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S. F. Fringe Festival Names 2009 ?Best of the Fringe?

The 18th annual San Francisco Fringe Festival, which closed its 12-day run on September 20, has announced the 15 winners in its various "Best of the Fringe" Awards for 2009.

Fifteen shows were chosen from the 39 participating in the 2009 festival. Winners come from the Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Brooklyn, Germany, and Brazil. They represent a wide variety of theatre work - solo and ensemble, original plays and adaptations, musicals, clowning, and dance, according to Festival producer Christina Augello.

In addition, a dozen shows earned "Sold Out" awards for their abilities to pack in an audience.

The 15 "Best of" are listed here by category, title, company/performer, and home town.

Best of the 2009 San Francisco Fringe Festival

Best Clown Show

Show No Show

Company: We Are Nudes, San Francisco

Best Improv Show

Inside Private Lives

Company: Kristin Stone Entertainment, Los Angeles

Best Sketch Comedy

Fists of Funny

Company: OPM, Los Angeles

Best Musical Revue

The Unbearable Lightness of Raya

Performer: Raya Light, San Francisco

Best Actress

A (Bearded) Lady

Larissa Garcia, Bahia, Brazil

Best Actor

Cockroach

Nathan Tucker, San Francisco

Best Puppet Show

Suicide Me

Company: Theatre Blickwechsel, Koeln, Germany

Best Musical

Hell: The Musical

Company: At the I-Beam Productions, San Francisco

Best Male Solo

The Surprise

Martin Dockery, Brooklyn, NY

Best Female Solo

Recess

Una Aya Osato, NYC

Best New Play

Cockroach

Company: Dark Porch Theatre, San Francisco

Best Physical Comedy

Poste Restante

Company: They Gotta Be Secret Agents, Boston, MA

Best New Comedy & Best Box Office

Pulp Scripture

Company: Original Sin Productions, San Francisco

Best Ensemble Performance

The Godling

Company: End Times Productions, NYC

Backstage Awards

The annual Barbara Holloway Volunteer Award went to David Kirby.

"The backbone of the Festival is our tireless cadre of volunteers, without whom this 12-day theatre marathon would be impossible to stage," Augello says.

The Techie's Choice Award, for superior cooperation and congeniality with the technical crew, and chosen by the crew, went to Boston's Poste Restante. Liz Roddy won the Uber Tech Award for her all-round technical expertise and ability to keep the shows on schedule.

"Sold-Out" Awards

The following shows were recognized for their success in drawing audiences for their performances. Pulp Scripture was recognized for overall Best Box Office.

Cockroach - San Francisco

Eat, Pray, Laugh! - San Francisco

Fists of Funny - Los Angeles

Fool for a Client - San Diego

The Godling - NYC

Hell, The Musical - San Francisco

Legs and All - San Francisco

Open Season: A Queer Performance Spectacular - San Francisco

Pulp Scripture - San Francisco

Show No Show - San Francisco

Texas Chainsaw Musical - San Rafael

The Unbearable Lightness of Raya - San Francisco

"Best of the Fringe" Encore Performances

Encore performances of four of the shows will be staged October 2 and 3 at EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy Street, in Downtown San Francisco. Tickets for each show are $20.00, and all proceeds go to support the 2010 San Francisco Fringe Festival scheduled for next September

Friday, October 2

7:00 p.m. - A (Bearded) Lady

After more than a century, on the carnival circuit, The Bearded Lady comes to the San Francisco Fringe to perform what might be her final show. Now with the privilege of death, she in a tell-all tale once again gives her audience fright and delight. Step up, step up, Ladies and Gentlemen, and see for yourselves! A collaboration of Brazilian actor Larissa Garcia and Bay Area playwright Billie Cox.

Garcia packs enough mimetic and vaudeville chops for several shows...the perfect show with which to end my night at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. - Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle.

Beautifully written by Billy Cox, this is a remarkable piece of solo theater that definitely should not be missed...what performance art is all about...Garcia delivers a bravura performance. - George Heymont, MyCulturalLandscap.com.

Most highly recommended. - Mario Echevarria, SF Tribune

8:30 p.m. - Hell: The Musical

A mean bull dyke, a vapid party girl, and a cowardly journalist walk into a room...in Hell. K.S. Haddock (Best of Fringe winner for 'Thanatics, A Rock Opera', 2006) presents a contemporary retelling of Sartre's No Exit -- set to music. Ilene's a cruel Valencia Street type who badgered her lover to death. Yvonne is a Marina chick with infanticidal tendencies. Joseph is journalist-turned-rebel, shot in the back by his Kurdish comrades. Shown to a room in Hell by a smarmy Valet, the three slowly take each other apart as they wait for their final fiery destination. Written and directed by K.S. Haddock. Music by K.S. Haddock and Tom Beyer. Musical direction by Tom Beyer.

