Your Guide To St. Lou Fringe 2016

Fringe is the constant. We are the messengers. Like it or not each and every one of us lives on the fringe at some point in our lives—that precarious and peculiar place filled with a creative reckless abandon that enables us to celebrate the odd, weird, wonderful, underexposed and independently overlooked.

Photo from the 2015 performance of “The Helix Effect: Embracing Contact” courtesy of St. Lou Fringe.

Photo from the 2015 performance of “The Helix Effect: Embracing Contact” by Allan Crain.

Those looking to connect with their inventive side should check out St. Lou Fringe Fest from Aug. 19-27. Now celebrating its fifth anniversary with expanded programming, this year’s event features a juggernaut of drama, comedy, magic, dance and performance art with 109 performances from 33 different producers at seven Grand Center venues including, Duet Gallery, The Dark Room, Kranzberg Blackbox, Kranzberg Studio, The Stage at KDHX, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company and the .Zack Incubator.

On Aug. 8, the festival presented Fringe Tease, a soft-opening program where producers presented two-minute previews of their shenanigans to members of the press.

Here are six recommended productions for the culturally curious.

“Boomerang Babes”
Dark Room
Showtimes: Aug. 26 @ 10pm, Aug. 27 @ 6:30pm
Don’t let the comedy fool you, this cabaret about three black women reflecting on their lives in St. Louis is one of the festival’s most powerful social commentaries. Themes of death, violence and civil rights are perfectly blended alongside spicy humor and longtime friendship.

“An Accidental Organist”
Duet Gallery
Showtimes: Aug. 19 @ 8:30pm, Aug. 20 @ 9:30pm, and Aug. 21 @ 5pm
Hallelujah for this witty and charming performance from David Boyle, who opens up about his off-kilter and touching experiences as a choir director and church organist.

“Count Time: The Life and Times of Patricia Prewitt”
Duet Gallery
Showtimes: Aug. 19 @ 7pm, Aug. 20 @ 5pm, Aug. 21 @ 6:30pm, Aug. 25 @ 8pm, Aug. 26 @ 8:30pm and Aug. 27 @ 5pm
Elizabeth Ann Townsend is a force of nature in this docudrama about an incarcerated woman imprisoned unjustly for over three decades.

Playing all nine parts in this true story, Townsend brings the sorrow of Prewitt’s experience of survival

“Unspeakable Acts”
Kranzberg Black Box
Showtimes: Aug. 19 @ 7pm, Aug. 20 @ 3:30pm, Aug. 21 @ 2pm and Aug. 26 @ 8:30pm
In his 25th anniversary season, master illusionist Keith Jozsef brings his first show to STL Fringe for an engaging night of magic where the audience literally decides his fate. His show, presented with panache and charm, has everything from swallowing needles to potentially deadly gunplay. Take that Copperfield!

“Good”
Kranzberg Studio
Showtimes: Aug. 20 @ 9:30pm, Aug. 21 @ 6:30pm and Aug.27 @ 6:30pm
Amy Milton’s one-woman show is a breath of fresh. “Good” chronicles her metamorphosis from a cheery idealist Christian optimist to a curmudgeonly atheist whose family is all dead.  Bitter, brilliant and glib. Milton is hysterically on point.

“Big Hair, Big Dreams: The Mini Donald Drumpf Musical”
.Zack Incubator
Showtimes: Aug. 20 @ 3:30pm, Aug. 21 @ 8pm and Aug. 27 @ 5pm
Puppetry meets politics in this pea in your pants satire from Dan Viggers break down walls in chronicling the frightening antics of The Donald. With special guest star Hillary Clinton.

Tickets and festival passes are on sale now. For information visit stlfringe.com

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