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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