgwick) of a corporation defend his company’s policies and position in the pollution of the Missouri River. In "Target," the editor (David Sedgwick) of a Dublin newspaper tries to convince his ace reporter (Leanne Barrineau) to leave the country after her life is threatened. In little more than an hour, we are given a clear sense of the bravery of men and women who are passionately dedicated to their profession. While the production values were necessarily modest, all the performances were vivid. There is obviously room for more dramatic expansion, but the fine actors help us get into the heart of Frank’s compelling text. At Cherry Pit. 70 minutes. [Saltzman]

I really wanted to like Spellbound. It’s fantasy and a musical, both of which I love… how could it miss? But watching the show provided (again) a valuable reminder: despite conventional wisdom, if the parts don’t equal anything individually, the whole may not be greater than their sum after all. At least co-creators Paul J. Deakin and Christian De Gré can’t be faulted for lack of ambition; the almost two hour-long production follows eighteen year old Herianne, granddaughter of a great Grand Wizard who disappeared under mysterious circumstances around the same time her parents were supposedly killed. Life has been relatively normal for Herianne ever since, raised in an idyllic village by her aunt and uncle, but her desire to develop her innate magical powers has never flagged. When her village is destroyed, she resolves to seek out her destiny, guided by Grand Wizard Garlan and three "Teachers of the Scrolls." If you’ve rolled your eyes several times already and are feeling guilty, don’t; the story is just as clichéd and amateurish (when it’s not just plain weird) as it sounds, and sub-par musical numbers (twenty-two of them, with quantity decidedly not trumping quality) don’t improve the situation. Sadly the majority of the performances aren’t much better than the story; the acting is serviceable, but the singing is often woefully off key from nearly everyone involved (a lousy sound system doesn’t help), and in general the performers just aren’t up to what the music requires of them--though to their credit they try to remain enthusiastic. Perhaps I’m most annoyed because fantasy can be done so much better than this, even in a musical format; instead we get a bad parody of a Renaissance Faire with some time paradoxes thrown in to liven up the mixture, and throughout the show the audience’s embarrassed laughter clearly wasn’t coming in the spots the musical’s creators had intended. I wish I could be kinder to this dreadful production, and I’d love to see more original works of fantasy hit the live stage, but there’s nothing remotely magical about Spellbound. At La Mama - Stewart. 2 hours. [Wilson]

Evan Twohy's Baristas is a disquieting and dark comedy. Part horror tale, part fantasy dream, part love story, it's altogether original. Its topic is infamous serial killers and their dirty deeds, but at the core of the drama are its 2 protagonists: the slacker Camille (the very attractive Kenner Bolt) and the straight-laced Ramon (well-acted by Reggie Gowland). Camille is the new barista at Kaffe, a corporate-chain coffee shop. She's learning how to concoct the basic brews and house specialties from colleague Ramon, who has the coffee-making business down to a science. It appears at first that Camille won't make the grade at the shop. She gets flustered easily, and the fussy customers complain when she fails to serve their favorite beverages to satisfaction. When the bossy Ramon upbraids her for not mastering the job, she gets testy with him. The turning point in the play is when they discover their mutual obsession in serial killers. The rest of the goings-on involve Camille and Ramon acquiring various personas, and re-enacting some grisly crimes of yesteryear. The problem with the piece is that Camille and Ramon never become fully-realized characters. Are they in love? Or are they only partners in crime? Are they merely posturing as serial killers? Or are they the genuine article? It's obvious that Twohy wrote his drama to keep you guessing. But the story never feels all of a piece. This show about epic killers may not be your cup of coffee, but it drives home the point that everybody still hungers for a good sang-froid tale. At Kraine. 75 minutes. [Donovan]

Shine: A Burlesque Musical
The Aristocrat Theater, the setting for this Burlesque Musical directed by Roger Benington, was born when The Wet Spots were living in Brooklyn and working at NYC burlesque venues. The idea was to create a theater where a bunch of dysfunctional artists could perform. Onto the scene strides Shine Mionne (Cass King), a hard-drinking, hard-living, hard-loving burlesque artist who keeps the troupe together with a song and a prayer. Just when she thinks the jig is up, Richard Suit (Douglas Crawford) offers to become her partner. But Suit wants to make changes that will seriously erode the glue that has kept the theater going despite adversity. The plot may be as old as the oldest profession. But the song and dance numbers sparkle. And there are enough raunchy jokes to keep an entire convent blushing. Even in the permissive 21st century, this is not one for the kids. So leave them at home and have fun. At La MaMa - Stewart. 2 hours with intermission. [Simmons]

Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto
The word 'shaheed' means martyr, and there's no doubt Benazir Bhutto is just that. But a martyr for what? Anna Khaja's magnificent one-woman show traverses interlocking portraits of Pakistanis that knew her directly or as a political symbol. Relatives, friends and political associates offer their perspectives mixed with appraisals of Bhutto as lengthy phone messages or rants. Khaja wisely counterbalances these views that fill the international press with those of the common folk that ultimately decide politicians' fate. In the most congenial moment of this quite serious show, Khaja offers a market cart driver's ideas of brand Bhutto democracy. Projected images used throughout the show here capture the hubbub of the trading venues in the populous country. Less convincing is the next segment, the driver's daughter who has been disappeared into the religious school system, one of the few functioning institutions in the country. In Khaja's narrative, the teenager bore the baby that was at the center of a suicide attempt on Bhutto the day of her return. In the final scene Khaja as Bhutto herself gives an especially vivid portrayal with the minimalist aid of Bhutto's signature white headscarf. Recalling her father's assassination in this very city, Rawalpindi, she matches her fears with political reasoning. What Khaja omits is the utter selfishness of a woman that could disregard the burden her presence created for her supporters and her country. But in this story there remain two big unknowns. Maybe the key to understanding the mystery of why Bhutto returned to Pakistan at that moment is the lone non-Pakistani character (apart from Pakistani-American student Sara), Condoleezza Rice, who adds some explicit and non-explicit threats to her carefully-worded invitation to the leader to make a swift return from Dubai exile to her native country. And who planned and executed the assassination could be any of several government and non-government interests or even all of them together. Khaja's acting talent in this simple but effective production combines with a notable lighting design for gripping theater. At Dixon Place. 90 minutes. [Lipfert]

The Mad 7
Even if you're not a fan of solo shows, there's a very good chance Yehuda Hyman's The Mad 7 will knock you off your feet. Hyman re-interprets Rabbi Nachman of Breslov's The Seven Beggars, a 10th century Hassidic tale, using movement, music, dance and the play of shadow and light. At the same time, he takes his hero, a gay San Franciscan office worker named Elliot Green, on a spiritual journey in which he is aided by a motley bunch of disabled mystics and tempted by an evil demon who torments him from an upstage video. Hyman's tremendous ability as an actor, mime and dancer make Elliot's journey through Spain, the Middle East and North Africa (all part of the Jewish Diaspora) fascinating and deeply affecting. There are lots of shows at the Fringe that have punch, but this is one show that delivers. At Fourth Street. 2 hours with intermission. [Simmons]

A historical exposé with an intriguing theatrical twist, Veritas, by Stan Richardson, is based on the true story of a long-secret 1920’s witch-hunt at Harvard University, in which a committee identified and expelled fourteen homosexual students after the suicide of one young man led his family to seek revenge on those "responsible." Much improved and well-tightened since its previous benefit reading earlier this summer, Veritas features touching, affective performances by its strong and solid ensemble cast. The direction by Ryan J. Davis is often fearless, but certain moments long for a bit more feeling than they’re given, though he’s adept at the delicacy of handling repressed emotion. This haunting play about finding the truth and how we re-tell the tale is easily one of the best things I’ve seen at the Fringe. At HERE - Mainstage. 1 hour, 40 minutes. [Blumenthal]

Faster Than The Speed Of White
Captain Northstar (Pushkar Sharma) and Ensign Southstar (Sathya Sridharan) set out on a voyage into the depths of space to the mysterious Alcove of Enlightenment. It's a rocky journey from the start. Southstar, otherwise known as the Atomic Kid, is hardly the kind to take orders from the Captain. Hurtling past menacing flashing objects they try to one-up each other. The Captain's encyclopedic knowledge of space travel is frequently trumped by Southstar's command of space fiction and sci-fi trivia. Theirs is a three-pronged humor onslaught: X-Men lore, South Asian irony and pop culture tidbits. At times they nearly trip up the audience because delivery is so fast and furious. And-you guessed it-there is a faux-Bollywood dance sequence precisely at midpoint. Just when things conspire to become serious, Chuck (Charles Kim) lets out a clever sound effect or simply great movie-style accompaniment on his electric guitar. At the point all seems lost and Southstar wants to bail out, both he and the Captain realize that they have managed to conquer innermost fears and effectively reach enlightenment zone. Mission accomplished, it's time to head back to Earth, one suspects for good. Space travel will never be the same. At Fourth Street. 70 minutes. [Lipfert]