The charismatic cast of the revamped No Exit can sing and act, and the live musical entertainment by The Crooked Family provides the Pat Benatar-esque punch you'd expect to be leveled by and against the damned. - Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian.

Seeing Sartre's 'No Exit' reimagined as a musical is a pleasure to see here. The music is fantastic. K.S. Haddock and Tom Beyer are first-rate songwriters. - Fringe audience review.

This show kicked ass! The band was tight, the writing was hilarious and the actors were all spot on. Great comedic timing, great voices, great songs. Couldn't ask for a better night's entertainment. - Fringe audience review.

Saturday, October 3


7:00 p.m. - Pulp Scripture

Sisters get Dad Drunk, have Sex with him!... Human Sacrifice at Father-son Camping Trip!... Widow Becomes Hooker, Tricks Father-in-law into Getting her Pregnant!... Strongman Sold to Rival Gang by Girlfriend, Eyes Gouged Out!... Crowd of Horny Sodomites Demand Sex with House Guests!...

The Bible is the foundation of family values, right? Sure...if those values include incest, human sacrifice, oral sex, eye-gouging, and perversions that would make Larry Flynt blush. Pulp Scripture: Bible stories they didn't teach you in Sunday school.

Unless you are a bible-toting creationist, this politically incorrect play is for you! A brilliantly written and Witty parody that flails herds of sacred religious cows, with terrific performances from a wonderful cast. Don't miss it! - Fringe audience review.

The funniest play I've seen this year, and I've been going mostly to comedies. I guess you could say the play's unpreaching to the deconverted... but I just enjoyed the sheer glee of it. Smutty fun. - Fringe audience review.

Blasphemy! Sacrilege! Heresy! I love it! A perfectly executed, well paced, well written script. Tight, top level performers, capable and committed. Go see it. And then lie at my feet. - nEO-sURRELAIST agent #1.


8:30 p.m. - Cockroach

Shards of broken glass on a deserted block in the warehouse district. Inscrutable, acrobatic beings that cover a lonely man's body in red brushstrokes. A soft-spoken disciplinarian who seems to show up everywhere. In Cockroach, the weird poetics of Martin Schwartz's texts react with the volatile physicality of Margery Fairchild's choreography and mise-en-scene to create a vision of contemporary urban life that is as exhilaratingly theatrical as it is unsettling. A virtuosic performance from Nathan Tucker as a troubled man unhinged by fate beats at the center of this chilling hybrid-theatre exploration of the missing pieces of everyday life.

Faiirchild's The In Betweens, written and directed with Martin Schwartz, enjoyed rave reviews from the SF Weekly and the SF Bay Guardian and a triumphant run at the Exit earlier this year.

A fevered dream of...a brutalized madman-cum-shopping cart played to operatic perfection by the ever able Nathan Tucker [who] stirs the stage like a demon chef. - Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian.

...a gently unsettling, gritty probe of the demons inside the mind of an unstable homeless man. Nathan Tucker's intense performance anchors the piece, aided and bedeviled by Alison Sacha Ross. - Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle

Margery Fairchild's kinetic choreography is startling and very impressive in its bold, unexpected angularities. Derek Phillips' sound design punctuates the rapids of Martin Schwartz' stream of consciousness like so many splintered tree branches. Altogether a highly successful 50 minutes of daring and innovative theatre, "Cockroach" is fascinating to the point of being mesmerizing. Whether or not this is your cup of tea, Tucker's performance is not to be missed. Highest recommendation. - Fringe audience review.

For "Best of the Fringe" Info & Tickets

For complete descriptions of the four encore shows in the Oct. 2 and 3 "Best of the Fringe," go to www.sffringe.org. Or call the fringe hotline at (415) 673-3847. All shows are at EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy Street in downtown San Francisco. Tickets are $20 per show available at www.sffringe.org.

The 2009 San Francisco Fringe Festival

The 2009 San Francisco Fringe Festival featured over 250 performances of 39 new shows in 9 venues in 12 days. The Fringe Festival features fresh, exciting theatre of all kinds for open-minded audiences of all persuasions. This year's Fringe brought international performers from Germany, Canada, and Brazil, as well as from New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and all over the Bay Area. Having completed its 18th year, "The Fringe" offers bright, new, often hysterical, and sometimes shocking theatre by up-and-coming writers and performers, as well as seasoned veterans.

SF Fringe Festival - EXIT Theatre - 156 Eddy Street - San Francisco, CA 94102 415-931-1094 www.sffringe.org

 


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