Arts Desk

Fall Fringe: It’s Baaack!

And you thought Fringe was just a summertime thing. Nope! From November 4-21, you can catch some of your favorite Fringe shows, or see the shows you had on your list but just weren't able to get to, or check out what the hell this festival is about anyway without the fear of melting in non-air conditioned venues. And, lucky for you, we've written about nine of the 10 shows on our Fringe & Purge blog. Here's what you can expect from the line-up:

This Is Your Brain on Rock and Roll
"There’s no better way to cap off a midsummer night’s fringery than with punk raconteur Ed Hamell’s midnight performance," writes Chris Klimek. I think it's safe to say that it doesn't need to be midsummer or midnight in order for Klimek to give this production a thumbs-up.

McSwiggin's Pub
"An entertaining comedy that blends fresh, contemporary political humor with local D.C. stereotypes," writes Mike Kalyan. Second City alum Sean O’Brien "effortlessly switches between three main characters: Joe, an on-the-wagon Irish bartender; Howard, a disgruntled veteran Capitol Hill staffer originally from New York; and Roy, a young, passionate, slightly alcoholic, senior legislative 'something-or-other' Capitol Hill flunkie (complete with Blackberry)."

"A slapstick saga packing more intrigue than a Shakespearean court," writes Derek Hills. "The story stuffs an avalanche of themes into its 75 minutes. If you’ve ever thought a moment about issues concerning resource exploitation versus preservation, creationism versus evolution, and striving global capitalism versus small-town religious values, take heart: so has the playwright, Mark Rigney."

The Poet Warrior
"A tribute to the courage and sacrifice of military families, a 17-song epic that shrewdly leaves all controversy at the ticket booth," writes Derek Hills. "It’s as if the original conceit, establishing no concrete war zone and requiring the audience to fill in the blanks with their own prejudices, was meant to obscure an unwillingness to make a strong argument for one worldview or another.  Whatever the reason, George Purefoy Tilson's play is a solid entertainment, but one that aspires to be much more."

Romeo & Juliet: Choose Your Own Adventure
Yep, this was the one we didn't write about. Sorry!

Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite
The Critics agree: Ridgefield Middle School Talent Nite was the funniest show we saw in this year’s Capital Fringe Festival. The Critics being, in this case, Fringe & Purge Action News and Commentary Squad Founding Institutional Memory Trey Graham and yours truly," writes Chris Klimek. "Festival honchos Julianne Brienza and Scot McKenize would seem to agree with our agreement: At the Pick of the Fringe Awards Sunday night, they presented Jo Firestone and Dylan Marron, the writers and performers of the show, with the Directors’ Award, recognizing an outstanding artist in each year’s Fringe as chosen by Brienza, McKenzie, and their associates." (Check out the interview with Firestone and Marron above.)

Freud Meets Girl
"The past bleeds into the present and back again, just as dreams do with reality, and the play becomes a fascinating cautionary tale about going too deep into your own mind," writes Ian Buckwalter of this play about Sigmund’s fictional great-great-grandson David, a former professor of cognitive psychology at an unnamed D.C. university.

"You should see it," writes Ann Willemssen simply of this "really, really naked" performance art production. "Don't skip it."

Do Not Kill Me, Killer Robots
Expect "sci-fi kitch and major dork appeal" in this one-man production that's "equal parts stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and performance art," writes Sophia Bushong "Ben Egerman is observant, self- deprecating, and both frightened for and disappointed in humanity. Add these things to a heart tuned to understanding the complexities of loneliness, pathetic longing, and hatred, and you get one hell of a funny man.

Sex, Dreams and Self Control
"I hope years from now we’ll say, 'they just don’t write songs like Kevin Thornton used to,'" writes Ann Willemssen. "Accompanied by gorgeous guitar riffs and a sweet, melodic voice, no written description can do his songs justice.

Shows run from Nov. 4-21 at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave. NW. $20; $15 with Fringe button.

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  • The Vinyl District

    We second (and third!) the Ed Hamell enthusiasm...GO!