Jayne Miller is serving as the Program Advisor for the 2010 Institute on Political Journalism. Her blog entry is the sixth in a series of “Weekend Picks” for TFAS interns spending their summer in DC.
I was chatting with a new DCite yesterday who was disappointed to discover that the district didn’t have as many “artsy” opportunities as she would have liked. Craving the indie performances of other metropolises, she lamented the buttoned-up culture of Washington. And truth be told, for so long, I was right there with her.
But with some extra time to explore and connect with others interested in the indie arts scene, I’ve come to realize that my new friend and I couldn’t have been more wrong about this place. Enter the Fringe Festival.
If you’ve been itching for underground plays, stand-up comedians, and new musicals written by local artists, this is the month you’ve been waiting for. The Capital Fringe Festival is on from July 8 to the 25, and will take over venues across the city to display up and coming talent for low ticket prices – you’ll spend no more than $15 on a show, and many are free. This year, there are 134 participating groups and over 2,000 individual artists from across the country here to display their plays, musicals, songs, and the like.
You can view a full schedule online at http://www.capfringe.org/. If you see a lot you like and want to support Fringe, it might be worth investing in the Fringe button for $5, which will get you discounts on performances, screenings, and goodies in the area. (10% off Mr. Yogato, anyone?) You must buy the button to get into the Fringe venues that will host the free performances all month (which makes them only pseudo-free, but still. It’s a great deal, I think.)
It’s worth checking out City Paper’s blog “Fringe and Purge” which is dedicated solely to the month of performances, and offers reviews and picks for the best shows in town: www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/fringe
Here are some of the listings from City Paper that piqued my interest. Hope to see you there!
Beyond Therapy, DC Arts Center, 2438 18th Street, July 16th & 17th 9:30pm
This production of Christopher Durang’s play takes you back to the insane early 80s, all with eclectic relationships, psychotic therapists, an existential restaurant, a dating triangle, and a helpful imaginary canine.
Twisted: A Collection of Urban Fairytales, Goethe Institute Gallery, July 24th at 6pm
In the city, nothing is quite what it seems. The handsome guy is not always Prince Charming and you can never tell a wolf by his teeth. An ensemble piece exploring what really happens after “Once upon a time…”
iSchool Musical, Source, 1835 14th Street, July 16th & 17th at 8pm
An instant musical inspired by ‘Glee,’ ‘High School Musical,’ and suggestions from the audience. Every lyric, character and line of the dialogue is improvised.
Run Away with Me! A Contemporary Cabaret, The Baldacchino Gypsy, Tent Bar at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave., July 18th at 2:30pm
Run away with us as we explore songs about life, love, and loss. Music from pop, jazz, country and Broadway. Four singers transport you to another place. Honest storytelling. Revealing moments.
Engaged, The Mountain at Mount Vernon Place, United Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave., July 18th at 7:30pm
A precursor to Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Ernest.” An entanglement of engagements, inheritance stipulations, and Scottish/English class dichotomy.
Edible Rex, Goethe Institute, Mainstage, 812 7th Street
In this one-man show, a father, a son, and a French chef search for the perfect meal. The adventure begins in a Chinese restaurant and continues in Sweden, North Korea, and Oklahoma.