Capital Fringe #8 is Hot Out Of The Gate.
The summer of 2013, announces Capital Fringe, will mark “the year we spin cardboard into gold.” And while the success of each of the summer’s 129 shows remains to be seen — the festival begins performances on Thursday July 11 — Friday evening’s Festival Preview showed promising shine.
The pouring rain during much of the afternoon threatened to spin cardboard into… wet cardboard. Fortunately, the clouds had mostly let up by the time everyone had gathered for the fun. And on the stage adjoining the busy bar area, 21 acts performed for a dry, engaged audience.
These 21 previews — selected from the whole lineup based on first-come first-serve interest in participating — ranged from solo performance to choreographed musical numbers to slices of dramatic scenes, each clocking in at under four minutes. Some were more comprehensible than others, mainly because the level of ambient noise from non-watchers and party-goers on the other side of the wall challenges performers to grab attention in what sounds, even within the theatre, like a busy bar.
For this reason, acts that feature music and visual storytelling tend to make the strongest impressions. Each one, however, brought a sense of fun and showed, at the least, glints of creative inspiration.
After previews, theatregoers poured out into the bar area, onto the patio, and over to the sidewalk tables outside the Fringe box office. Many stopped by the box office counter to purchase tickets and collect show postcards. Others relaxed with a drink. As in all the best moments during Fringe, artists and audience met each other, became fast friends, and swapped stories.
Opening night is still about two weeks away. But last night’s shindig offers a promising peek at what’s soon to come.
And DCTS has been collecting personal stories from the creators of this year’s Fringe shows. Fringe Peeks.
all photos by Hunter Styles