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Arts Watch: 16th Annual FringeNYC Kicks off Friday

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It’s a busy cultural week in the Lower East Side. In addition to the Thursday opening of Dixon Place’s First Annual Lower East Side Music Festival, (see interview with festival director Jonny Goodman) the 16th annual New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) opens on Friday in 20 venues in Lower Manhattan with programming that features 187 of the world’s best emerging theatre troupes and dance companies. With attendance topping 75,000, FringeNYC has become the City’s fifth largest cultural event (behind the New York International Auto Show, Tribeca Film Festival, New York City Marathon, and New York Comic Con). Not bad company.

“At only $15 per ticket, FringeNYC is one of Manhattan’s few remaining bargains,” notes festival Producing Artistic Director Elena K. Holy.  Several high profile shows have already sold out, like Monday’s  Tail! Spin! (which stars The Daily Show’s Mo Rocca, SNL’s Rachel Dratch, and Smash’s Sean Duggan), but there’s plenty more to chose from — like the improv/sketch/stand-up comedy of San Francisco’s “Pioneer Funny Feminist Pope-Offenders,” A Coupla Crackpot Crones, this Friday at LaMaMa.

FringeNYC ( August 10 – 26) shows run 2pm – midnight weekdays and noon – midnight on weekends. Tickets are $15 in advance ($18 at the door) at www.FringeNYC.org or 866-468.7619. Discount passes for multiple shows will also available.



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