As Broadway and Off Broadway take breathers before the fall, August means just one thing for New York theater: Fringe Festival NYC. More than 75,000 people swarm annually through this hive of theater and dance, making the Fringe Festival NYC theatergoers’ prime thing to do in summer. This year’s 20th edition includes 200 offerings by various theater and dance companies, each of which gets just five or six chances to show its stuff. Many of the city’s best Off-Off Broadway venues participate.
Of course, quantity doesn’t always equal quality—and that’s where we come in. The wide variety of Fringe offerings includes musicals, experimental pieces, classical revivals and ramshackle new works. Some may go on to glory (Fringe Festival alumnus Urinetown become one of the best Broadway musicals), while others will fade into well-deserved obscurity. We pick and choose what we review, so check this page once the festival gets underway.
What is the Fringe Festival NYC?
The Fringe Festival is a sprawling annual showcase for theater and dance, staged in multiple venues in downtown Manhattan. It was founded in 1997.
When is the Fringe Festival NYC?
This year's edition of the Fringe Festival runs from August 12 to August 28, 2016.
Where is the Fringe Festival NYC?
Fringe shows are staged at numerous different venues, most of them in the East Village and Lower East Side.
How do I buy tickets for the Fringe Festival NYC?
Tickets are $18 per show, and some shows sell out fast. A full list of the 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 and October as part of the Fringe Encore Series.
Fringe Festival NYC 2016
Archive Fringe Festival coverage
Past Fringe Festival top picks
Past Fringe Festival reviews
Did Hoaxocaust! really happen? That’s a running question in Barry Levey’s semisatirical monologue, in which he recounts a globe-trotting voyage into the creepy world of Holocaust denial. Spurred by arguments with his Midwestern Jewish family and his Dominican boyfriend, Levey begins to wonder whether Jews evoke Nazi Germany too readily to defend their own insularity and Israel’s military policy: Does this the-Shoah-must-go-on attitude trigger an implicit Godwin’s Law that makes non-Jews tune out or turn against the conversation? From this starting point, Levey, who cannily presents himself as a nervous nonperformer, embarks on a series of brief encounters with renowned revisionists, including England’s David Irving and France’s Robert Faurisson. The unlikeness of his story creates what could be an interesting tension with the show’s concerns about historical veracity, but this potential is not fully realized; the unreliability of the narrative is clear from the start. And although Levey means to illustrate how easy it can be to fall for misinformation, especially in the Internet era, the conclusion of his show effectively obviates the preceding hour in one or two minutes of facts. Meanwhile, what turns out to be his central contention remains underdeveloped. Hoaxocaust! raises provocative questions, then spends most of its time evading them: It may be true that evoking the Holocaust helps spur anti-Semitism, but Levey’s story doesn’t makes a convincing argument about that, ei