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San Francisco Fringe Festival

Preview by Charyn Pfeuffer

Think you're edgy? 10 days of the area's most audacious theater may just make you think again. Born in Scotland, bred across the States, the Fringe Festival invades downtown San Francisco, from the Financial District to the Mission, in a multi-ring circus of theatrical performances from September 6th through the 16th. This year, 50-plus groups will put on 256 mind-expanding shows, making choosing downright difficult. Lucky for you, no ticket is over $8, and you can get ten tickets for $55 by buying a Frequent Fringer Pass. We've summed up some a few of the must see events for this year's Fringe.

The Bird Club: Letter to Sandra Bernhard
by Darren Patrick Blaney

Venue: Phoenix II (upstairs)
60 minutes, Recommended for ages 16+, not for young children--some mature content & coarse language, Tickets $8

Written in NYC and 1st produced in San Francisco, this multi-media solo performance reveals more than a handful of subtle character monologues and folk songs. In "The Bird Club: Letter to Sandra Bernhard", Darren shows us a collection of wistful and melancholy, yet optimistic, people who challenge the viewer to come along for the ride of his hopeful daydreams. Playing everything from a former stripper turned bored Brooklyn housewife, to a transgendered lesbian pining for true love, to a visionary anthropologist, to an optimistic HIV+ housecleaner, Darren gives us real life in sixty-five minutes without the commercials of prime-time television.

Day Trippers IV: Play-In-A-Day Marathon
Various Authors

Venue: Exit On Taylor
55 Minutes, Not recommended for children, Mature Content, Coarse Language, Nudity, Smoking, Tickets $8

DayTrippers IV: A-Play-In-A-Day Marathon is the Improv/Sketch Play-Comedy/Drama product of three writers, three directors, and approximately 12 actors. Given a single topic and 24 hours to write, rehearse, and perform, come and see three excellent plays pulled together on the fly.

A Little Bit Pregnant
by Barbara Brown

Venue: Exit Stage Left
35 minutes, Recommended ages 14+, Coarse Language (2 "bad" words), Caution: Flying sperm, Tickets $7

"A Little Bit Pregnant" is the story of baby-hoping and baby-making. Barbara Brown, former San Francisco resident, writer and actor, is now living in Anchorage, Alaska. She's also run the gamut of infertility interventions and can share outrageous stories with the best of them. Her goal: to bring laughter to the dark. This solo performance was commissioned by Out North Contemporary Art House, Anchorage, Alaska, and first presented January 2001 as part of Out North's "Under 30" program of new performance works created by Alaskans. The Anchorage Press raved, "...charts, graphs, ... and turkey baster injections. Brown hilariously acts out the intricacies of this often-wacky methodology with the utmost of deadpan sincerity. She is clearly a woman on a mission, and we in the audience are rooting for her."

Searching for the '60s
by Wendy Weiner

Venue: Exit Theater
60 minutes. Recommended ages 15+, Tickets $8

Wendy Weiner, whose solo show Give Me Shelter was named "Best of the Fringe '98" and published in Women Playwrights: Weiner returns with a brand-new solo show. Join her on this comic adventure which travels from the Urban Jungle of New York to the bacchanalia of Nevada's Burning Man festival. "Weiner is a marvelously expressive performer with impeccable comedic timing." - San Francisco Bay Guardian. Directed and developed with Julie Kramer.

For complete descriptions of Fringe shows, information on buying Frequent Fringer Passes, schedules, audience reviews, information on Fringe Festivals around the globe, or to ask for an application to perform in 2002, visit the SF Station Fringe Festival Page.