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Checking In On San Diego International Fringe

A week in and festival is living up to its “eyeball busting” entertainment

Checking In On San Diego Fringe

More recommendations on what to see at Fringe from KPBS arts and culture reporter Beth Accomando:

"Save My Soul"

Breathtaking aerial and physical prowess.

"Golden Age of Burlesque"

"Sizzling Sirens of Circus" is no longer running but this tribute to old school burlesque is just as fun.

"Phantasmagoria"

Jack Lukeman's one man musical show has magical moments.

San Diego International Fringe has been running for almost a full week and it’s been delivering on its promise of “eyeball busting” entertainment.

Over the past six days, Hobbits and dwarves invaded the Lyceum, Don Quixote came to life at the Raw Space, men and women entered separate parallel dimensions at the Spreckels Incubator Space, and a stage mom called on Satan to help her beat out the competition as best parental coordinator. Plus feathers flew at multiple burlesque shows and audiences have been put in awe of amazing demonstrations of physical prowess.

San Diego International Fringe is not only living up to its advertising but delivering surprises as well.

Take Kate McGrew’s "Hooker P.I." at Les Girls where she candidly discussed during a post show Q&A her role about her status as a sex worker seeking laws for body autonomy and then dazzled the audience with pole dancing.

Over at 10th Avenue Theater, Scott Ehrig-Burgess was taking things less seriously: "We have a play called 'Scenes from Mars One: Now with 68% Less Gravity,' a one act play with 13 intermissions about two amateur astronauts who go on a one way mission to Mars but they just divorced each other. This is my first of everything: first play, first Fringe but I think it went great. The audience was stunned, confused, disgusted and eventually they seemed to be laughing so that was kind of what we were going for. Rather than break the fourth wall of theater, this play is sort of designed to start at the sixth wall of theater and then go through the pile of rubble that’s the fifth wall and then try to repair the fourth wall before it’s all over."

Ehrig-Burgess' show was entertaining before it even started as he lined the street in front of the 10th Avenue Theater with props, costumes and sets.

"It’s mainly everything we could find at Ikea including beach umbrellas, stuff that is returnable, so I have kept the receipts but don’t tell Ikea that. But we have a gigantic set that we had to build from scratch, and it takes the full 15 minutes to load all our junk in the theater. We also found a dryer drum from an industrial washer dryer in a Best Buy garbage can so that’s the airlock for our spaceship. Inside the theater we also have a port-a-potty, which is the physical spacecraft during the space walk scene."

During the play, parts of the set fell down but his intrepid cast just went with it and in the true spirit of Fringe just incorporated anything that went wrong into the theatrical experience. After the first performance of his play, Ehrig-Burgess marveled at how easily he got into his first Fringe.

"All you have to do, admittedly, is fill out an online form and say that you want to do a play. I have no idea the criteria they use. I can’t imagine it’s very vigorous if they accepted us. It’s shocking to me that we got in."

But then that’s what Fringe is all about, bringing a diverse range of people, styles, stories, and talent together for some eyeball busting entertainment.

San Diego International Fringe continues through Sunday at 18 different venues. The schedule can be found here.

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