22nd Annual San Francisco Fringe Festival Set for 9/6-21

The San Francisco Fringe Festival returns for its 22nd year with 36 examples of the best in exciting, edgy, and witty new theatre. There's everything from sketch comedy to German Strum und Drang, from tales of a massage parlor to the horrors of parenting, from a Cliff's Notes Macbeth to a journey through black music by a man who does a great JAmes Brown. And a show performed on (and off) a bus.

The 22nd Annual San Francisco Fringe Festival runs for 14 days, September 6-21, 2013, at the EXIT Theatreplex, 156 Eddy Street, in downtown San Francisco. This year, the run is longer (14, rather than 12 days) and extended to include three weekends. The only days the theatre is dark are Mondays.

Here's a sampling of what's offered for the 2013 SF Fringe, with performers from the Bay Area and all over the U.S., including Portland, OR, Sparks, NV, Aspen, CO, Madison, WI, Atlanta, L.A., and Flushing, NY.

Service workers take the stage, as a waitress, two bartenders, and a sex worker weave their varied tales inParly Girl (Sparks, NV) Serving Bait to Rich People (Aspen, CO) The Tipped & the Tipsy (S.F., and Fish-girl(Portland, OR).

The scary effects of high-tech are aired in Adam (S.F.) a full-length drama about a programmable man. He is everyone and no one, the ultimate fantasy for those that rent him. Add this to After the Tone (S.F.) a story of achieving digital immorality, and Singulariteen (Menlo Park) where a family confronts an astrophysical nightmare. For dessert, there's Volcano (S.F.) a high-tech light show billed as an "electronic song adventure."

Literati will love Luna Noctiluca (Pleasanton, CA), a Salome story from the works of Oscar Wilde, O Best Beloved (S.F.), based on Kipling's Just So Stories, Nightingale (Davis, CA), a dance piece covering romantic work from Ovid to Keats, and Philia (Oakland, CA), adapted from a story by Traci Chee.

And from Los Angeles, Under Plastic Stars, a full-length look at gender identities in the characters of Peter Pan and Wendy

Bay Area playwrights Lee Brady and Martin Schwartz bring, respectively, Random Acts of Love andStormStressLenz. Brady's is three dark comedies about the endangered male. Schwartz selects 30 insanely dramatic bits from the work of a very strange German playwright, freshly translates them, shuffles them grossly out of context, and Dark Porch Theatre "acts the heck out of them."

Popcorn Anti-Theatre (SF) takes you on a bus tour, stopping along the way for various street-corner performances. In Eating Pasta Off the Floor, (San Rafael, CA) Maria Grazia Affinito hopes a trip to her mom's home town in Italy will shed some light on their volatile relationship. It sheds more than light.

The Rats in the Alley Go Bananas! (Vallejo, CA) offers sketch comedy and long-form improv. The Stockholders Meeting (Atlanta) allows the audience to vent over institutions like Enron and Wall Street. And inThe Storyzilla Full Frontal Human Movie (Madison, WI), Nell Weatherwax tells stories that are just flat-out fall-on-the-floor funny.

Tickets for the 14-day San Francisco Fringe Festival, Sept. 6-21, are $10 (or less) at the door (cash only) and $12.99 (or less) online. The ten-show Frequent Fringer pass is $75, and a five-show pass is $45. The EXIT Theatreplex is within walking distance of Union Square and the Powell Street BART station. For complete listings of venues, shows, and times, go to www.sffringe.org. Or call the fringe hotline at (415) 673-3847.

This year, EXIT Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary of bringing exciting, innovative theatre to downtown San Francisco.

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