New York International Fringe Festival

Thursday, August 9, 2012
Scene from June and Nancy

It is funny what you end up doing when you write a blog and live in New York City. On Tuesday morning I found myself on the 14th floor of a Midtown building interviewing three playwrights/actors about their upcoming plays for the New York International Fringe Festival (only the biggest multi-arts festival in North America!), which runs from August 10th to 26th.  And I had been invited to do so... you see, now that I am a blogger, apparently I am also the media. How very New York of me!

So let me (the media) tell you what you need to know. The first being that you should consider getting off the theatre tourist trail, you know what I am talking about... “Broadway”. That’s right, leave the Jersey Boys, Glynda and Simba behind, and pop down to the East Village to experience New York as a local, say hello to the fringe of theatre (we all know everything happens on the fringe!) and meet an accused archaeologist, June and Nancy, and three modern day female revolutionaries.

As well as asking about the plays and the playwrights themselves, I snuck in some questions asking for advice on living in/visiting New York City, a topic, I suspect could have been discussed all day, and for which I have had to condense down to these three points:
  • Watch out for weekend subway changes
  • Wear comfortable shoes, not 'Sex and the City' shoes
  • And (not surprisingly), go see these three plays at the New York International Fringe Festival - fun, cheap ($15-$18) and in the East Village

As Mr M and I like to follow good advice (and let’s be honest, we have received some free tickets!) next week we will be heading to the East Village, a place I have been wanting to explore, in our sensible walking shoes to enjoy these shows. I also asked Dani, Alice and Michelle if they could recommend any eats near the theatres.  Suggestions included The Mermaid Inn (for the lobster sandwich), Lil 'Frankies, for old school Italian, one of the many Indian restaurant on 6th Street, between Avenue A and 2nd Avenue and, the one I am going to try, Lula's Sweet Apothecary, for great vegan ice cream.

And now let me tell you about the plays.... (tickets available here)

Hadrian's Wall
Dani, New York born and raised, now living in LA, is the brains behind 'Hadrian’s Wall', a comedy/drama about a girl, a boy and a dinosaur. The play explores love, age, the unimportance of sexuality (I bet you thought it was important!) and how the passage of time changes some things, while everything else stays the same. Forget going to the American Museum of Natural History this is your prehistoric fix with some heartbreak and triumph thrown in. (Not really, all three playwrights strongly recommend going to the American Natural History Museum as well). 

Michelle, a playwright/actor has written ‘June and Nancy’, a play set in the 1950s about a love affair between June, married to Marty, and Nancy, a trailblazing career woman. It is a play to make you question; what makes a woman a woman, could you walk away from a marriage, what kind of obstacle would stop you and generally, how do you make decisions in your life. You know, those big ones, not just what brand of yoghurt to buy.

Alice is one of the three creators of I <3 revolution, a comedy about three rather disorganised revolutionaries who lack social graces, trying to recruit followers. Inspired by the political system and their place in it, Alice (also the name of her character) and her co-writers/actors wanted to have their say.  Good for them!  Alice says to expect something different, ‘a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but without the nausea'. 

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