On the brink of IndyFringe 2008

August 19, 2008
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IndyFringe 2008 launches this week with a kick-off party Thursday and performances beginning on Friday.

This year's lineup includes 270 performances of 53 shows--including one-act plays, improvisational comedy, dance pieces, magic acts, confessional one-person shows and difficult-to-describe oddities.

As in the past, the shows aren't vetted. For an act to be included in the festival, it merely has to sign up on time and pay an entry fee. The acts themselves get the ticket proceeds, so they have a vested interest in getting you through the door.

Does the format work for you? Are you comfortable dropping $10 on a 50-minute show that could be rank amateur or startlingly original?

If you haven't attended, what's keeping you away?

If you are a fringe vet, what do you think can be improved? Do you like to jump in during opening weekend or wait for word of mouth to help advise you on what's worth your time? And what do you think the impact has been of IndyFringe on the overall theater scene in town?

Whatever the case, expect Mass Ave. to liven up considerably over the next two weeks.

Your thoughts?
  • I _LOVE_ the Fringe! I am going to see and write about as many shows as I can (all of them, I hope, but I may be over-ambitious) during the first weekend with my media pass, and then go back and pay to see a second time the ones that most intrigue me. I took off a week from my day job for this.

    The first review I ever read of yours, Lou, was of a couple of Fringe shows last summer, here at the IBJ. (laughing) So I guess you can either thank or curse the Fringe for bringing me into your readership.

    Hope Baugh
  • You are most welcome here, Hope. See you at the Fringe (I'll be front-loading as much as I can this weekend).
    Who else is hitting the festival from the beginning?
  • I'll be hitting the festival most nights - I'm helping a friend with one of the shows. We hope to hit other shows before and after. Looking forward to it!

    I will say that I've heard some people complaining about the excess one-man shows and magic shows. Can't say I blame them as Magic shows are not my fave and I think any more than one in the festival is too many. In addition, some one-man (or woman) shows can abe good, but again, it's not all I want to see. I'm mostly looking forward to the original plays and maybe an improv. Those are my favorite types of shows to see. I also enjoy the street scenes and hanging out on my fave ave in the city Mass.
  • I'll be covering many of the shows for blogs on smallerindiana.com. Most shows will be covered by our fellow Smoosiers. To see these reviews go to http://www.smallerindiana.com.

    Or read Lou's reveiws I agree with Hope's assessment. I was at the same show as Lou last year. In one sentence he summed up that show many in the audience were laughing and we didn't know why - brilliant!
  • I and several others will be covering many of the Fringe shows for smallerindiana.com. Check out our reviews this weekend.

    Or read Lou's - I agree with Hope. They are very funny! I was at one last year when Lou was there - he summed it up in one brilliant sentence (I paraphrase): we were laughing and didn't know why
  • I think the free Preview Party tomorrow (Thursday) night will be useful, too, although some shows won't be there and some truly worthwhile shows may not be able to prove their value in three minutes. It will be a fun couple of hours, in any case.

    If you are shy like me, don't worry: it is not a stand around with a drink in your hand wondering what to say to people kind of party. That's what I thought it would be last year, and I almost didn't go. But last year, it was like being in an audience. You get to see a sampler of the shows being offered in the coming week.

    And then, afterwards, if you want to push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit, you can stand around and schmooze a while.

    Oh, I can't WAIT for the live theatre portion of the Indy Fringe Festival to begin!

    Hope Baugh
  • Oh! I forgot to say that according to the Fringe website, the free Fringe Preview Party will be from 5:30-7:30 pm tomorrow (Thursday, August 21) at the Indianapolis Historic Fire Museum and Memorial at 748 Mass. Ave.

    You can usually find parking on the street. Metered parking is free after 6:00 during the week.

    Hope Baugh
  • One other comment and then I MUST go get dressed for my day job...

    There are FOUR shows by Australians this year, which I find intriguing just because.

    There will be six shows, total, from other countries, I think - the four from Australia, plus Monkey Poet returning from England and someone else, I think, from Canada.

    Hope Baugh

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.