The New York International Fringe Festival

Dirty clowns, nudity, classics trashed, puppets and outrageous meta-musicals: Looks like the New York International Fringe Festival is back in town.

Peter Grosz in Recipe for Success

Peter Grosz in Recipe for Success Photograph: Laura Rose

As Broadway and Off Broadway take breathers before the fall rush, August means just one thing for many lovers of New York theater: The New York International Fringe Festival. More than 75,000 people swarm annually through this sprawling hive of theater and dance, making FringeNYC (as it’s sometimes known) of the city’s largest events. This year’s 18th edition includes work by 205 different theater and dance companies, each of which gets just five chances to show its stuff.
Of course, quantity doesn’t always equal quality—and that’s where we come in. The wild variety of Fringe offerings includes musicals, experimental pieces, classical revivals and ramshackle new works about Moses, Taylor Swift and pretty much everyone in between. Some may go on to glory (like Fringe Festival alumni Urinetown and Silence! The Musical), while others will fade into well-deserved obscurity. As always, we’ll be sending a battery of reviewers out into the field to report on dozens of shows, so check this page regularly for new reviews.

When is the Fringe Festival?

The New York International Fringe Festival runs from August 8 through August 24 at 18 different venues, most of them in the East Village and Lower East Side. Tickets are $18 ($15 in advance) and some shows sell out fast. A full list of the 205 productions—and where and when they're playing—can be found at the official Fringe Festival website. And if you can’t get tickets to a particular show, don’t give up hope: Some of the most popular Fringe plays return in September as part of the FringeNYC Encore Series.

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