This year's Fringe , which closed last Sunday (July 15), was pretty cool in several ways. We saw many impressive shows, there were more productions than ever and audience numbers were up.
Oh yeah, and apart from a couple of days, moderate temperatures meant that people didn't run away from a sweaty venue as soon as the curtain fell. Even the notoriously steamy Glen Morris Theatre was manageable.
The Fringe hit an all-time attendance high, with more than 57, 000 tickets sold and a box office of over $390, 000, all of which the companies pocketed. In fact, attendance records were set each day of the festival.
Any problems? Venues were spread too far apart, especially the increased number of Bring Your Own Venues. The BYOVs often offer exciting work, in part because a production is usually tooled to a specific site. But because many ran between 7 and 9 pm, you could usually catch only one per evening.
If you didn't manage to see some of the most popular shows, they're held over in The Best Of The Fringe . Productions run in rep at the Diesel Playhouse through August 5.
Here's NOW's annual list of Fringe highlights.
OUTSTANDING NEW PLAYS
Conservatives In Love; The Gladstone Variations; BASH'd
Ubu Roi (Massacred); The Lesson; and stockings for the ladies; Shiksas Sit Shiva; Don't Look; The Gladstone Variations; BASH'd! ; Reesor; Legoland; Funny Business - The Musical; Kafka And Son
OUTSTANDING PRODUCTIONS FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
The Land Of I Told You So; Just So Stories
Brendan McMurtry-Howlett (...and stockings for the ladies); Kris Joseph (The Churchill Protocol); Catherine McNally and Tracy Michailidis (Mrs. Warren's Profession); Justin Sage-Passant (Manners For Men); TJ Dawe (Maxim And Cosmo); Alon Nashman (Kafka And Son)
The Lesson; The Gladstone Variations; Timebomb; The Welcome To The Show Show; Shiksas Sit Shiva; Yabu No Naka Distruthted; An Inconvenient Musical; BASH'd!; Duel of Ages; I Keep Dropping Sh*t; Science Fair!; Funny Business - The Musical; Conservatives In Love
Kelly Straughan (Timebomb); Sue Miner (Conservatives In Love); Zach Fraser (and stockings for the ladies)
Monique Stewart (Just So Stories)
Andrew Penner and the company (Reesor); Waylen Miki (An Inconvenient Musical); Aaron Macri (BASH'd!)