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Hy on the Fringe: Your Personal Guide to the

2012 New York International Fringe Festival

And the FringeNYC September Encore Series

This FringeNYC Site Was Most Recently Updated: Monday August 27th 2012

The productions listed under the Show Rankings and Show Reviews sections are
ones I've seen from beginning to end. In contrast, this News & Buzz section provides
recommendations of shows I haven't yet seen but are receiving good buzz.
This section also offers news & tips to make your festival experience as much fun as possible.

Post-Festival Coverage:(8/27/12): At the end of festival party last night at The Mason Jar (43 East 30th Street), FringeNYC Producing Artistic Director Elena K. Holy announced the 20 productions from this year's FringeNYC that will enjoy extended runs via the September Encore Series. For details, and ongoing coverage of the Encores, please click here.


Holy also announced the winners of the 2012 FringeNYC Awards. Details will appear on this site later today.


Four Shows Announced So Far for Encores (8/24/12): Some of the best and/or bestselling shows at the FringeNYC Festival are rewarded with extended runs in September at the Soho Playhouse via the FringeNYC Encore Series. So far, the Fringe has revealed four shows that will be included in this prestigious series: 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (my favorite show of the fest to date; for my review, please click here), Independents (my second favorite musical of the fest to date, just below Non-Equity: The Musical), Salamander Starts Over (a one-man show that earned *** from me), and Pieces (a gay-themed crime drama that I missed—but will now get to see thanks to the Encore Series). Please stay tuned here for further Encore news.


Top 10 For Last Five Days, Plus Buzz (8/23/12): With just four days left to the festival, the following are my top 10 favorites so far for which tickets are still available:

Hanafuda Denki: A Tale of Playing Cards ****  (spectacular all-Japanese dark fantasy comedy that's a bit like anime on stage, utterly unique, and not to be missed)

Non-Equity: The Musical ***½  (hilarious musical about what non-equity NYC actors go through)

Twelfth Night ***½  (superb BAMA version of Shakespeare's romp via just eight actors and a trunk)

Oasis: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Middle East But Were Afraid to Dance ***½
(world-class dance you'd normally pay $50+ to see; don't miss this wonderful opportunity to catch it for $18)

Fantasy Artists ***½  (great characters, smart script & direction, and solid actors make this play a must-see)

This Too Shall Suck ***½  (my favorite one-person show, from a former staff writer of SNL and Conan O'Brien)

Mother Eve's Secret Garden of Sensual Sisterhood ***½  (polished, award-winning musical comedy
that's a crowd pleaser—and is reportedly garnering standing ovations)

Snow White Zombie Apocalypse ***  (intriguing characters and lots of stage combat)

City of Shadows ***  (memorable photos coupled with haunting songs from talented Australian group) ***  (a morality play about the Internet)


For the complete list of my favorites, please click here.


Please also note that shows receiving great buzz include Wake Up!.


Another Rare 4 Star Show (8/17/12): Tail! Spin! received lots of buzz for selling out its entire run in a flash and for the impressive talents involved. But that didn't automatically mean the show was good. In fact, there were some rumors the sellout was orchestrated to create more hype than the production deserved.


Wanting to know the truth, I managed to get into the final scheduled performance last night; and guess what? Tail! Spin! is superb. The script and direction are smart and stylish, and the performances are delightful—most especially Rachel Dratch, who is pure joy from beginning to end. The result is a consistently funny show that will leave you smiling for hours afterwards. I'm stingy about giving out **** ratings but didn't hesitate for this production, which so far is my second favorite of the fest. For my full review, please click here.


A Good Day (8/16/12): Yesterday I had the pleasure of experiencing two of this year's FringeNYC musicals; and to my delight, both were superb. Non-Equity: The Musical is just what it sounds like—the journey of actors through NYC audition hell. There are a number of traps this show could've fallen into, ranging from being too "insider" to being overly ironic. Instead, it's both heartfelt and hilarious. Full review to come, but in the meantime you can see its rating & ranking here. Also wonderful is Independents, which originated at Yale and is directed by rapidly rising star Charlie Polinger. If you do nothing at the festival but see these two shows, you'll have done well. (But, of course, I recommend you see way more...)


Top Shows So Far, and Some Buzz (8/15/12): My favorite shows seen so far are hilarious comedy 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, amazing all-gal Japanese dance/percussion show COBU, and stand-up/storyteller Matt Graham's one-man show This Too Shall Suck. Meanwhile, I'm hearing good things about Dark Hollow, Falling, Dumber Faster, and Mahmoud. I'm not personally recommending the latter because I haven't seen them, but will be trying to so I can report on them. As for other shows I have seen, please click here.

Also, please note there's only one performance left of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche that hasn't sold out—and it's tomorrow (Thursday) at 4:00 pm. Don't miss what, to date, appears to be the finest show of the festival.


Tops Shows So Far (8/11/12): The big discovery so far this opening weekend is hilarious comedy 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Developed from improvised scenes by its sharp Chicago cast, this New Colony production is a not-to-be-missed event. For my review, please click here. And to see my ratings & rankings of other shows seen to date, please click here.


Navigating this Site's FringeNYC 2012 Coverage (8/12/12): There are a number of sections in this site to help you get the most enjoyment out of this year's festival.


To view a list of the FringeNYC 2012 shows I've seen from beginning to end, rated and ranked in rough order of preference, please click here.


To read reviews of shows I've seen, please click here.


For key info, including where to find show descriptions, how to catch live-on-stage sneak peeks of shows, where to see free outdoor shows, how to buy tickets, and much more, please click here.


For video sneak peeks at shows, please click here.


For notable comedic shows, please click here.


For notable gay-themed shows, please click here.


For shows with movie, TV, and/or Broadway veterans, please click here.


For shows with the most interesting titles, please click here.


For a list of shows that have sold out one or more performances via advance sales, please click here.


For a list of shows that have canceled performances, please click here; and that have added performances, please click here.


And to learn about great places to grab food in the neighborhoods that host the shows, please click here.


Location of FringeCentral (7/24/11): The location of FringeCentral—the key spot for both ticket buying and Fringe info—is 45 Bleecker Street (off Lafayette Street)t. This East Village spot is just a few feet away from the #6 subway's Bleecker Street stop, and within easy walking distance of the majority of this year's FringeNYC venues. To learn more, please click here.


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Introduction to FringeNYC 2012

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What's In A Name?

Notable Comedy Shows

Notable Musicals

Notable Gay-Themed Shows

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Shows Selling Out Performances

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Key FringeNYC 2012 Info

Fast Food Recommendations

FringeNYC 2012 Awards


Hy's Previous FringeNYC Coverage:

FringeNYC 2011

FringeNYC 2010

FringeNYC 2009

FringeNYC 2008

FringeNYC 2007

FringeNYC 2006

FringeNYC 2005


Other Notable Pages on This Site:

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Best NYC Comedy (Updated Daily)

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