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 or six 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.
How do I buy tickets for the Fringe Festival?
Tickets are $18 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.
Fringe Festival reviews
Latest Fringe coverage
Five kinds of Fringe Festival show
The 18th edition of the New York International Fringe Festival is now in full, vertiginous swing. We’re reviewing dozens of shows on our Fringe Festival page (where the first batch of reviews is now up); you can also visit the festival’s website for a full list of all 205 shows, from A to Y. (There are none that start with Z this year. Get on that, Fringe 2015!) Meanwhile, to help you navigate the maze, here’s a guide to some of this summer’s productions, sorted into five classic types of Fringe offering. The Scrappy MusicalEvery Fringe musical dreams of being Urinetown, the festival’s most successful alum. This year’s contenders include: Coming, in which Jesus returns as a contestant on a TV singing show; Depression: The Musical, about an alcoholic lesbian in therapy; and Olympus Records, which imagines five heroes of Greek tragedy as veterans of a ’90s rock band. The Very, Very Serious PieceAmid the festival’s ramshackle frivolity, one can always find productions that take theater very seriously indeed. This year’s sincerity wing includes No One Asked Me (about undocumented immigrant teens), Dust Can’t Kill Me (a folk musical about Dust Bowl migrants, by rising Yale seniors) and Soga Shohaku (a Japanese company’s tale of a widely hated 18th-century painter who “had reason to live in a clumsy way like that”). The Acclaimed Foreign ProductionNot surprisingly, Fringe shows that originated abroad tend to be more tested and polished. If you’re willing to shlep here fro