The 2010 Fringe has begun. Tommy (my 12 year old “hardcore” fringer) and I already have four shows under our belt. There are 10 “official” shows for kids this year; however, there are many more that are certainly appropriate for older children. For the first time we won’t be able to see everything that captivates their interest. It isn’t possible.
Here are my Top 10 Picks for Family Friendly Fringing (remember—the beauty of the Fringe is that is an unjuried festival; I have not seen these shows in their entirety).
1. Princess Jessica and the Kingdom of Boogers Because of this video. Brought to you by the guys from Lick, perhaps the last year’s most juvenile adult show.
2. Story Time Bomb Improv for kids. My favorite 3 minutes of Fringe-for-All 2 at the Ritz.
3. Open and Affirming Fairy Tales Tommy and I saw this last night at the Rarig. Loved it. Traditional, playful kids theater with an open heart. Full Review to follow.
4. Can Michael Come Out and Play Mahmoud Hakima, who brought Two Bowls of Cereal and Some Bacon to the Fringe last year is telling stories for all ages this year. This was Tommy’s favorite artist at the Kids’ Showcase.
5. Dracula Presented by Top Hat Theater, a kids’ fringe institution. They have evolved from an entertaining group of kids doing theater for kids into a strong musical theater troupe that does original work. The cast is led by professional singer-actors Josiah Gulden and Angela Walberg.
6.Waiting for Biffy We saw this last night. The only reason it isn’t higher on the list is that I know not all kids can sit through a silent show for 50 minutes. Full blog post to follow.
7. If the Shoe Fits at the Southern. We also saw the show last night so I can guarantee it is suitable for all ages. There was a three year old sitting near us having the time of his life. Cute as a button, I think the little guy thought he was in the show. An energetic example of theater for kids by kids.
8. Benny the Illusion We enjoyed this young man’s magic tricks and interactions with the crowd at the Kids’ Fringe Showcase this year. He also defeated the noisy cappucinno maker at the Woodbury library. As an added bonus, this show is at Bryant Lake Bowl. Come early or stay late for some bowling.
9. Fartosaurus Rex It has farting AND dinosaurs. What more could a kid ask for?
10. Kill Will (12 and up) “Murder. Revenge. Suicide. Cannibalism. The new Tarantino movie? No, it’s Shakespeare! A riotous romp through the canon that asks, “How many characters can you kill in one hour?” It doesn’t sound like a kid’s show, but I have older kids. Their artist’s page describes the violence level as “”The Three Stooges” with swords.” Like hiding vegetables in your children’s artificial canned ravioli-like lunch product, Kill Will slips some Shakespeare into their theater diet.