Fringe 2011 – Challenge #2 – So Few Bad Options


Mom just kept coming back to one thing about the Out of Towner Showcase last night.

“Across the board, they were nearly all just so good this year.”

Which has been my other struggle with the Fringe offerings in general this year.

Sure, there will be some stinkers.  There always are.

But there’s so very much, from so very many performers with great track records both in and out of the Fringe, that’s hard to decide what you’re going to see and what you’re going to miss.

Because you’re going to have to miss something.

There are 168 shows and no human being can see more than 56, even if they saw a completely different show in every single slot on the schedule including the encore at the end.

So no matter what you do, you’re missing over two-thirds of the festival.

And up until last night with the Out of Towners (more on that in just a minute), there wasn’t really anything I was excited about.

Oh, there were some things that looked good.  A whole lot of things that looked good.

But there wasn’t anything that I was thinking, “I cannot wait to see that!  That’s gonna be fantastic!”

I was thinking maybe it was just me.  Maybe I’m distracted because of the day jobs, or the impending visit of Mom (prompting an all-consuming cleaning binge), or the still not quite finished play for Project 515.  Could be anything.

But I’ve run into other people who expressed the same quandary.

Not that the Fringe is bad.  It’s really, really good.  But where’s the “great”?

I started to be proven wrong last night with the Out of Towner showcase, of course.

And the Fringe whacks me across the back of the head with a heavy dose of awesome every year.

So it’s coming.

Up until last night, though, I didn’t really have a clear picture of where it might be coming *from*

And there’s so much out there that could be “that show” – in a sea of quality stuff both familiar and unfamiliar – that to a certain extent, you just gotta hope you get lucky…

The upside?  With so much good, the odds against getting unlucky with a show are also pretty good this year.