IndyFringe is a marathon, not a sprint. The festival began Aug. 18 and runs through Sun. the 28th, so there is still time to see exceptional shows if you pace yourself.
This year’s Fringe has an impressive array of performers and shows with local ties. As supporters of all things local, our crack “arty” team here at the Weekly View has been giving priority to shows created by the home team, so to speak. We highly recommend EclecticPond’s “Drankspeare” at ComedySportz; this is one of the funniest shows we attended (Fri. at 6 p.m., Sat. at 6 p.m. — shows have been selling out so pre-order tickets to ensure you see this). Another funny, and very naughty, local production is “I’d Like To See More of You,” at Theatre on the Square Main Stage, a burlesque review showcasing the talents of local performers in various stages of undress with great songs belted out by some very talented ladies and gents. (Adults only, obviously — next shows are Thurs. at 7:30, Sat. at 7:30, and Sun. at 4:30).
There are several dance shows that are must-see. The always-reliably great Dance Kaleidoscope presents “Diva Workshop” at Theatre on the Square Main STagewith dancers choreograph their favorite diva’s songs. (Sells out, so get tickets online. Next shows Sat. at 10:30 and Sun. at 6 p.m.) Classical ballet takes the same stage thanks to Indianapolis Ballet’s “Beyond Ballet” performing a lovely glimpse into contemporary and tap as well as classic numbers. (Next shows Fri. at 9 p.m. and Sat. at 1:30.)
The lovely, moving and provocative “The Amish Project” at the Indy Fringe Basile Theatre is another tour-de-force by the talented kids at Carmel High School. Based on the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting, the play explores grief, forgiveness, and rage. (Next shows are Fri. at 9 and Sat. at 3. Presale tickets encouraged.)
This year’s Fringe lineup includes some really powerful, empowering and funny life story monologues by female comedians. In “Halfrican,” comic Nardos Osterhart humorously shares her life story as a child refugee immigrating from Ethiopia to the United States up until today, as a comedian and the mother of twins. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you shouldn’t miss this one. And in the “Victory of the Recycled Virgin” at the Indy Eleven Theatre, comedian Houston Robinson celebrates the week of her 80th birthday by sharing her life journey from earning her MRS degree, to surviving her husband’s coming out, to her life as a strong single woman who has discovered her life dream to be a clown and a stand-up comic. Her story is funny, sexy and inspiring. (Next shows Fri. at 10:30 p.m. and Sat. at 7:30 p.m.)
In celebration of Indiana’s bicentennial, several shows have worked state history into musical comedies. The popular “Harrison” at the IndyFringe Theatre sets history to hip hop, throwing in some audience suggested improv. (Next shows Sat. at 1:30 and Sun. at 4:30. Presale tickets are a must; this show is selling out fast.) “The Indiana Squirrel Stampede” at the Indy Eleven Theatre stars some very talented local artists and is laugh-out-loud funny — a sleeper hit and a must see. (Next shows are Thurs. at 6, Fri. at 7:30, and Sun. at 7:30. Get presale tickets as this show is selling out.)
One of the absolute highlights of the Fringe lineup is “Calder: The Musical” at Theatre on the Square Main Stage. It is an amazing visual and musical performance on the life of American artist Alexander “Sandy” Caulder, creator of the mobile. From child prodigies who sing like angels, to an incredibly talented diva muse who steals the show, to shirtless hunks doing a samba number, there is truly something for everyone. Learning art history has never been so entertaining. Irvington artist Laur Hildreth’s artwork is featured, so be sure to see it! (Next show is Sat. at 3 p.m. — presale tickets are a must.)
Visit indyfringe.org to see a daily schedule of shows and to order tickets online. Tickets are only $15 per person CASH ONLY at the door; save money with a Fiver Pass ($50 for 5 tickets). Call 445-1458 or 459-4619.
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