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Fringe Festival Brings ‘Eyeball Bursting’ Shows To San Diego

Japanese theater group, Gumbo, is pictured in this undated photo.

Fringe Festival Brings 'Eyeball Bursting' Shows To San Diego


Beth Accomando, arts reporter, KPBS

Kevin Charles Patterson, founder and director, San Diego International Fringe Festival


The San Diego International Fringe Festival returns for its fourth year. Event organizer describe the 11-day festival as "eyeball bursting shows" beginning June 23. The festival continues to expand from its home base in downtown San Diego and includes performances in Tijuana, making it the only binational Fringe festival in the world.

The theater group Gumbo from Osaka, Japan will perform the play "Will You Swear Your True Love," a story about "crazy Japanese lovers."

Two acting companies hail from the United Kingdom: Royal Kung Foolery, which will perform "Cocooned in Kazan," and Fly Bridge, which will stage "A Regular Little Houdini." The two-minute teasers performed at Monday night's press preview showed promise.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Royal Kung Foolery

Royal Kung Foolery is an acting company from London performing "Cocooned in Kazan" at this year's San Diego International Fringe Festival.

San Diego's Turning Tydes Theatre Company looks to have a crowd pleaser for the second year in a row. Last year, the group spoofed "Les Mis" with "Les Midges: An Unexpected Journey of Hobbit Proportions," a comic opera take on "The Hobbits" that won Best Direction and Best Musical at the festival. This year, the company tackles "Star Wars" with "The Phantom of the Empire: The Return of the Opera."

You can't go wrong checking out "MYTHOS — Opening Pandora's Box" from Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre, whose key creative team were some of the people behind "Save My Soul," which won Best in Fringe in 2015.

The importance of Fringe to San Diego artists was evident in the fact that many companies began working on their Fringe submissions early. Some even staged fundraisers. In addition to Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre getting an early start on rehearsals, the Circus Collective of San Diego tested their show "Circustantial Evidence: The Crimson Canary" in front of audiences earlier this year. So that show should be fined tuned for Fringe.

Compulsion Dance and Theatre is making its first foray into Fringe this year with "Bedrooms and Boyfriends," three short plays about love, lust, sex and boyfriends. The company held a fundraising event last month to cover the expenses of putting on the show.

Also noteworthy: A Little Bit Off's "Bella Culpa," Ellipsoid Player's puppet take on "Macbeth" called "Hateful Hands," and a satire called "Secret Life of the American Candidate," which reimagines this year's election in a high school.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando spoke with San Diego Fringe founder Kevin Charles Patterson about the festival's origins and this year's offerings.


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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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