August 18, 2010

Aug. 20-29
Various locations around Mass Ave

A couple of things you should know before you dive into this fest of under-an-hour, unjuried, anything-can-happen theatrical offerings:

1. There’s a lot to choose from—280 performances on six stages.

2. As in previous years, nobody is filtering the choices. I always recommend going to see at least three in case you hit a dud. If a want the nearest thing to a lock the fest has, then see Phil the Void.

3. The $10 tickets (cash only) for each show go directly to each producing company. The fest gets the $2 one-time fee each attendee must pay to get a backer’s button.

4. This year, there is no separation between grown-up companies and teen shows. The program makes no distinction between seasoned pros such as ShadowApe Theatre Company (Fringe-ing for the first time with a family-friendly show called “Not a Peep”) and high-schoolers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you buy your $10 tickets.

5. There are three shows this year with Jesus in their titles. What’s up with that?

6. There is no late seating at the Fringe. Miss a show? Just wait an hour and a half for the next one.

7. The nature of the Fringe is that everyone stumbles into the first weekend blindly. If you need a taste of some of the shows to help you decide what to see, take advantage of the Opening Night Carnival from 6-10 p.m., highlighted by two-minute previews of most of the shows.

8. I’ll be blogging my Fringe comments at www.ibj.com/arts.

Details and full schedule here. .