Fringe flies high

Banner year delivers great shows and big box office


The 2012 Fringe Theatre Festival, which ended July 15, proved pretty hot, and not just because the temperature got into the 30s almost every day of the 12-day event.

The heat extended to the crowds and the box office from the start of the fest. Ticket sale grosses on opening day – $14,000 – were the highest in the Fringe’s 24-year history.

The newly organized Artists Alley, leading to the Fringe Club behind Honest Ed’s, was hopping throughout the fest, with visual artists, 10 alley plays, an open-mic stage and rotating local food vendors taking part in the activity. The visual artists made more than $13,000 through the sale of their work, a 400 per cent increase from the previous year.

Though there were 13 fewer companies than last year, ticket sales for 2012’s 155 productions were strong, with many productions nearly selling out their houses. The Fringe sold over 59,000 tickets, and more than $450,000 was returned to the artists, who get all their box office receipts.

Since the Fringe began in 1989, Fringe artists have pocketed almost $6 million. It’s not just the festival artists who benefited from the festival this year’s Tip-the-Fringe watering cans were filled to the tune of $43,000.

Here’s NOW’s annual list of Fringe highlights.

Outstanding New Plays

With Love And A Major Organ Of Mice And Morro And Jasp The Other Three Sisters

Outstanding Productions

PornStar Mahmoud The Taming Of The Shrew Of Mice And Morro And Jasp Rare little tongues The House Of Bernarda Alba Medicine Tick The Wakowski Bros Help Yourself The Other Three Sisters With Love And A Major Organ England [ZED.TO] Byologyc: Where You Become New Two Weird Ladies Bomb The Fringe Release The Stars: The Ballad Of Randy And Evi Quaid

Outstanding Performances

Tara Grammy (Mahmoud) Kimberly Persona (Water) Morgonn Ewen (Annabelle’s Tails From Jail) Elva Mai Hoover and Kristen Zaza (Piecing Together Pauline) Christopher Kelk (A Slight Ache) TJ Dawe (Medicine) Terrence Bryant (SOULO)

Outstanding Ensembles

Rare Of Mice And Morro And Jasp The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe The Empire Of The Magic Beanstalks PornStar The Tempest… A Puppet Epic! The Taming Of The Shrew little tongues Tick Dirty Butterfly The House Of Bernarda Alba Help Yourself The Other Three Sisters The Wakowski Bros. England Halapatooloo The Canary Wallpaper Then He Wakes Up

Outstanding Direction

Eric Double (The Taming Of The Shrew) Byron Laviolette (PornStar) Judith Thompson (Rare) Jajube Mandiela (Tick) Bruce Pitkin (The House Of Bernarda Alba) Jack Grinhaus (Dirty Butterfly and Release The Stars: The Ballad Of Randy And Evi Quaid) Andrew Lamb (With Love And A Major Organ) Elenna Mosoff ([ZED.TO] Byologyc: Where You Become New)

Outstanding Production For Young Audiences

The Tempest… A Puppet Epic!

VIP Award For Wearing Multiple Hats

Byron Laviolette, for directing PornStar and Of Mice And Morro And Jasp and co-creating [ZED.TO] Byologyc: Where You Become New

stage@nowtoronto.com

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