Pat Launer, Center Stage on KSDS JAZZ88
July 11, 2014
Something great is going on in San Diego right now – and you should get in on it while you can. This weekend is the culmination of the second annual San Diego International Fringe Festival.
The granddaddy of all Fringes is Edinburgh, which launched in 1947. Most big cities worldwide now have Fringe Festivals that feature out-of-the-mainstream offerings, which means provocative, eccentric, avant garde or unexpected works. 86 of them in our spectacular 11-day Festival, none lasting more than an hour, at prices ranging from zero to just ten bucks.
There’s music, dance, new plays and musicals, stand-up comedy, intense dramas, burlesque, buskers, street theater and much more.
There were a few terrific productions that aren’t running any more, like the deeply funny/sad “Fire in the Meth Lab,” expertly told by the hilarious Australian Jon Bennett; or the vaudeville-turned-ominous “Dr. Frankenstein’s Traveling Freak Show,” by the Tin Shed Theatre Company from Wales. Or the superb political solo piece, “Red, White and Blacklisted,” about folk-singing activist Lee Hays, presented by local writer/actor Kent Brisby .
There are many stunners still to see, like the dangerous and sensuous dance production, “Perception and Perseverance,” especially the gorgeously erotic all-female choreography of Zaquia Maher Salinas. Check out the tour de force performance of Brian Rickel in “ Judevine ,” where he plays all the inhabitants of a tiny Vermont town, to brilliant effect. There’s the thrilling, not-to-be-missed Vietnam-era, anti-war dance-theater piece, “Victor Charlie,” performed by the electrifying local dance company, The Movement Initiative.
For a little comic relief, try the smart, wacky, 21st century love story, “ Heartquakes ,” by San Diegan Jeanne Becijos , and the funny new musical, “The Gym,” for the gym-rat in all of us, nimbly composed by local Rayme Sciaroni, with clever lyrics by Margee Forman.
On the darker side, there’s Eddie Yaroch’s disturbing “ Nightbird ,” about physical and emotional abuse.
Add in clowns, circus acts and visual arts, and there’s something at the Fringe for everyone – something that’s bound to touch, move or delight you. Fringe out!
The 2nd ANNUAL SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FRINGE FESTIVAL runs through July 13 at various downtown venues.
©2014 PAT LAUNER