That's a wrap for San Diego Fringe 2023
San Diego International Fringe Festival ended on Sunday with a secret cabaret for artists and an awards show.
Fringe 2023 offered the most consistently solid slate of shows that I can remember. So picking the best of the fest was difficult. In past years we had phenomenal circus dominating the program but this year it was storytelling that was the most prominent type of show. That is not surprising since a one-person storyteller with no props can travel more cheaply than an ensemble and can perform in essentially any venue.
So as Fringe festivals ramp back up after the pandemic you can understand why these shows can fill a program. Although there were a lot of storytellers, the stories were wildly diverse. Such as traveling across Vietnam on a motorcycle, explaining Hell to your 8-year-old and another story about getting bit by a monkey.
It was a scaled back year with only 19 shows but that meant for the first time I was able to actually see every single show and post a video for all 19 shows.
It was an honored this year to be asked to bestow my own awards. Scroll to the bottom to see who won my "Fringe Geek Awards of Appreciation."
But here are my additional awards (I did not know until Saturday that I would get to give my own awards).
Beth's Fringe awards
Best of Fest: Christian St. Croix, "Normal Heights" (Hopefully this will have a life after Fringe here in San Diego)
Best Keeping the Fringe Spirit Alive: Kata Pierce-Morgan, "Censored Heart" at Les Girls Theatre
Best Storyteller: Matt Harvey, "I Got Bit By A Monkey Once"
Best Music or Dance: "Juno and the Jetpacks"
Most promising: Alexis Hernandez, "105 Miles From Home"
San Diego International Fringe Festival Awards 2023
Critics' Pick: "Normal Heights" (Loud Fridge Theater Group)
Artists' Pick: "Arson 101: A Choose Your Own Adventure" (Levani Korganashvili and Kaylin Saur)
Best of the Fest: "Mark Pleases You" (Mark Vigeant)
Spirit of the Fringe: "Arson 101: A Choose Your Own Adventure"
Outstanding Solo Show: Lindsey Woods, "Juno and the Jetpacks" (Fizz and Chips Productions)
Outstanding Ensemble: "79 Ways to Die" (Veronica Rosas)
Fringe of the Fringe: "Censored Heart" (Golden Corpse Theater)
Social Awareness: "105 Miles from Home" (Alexis Hernandez)
Cultural Exchange - New Zealand - "Mark Pleases You" (Mark Vigeant)
Cultural Exchange - Sydney - "Delusions and Grandeur" (Karen Hall)
Beth Accomando's Fringe Geek Award of Appreciation: Brian "Gmork" Marz (technician at Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre) and Alejandro Montero (technician at Centro Cultural De La Raza). These guys are amazing! They have to learn the cues for about 10 shows each, usually with just one tech rehearsal and then have to be running at least four shows a day for 11 days. Fringe would be in the dark and silent without them. So grateful for them.
Beth Accomando's Show Pick: "I Got Bit by a Monkey Once" (Matt Harvey). I saw Harvey when I was at New Zealand Fringe earlier this year when he was performing "Wage Against the Machine." The show he did here was even better, perhaps because he mentioned zombies. I love how he shared his poor life choices without ever making us feel bad about any poor life choices of our own.