This year’s Fringe presented over 200 productions in 18 Lower East Side spaces over the course of just 17 action-packed days and nights. Six of the fortunate 13 will play at the Actor’s Playhouse on Seventh Avenue South, while the remaining seven will give their performances at the SoHo Playhouse at 15 Vandam Street, near Sixth Avenue.
Among the shows at the SoHo Playhouse is “His Greatness,” by the Canadian writer and performer, Daniel MacIvor. The show is moving meditation on what the last couple of days in the life of playwright Tennessee Williams may have been like.
Also at the SoHo Playhouse is “The Boys Upstairs,” Jason Mitchell’s comedy about three young gay men sharing a Hell’s Kitchen apartment and what happens when a straight man moves in below them.
Another production is Jason Schafer’s “Notes on the Land of Earthquake and Fire,” self-described as “a vicious new play.” It takes place in a Malibu beach house and deals with the seamy side of life in the movie colony.
On other nights and matinees, the SoHo Playhouse will be the home of Mac Rogers’ play, “Viral,” about three lost souls excited by the prospect of filming someone’s death. Meryl Cohn’s “And Sophie Comes Too” is made of lighter stuff, with a titular character who lapses into a comic coma, while her daughter wishes her mother wouldn’t wake up.
The sixth show on Vandam Street is “Sex and the Holy Land,” a coming-of-age comedy about carnal matters in Israel. Meanwhile, at the Actor’s Playhouse, Buddy Thomas’s “Devil Boys From Beyond” is described as a “campy caper.” Among its assets is the presence of Everett Quinton, one of the mainstays of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company.
Also at the theater is “Powerhouse,” about the life of Brooklyn-born composer Raymond Scott.
Another show playing at the Actor’s Playhouse is “Tales From the Tunnel,” by Troy Diana and James Valletti, made up of stories based on incidents in the city’s subways.
“Zipperface” is a musical murder mystery, with a female detective eager to solve the case of a lunatic on a killing spree. Equally bizarre is “Willy Nilly: A Musical Exploitation of the Most Far-Out Cult Murders of the Psychedelic Era,” a rock musical inspired by the Manson murders.
Filling out the seven-production schedule at the Actor’s Playhouse are “Terranova” and the musical, “I Can Haz Cheezbuger.”
Whether or not any of these 13 shows earns a life beyond the “Fringe Encore Series” is anybody’s guess, but there’s always hope.
Meanwhile, theatergoers who missed out on FringeNYC this summer have a chance to catch up on the best of it between now and September 27.