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Hobbits And Circus Win Big At 2015 Fringe Awards

Les Midge’ takes home two awards; ‘Save My Soul’ gets best of Fringe

The 2015 San Diego International Fringe Festival wrapped up Sunday night with an awards ceremony.

The 2015 Fringe Awards were held last night at the Mad House Comedy Club in Horton Plaza with many of the winners in attendance. Founder and executive director Kevin Charles Patterson hosted the awards that were determined by critics, audience feedback, and ticket sales. One of the big winners was “Les Midge: An Unexpected Journey of Hobbit Proportions.” Imagine if Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were LARPers (Live Action Role Players) and you’d get "Les Midge," which took home a Best Directing and Best Musical award.

“Scenes From Mars One: Now with 68% Less Gravity” won for Best Comedy and Scott Ehrig-Burgess had the best acceptance speech. After a long walk to the stage from the back of the room he stated: “I've written a speech.” And then exited the stage.

Patterson explained that the for the awards categories he "wanted it to be something that was also resume enhancing. For instance, if it’s an official award like Outstanding Comedy, Outstanding Direction, or Best Musical then later down the line if there’s a booking agent that is going to represent one of these groups, it’s easier when it’s those kinds of titles rather then 'Cherry of the Fringe or some such fluff."

A well-deserved Outstanding Physical Theatre award went to Mexico’s “The Other Don Quixote,” which mixed clowning with the magic of silent movies. Individual awards went to a pair of Irish performers: Jack Lukeman for “Phantasmagoria” and Kate McGrew for “Hooker P.I.,” both took home performance awards for the second year in a row. Maybe that’s why they keep coming back.

Other top winners were “Tears of the Knife” from Bodhi Tree Concerts winning Critics’ Pick; “FRONTIER(A)” from Circus Collective of San Diego taking Best Circus Show; and the breathtaking dance and aerial work of Wingrove Studios’ “Save My Soul” went home with Best of Fringe.

In accepting the award, “Save My Soul” performer and creator Jennifer Curry Wingrove said, “This is my first major production, I want to thank Kevin [Charles Patterson], he came to me two years ago and said you need to put on a show, and I did and I thank Fringe for the opportunity and my cast and crew, it’s been an amazing ride.”

“Save My Soul” was one of the local San Diego productions.

“We do 25 percent international, 25 percent national, and 50 percent local. So that’s the composition of the festival and it will always stay like that,” Patterson said.

Patterson added, “For ticket sales, we’ve gone up 40 percent from last year so that’s fantastic. With the number of performers we tried to keep it pretty much the same as last year. So it was about 80 productions last year and 80 this year. The reason why we wanted to do that was to make sure that we don’t grow too fast. There are some houses that are really small and we are doing a disservice to artists that are coming in from out of town by expanding the festival when we don’t have people filling seats as it is so by staying the same this year we’ve had increased audiences and increased ticket sales, we’re still at a nice size. We are helping artists, we’re helping venues, we’re helping our local economy, if we look at the local economic impact that we’ve had it’s small right now compared to what our potential is and I think that the more we spread the word of Fringe and get people involved the bigger it gets it will help our community as a whole.”

The awards proved that Fringe 2015 kept its promise of eyeball busting entertainment.

Photo by Beth Accomando

"The Other Don Quixote" took home the award for Outstanding Physical Theater.

A Complete List of 2015 San Diego Fringe Award Winners

Best of Bi-National: "Todavia," Hernan Del Riego

Best of Fringe
: "Save My Soul," Wingrove Studios

Spirit of the Fringe (Tie): "Big Shot The Musical" and "Beats Without Borders"

Critic’s Pick: "Tears of the Knife," Bodhi Tree Concerts

Outstanding Drama: "Blamed An Established Fiction," Rose and Rue Theatre Co.

Outstanding Solo Performance: "84 Gradini," Giuseppe Mortelliti

Outstanding Production: "HipHopcabHooray," Melissa Adao

Outstanding Vocal Performance: "Phantasmagoria," Jack Lukeman

Outstanding Direction: "Les Midges: An Unexpected Journey of Hobbit Proportions," Turning Tydes Theatre Company

Outstanding Actor: Paulo Madrigal, "Debotas al Votox"

Outstanding World Premiere: "Looking to Upgrade," Lisa Pedace

Outstanding Original Score: "The Things We Never Say," Breakthrough Workshop Theatre 


Best Musical: "Les Midges: An Unexpected Journey of Hobbit Proportions," Turning Tydes Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography: "Whispering Directions," somebodies dance theater

Outstanding Dance Production: "Reverberate," Blythe Barton

Outstanding Physical Theatre: "The Other Don Quixote, La mancha de clown Quijote," A Bordo Teatro

Outstanding Site Specific Performance: "Blurred, Ruffled, and Unglued," San Diego City College Collective

Fringe of the Fringe: Kate McGrew, "Hooker, P.I.," A Skirt Production

Audience Favorite: "The Mysterium Show"

Outstanding Comedy: "Scenes from Mars One: Now With 68% Less Gravity," Mars One Productions

Outstanding Circus Performance – "FRONTIER(A)," Circus Collective of San Diego

Volunteer of the Year: Jenni Bethell

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