American Gypsy
Ben Whiting has come to honor his mentor Jim Cellini who set his career in magic on its course. But the one-man show really depicts Cellini's intense and sometimes stormy relationship with prominent teacher of numerous magicians Tony Slydini. Cellini studied long and hard with Slydini until the latter caught him performing as a busker, or street artist. Cut off from his teacher, Cellini developed to grow the street tradition, spawning a generation of new participants and eventually his teacher's grudging admiration. In top hat and long coat, Whiting easily holds the audience's attention with his engaging presence. And he has enough of that peculiar charm that facilitates keeping sleight of hand undetected. Following the advice of the masters, he also keeps the acts that punctuate the story simple and elegant. Instead of a dozen rings that mysteriously interlock and separate, an iconic pair makes the transformations even more magical. If Whiting's impersonations of teacher and busker are not always convincing, his clarity keeps their relationship well defined. Their combined wisdom has conditioned his own approach to combining magic technique with audience connection, both well demonstrated in this show. At Kraine. 75 minutes. [Lipfert]

Missionary Position
In a memorably upbeat show at NY Fringe a few years ago Steven Fales took us from growing up as enthusiastic Mormon boy and ended as sex worker in the big city. It makes a great story, but between start and finish there's still a lot to be told. As traditional rite of passage at about college age, Mormons traditionally go to a foreign country for two years and aim to baptize as many living and dead souls as possible. Always proceeding in pairs, their clean cut looks and rudimentary local language aid them in this self- and family-financed period. Dealing with the realities of the church's tight administrative structure in northern Portugal was but one challenge. By then Fales's conflict between strict church teachings and awareness of his gay tendencies was welling up. In somber tones he recounts his unresolved feelings and also late-night conversations with his various mates about sex matters that were all off limits as Mormons. Returning home, Fales was ready to move toward his Endowment Ceremonies. Conducted at a Mormon temple, these rituals impress on the member the seriousness of his quest for salvation. Fales strips for us and dons a pleated white toga covering front and back, topped off with a green mason-sized apron tied about his waist. From here he describes the ultimate Ceremony of the Veil in a blazing white space where the member declares allegiance to the tenets of the church in presence of family. Switching to humorous mode, Fales concludes this behind-the-scenes account as his doubts about himself as a good Mormon were beginning to peak. His tale is as lively as the first installment, but a third part promises to be as interesting. Fales is telling his own story but he is also presenting details only an insider would know about Mormonism. For an audience that knows little about this sect, this show can be an eye-opener. It would be easy to come away with a new-found respect for the family cohesion and clean living (no cuss words and no alcohol, coffee or tea either) they espouse. One suspects Fales feels some of this respect as well. At SoHo Playhouse. 90 minutes. [Lipfert]

When Last We Flew
Harrison David Rivers's When Last We Flew has a lot going for it. First and foremost, it is a glowing homage to Tony Kushner's Angels in America, which is being revived this season at the Signature Theater. Predictably, Rivers's play draws on some parallel themes and issues found in Kushner's work: homosexuality, American politics, and dysfunctional families. Intermittently gripping, this ambitious project has some gaps in its narrative that still need to be pieced out. But no doubt the production is alive and kicking. There's apocalyptic thunderclaps and over-the-top spectacles in pivotal scenes. The play has multiple plot-lines, which collide and mesh with each other during the evening. Its central protagonist is a Black high school student, Paul, who steals a copy of Angels in America from his Kansas school library, reads it, and wonderfully sees to the bottom of his soul. As a gay teenager in a conservative Midwestern town, he finds hope in its frank explorations of homosexuality. Paul's recurring meditations, and mutual confessions with his boyfriend Ian (Justin Gillman), spark the best episodes of the evening. True, Rivers's play is tethered a bit too tightly to Kushner's work to be its own dramatic entity. But if he continues to work on this piece, he may well find a way to balance his source material with his inventiveness. The acting is generally solid, but Allison Mackie's Angel needs to pull back on her poetic lines (or the lines might be rewritten). Finally, there was a heroic effort from actor Justin Gillman playing Ian. The audience was informed by the house manager just moments before the show that Gillman was stepping into the part with less than 48 hours preparation. Incredibly, Gillman didn't go up on his lines once. Whether this show has a post-Festival life or not, When Last We Flew gives fresh meaning to the old theatrical saw: The show must go on! At Lucille Lortel. 2 hours. [Donovan]

