New York City’s International Fringe Festival

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When I moved to the Big Apple in 2005, one of my driving forces for coming to this great metropolis was to indulge in theater.  You can imagine my initial disapointment when I realized that, even utilizing the TKTS discounted stand, I would still be shelling out upwards of $70 to get a seat in the big Broadway shows.  After giving away my last dollar on a security deposit and first and last month’s rent, it seemed that theater was going to have to take a backseat for a while.  And then I discovered The New York International Fringe Festival.

Now in its 16th year, FringeNYC is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues.  The festival ensures that the creative forces in theater (from playwrights to actors and everyone in-between) are able to share their talent with an audience hungry for theater, with a reasonable ticket price of only $15.  Needless to say, I always plan my summer staycation in NYC around the Fringe Festival, ensuring enjoyment and discovery of the next big names in theater.

Two of the feel-good shows I was delighted to see this summer are I <3 Revolution and Ticket 2 Eternity.

“I <3 Revolution” is perfect for anyone who remembers the Occupy Wall Street revolution that made waves last fall (and unless you were living in a cave or a farm deep, deep into the amber waves of grain in Iowa, who doesn’t remember?)  The side-splitting comedy takes a look at 3 fabulous ladies (and 1 under-appreciated male intern) making an honest (and severely enthusiastic) attempt to overthrow “the man” and “the system”.  Truly funny stuff.

“Ticket 2 Eternity” is the story of Dan and his parents’ insane need for him to be famous, sending him hurdling from his past to present as an over-eager reporter forces him to reveal his real desire – to be a waiter.  I mean, really, is it bad to want something that gives you pleasure like no other? (In Dan’s case, that “something” being customer service with a smile…isn’t that something we all wish we had a little more of?!) As the catch-line to the show states: “Chasing fame never tasted so good!”

Seven years after my move to this fabulous city, I’m always thrilled when I’m able to catch one of the Tony winners on the Great White Way.  But what remains perhaps even more exciting is every summer when FringeNYC comes around, promising a few good laughs, and maybe even the chance to discover the next best NYC star.



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