As You Like It
Fortunate is the Fringe-goer who visited The BAMA Theatre Company's As You Like It. Without any radical rethinking of Shakespeare's story, this company staged the classic romantic comedy with panache. With the resourceful Greg Thornton at the helm, this minimalist production relied on only 8 actors (and a giant trunk) to bring the tale alive. Much like their Elizabethan counterparts, these young actors seamlessly doubled their roles right before the audience's eyes. Having seen this company's delightful A Midsummer Night's Dream at last year's Fringe festival, I wasn't at all surprised that the cast could wrap their mouths around Shakespeare's language. Sarah Walker Thornton is endowed with a tall, slender figure and glowing good looks, making her a natural fit for Rosalind. But if she looks the part, she equally commands the part. Her Rosalind is no shrinking violet! And when she cross-dresses as Gannymede, she is a real force to reckon with in the Forest of Arden. Alison Frederick's Celia (disguised as Aliena later on) is charming. Not only does she have a richly-nuanced speaking voice, but she sings like a songbird. Other notable performances were turned in by Nick Lawson, as the cynical philosopher Jacques; Chris Roe as the rustic Touchstone; and Greg Foro as the love-sick Orlando. There isn't a weak link in this ensemble. The only quibble that I had with the production was with the Epilogue. Traditionally presented by Rosalind alone, the Epilogue was spoken in a sort of choral fashion here, each member of the ensemble reciting a line or two. True, one must be open to new approaches to Shakespeare's text. (Think Peter Brook's A Midsummer Night's Dream.) But this new spin on the Epilogue, though innovative, didn't levitate. Otherwise, this As You Like It was a fine theatrical caper. At Connelly. 2 hours, 15 minutes with intermission. [Donovan]

Venue Addresses

Cherry Lane, 38 Commerce Street (7th Av/Hudson)
Cherry Pit, 155 Bank Street (West/Washington Sts)
Connelly, 220 East 4th Street (Avs A/B)
Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street (Rivington/Delancey Sts)
Fourth Street, 83 East 4th Street (2nd Av/Bowery)
HERE - Mainstage, 145 6th Avenue (@Dominick)
HERE - Williams, 145 6th Avenue (@Dominick)
Kraine, 85 East 4th Street (2nd Av/Bowery)
La MaMa - Club, 74A East 4th St (2nd Av/Bowery)
La MaMa - First Floor, 74A East 4th St (2nd Av/Bowery)
La MaMa - Stewart, 66-68 East 4th St. (2nd Av/Bowery)
Lortel, 121 Christopher Street (Bleecker/Hudson)
Moss, 440 Lafayette Street, 3rd Floor (Astor Pl/E 4th St)
New School, 151 Bank Street (West/Washington Sts)
Paradise Factory, 64 East 4th St. (2nd Av/Bowery)
Players - Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street (@Minetta Ln)
Players - Loft, 115 MacDougal Street (@Minetta Ln)
Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street (6th Av/Varick)

Overall Production/Play:
The Twentieth Century Way?PigPen Presents The Nightmare Stories
The Momentum
The Hurricane Katrina Comedy Festival

Overall Production/Musical:
Bunked! A New Musical
Jurassic Parq: The Broadway Musical

Tyler Moss – Terror SuperHighway
Geraldine Librandi – Lost and Found
Jared Houseman – Art of Attack
Rory Lipede – When Last We Flew
Deanna Pacelli – 23 Feet in 12 Minutes: The Death and Rebirth of New Orleans
Jake Ahlquist – Richard 3
Marina Squerciati - Just in Time: The Judy Holiday Story

When Last We Flew - Harrison David Rivers
My Name Is Ruth - Stephen W. Baldwin
Getting Even with Shakespeare - Matt Saldarelli
Hearts Full of Blood - James Asmus

Music & Lyrics:
Justin Moran & Christopher Pappas - Pope: The Musical
Jeff Bienstock - The Morning After/The Night Before
David Chesky - The Pig, the Farmer and the Artist

Dear Harvey
The Secretaries
The Timing of the Day

Lucy Cashion - AK-47 Singalong
Kym Gomes - By Hands Unknown
Josh Liveright - Alternative Methods
Divya Palat - A Personal War: Stories of the Mumbai Terror Attacks
Lillian Meredith - Hamlettes
James Presson - Richard 3

Faye Lane's Beauty Shop Stories
Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown
Driving the Saudis
Viva La Evolucion!
Scared Skinny

Trinayan Dance Theater - Swaha: Rituals of Union
Claire Porter/Portables - Namely, Muscles

Unique Theatrical Event:
Daddy Day
Cloud to Ground

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
2008 Fringe Report
2009 Fringe Report
South Pacific  Revival
South Pacific

In the Heights
In the Heights

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