What to See at FringeNYC

Riding the final wings of summer, New York’s most expansive annual festival of festivals is FringeNYC—a multi-site, no hold’s barred extravaganza of music, drama, comedy (theatrical, sketch and standup), dance, vaudeville, clowning, magic and such, along with a handful of newbie genres that probably haven’t lit up your Fringe radar as yet. Take for example, a little something called “Fringe AL FRESCO” introducing outside-thebox stuff like a play that takes place on a Delancey Street rooftop (Above Us!), and Ferry Play, a self-scheduled/site-specific “sensory audio experience” requiring theatregoers to view a $1.99 prequel app before hopping aboard the Staten Island Ferry…whenever.

Emmy winner Slater Penney & Cirque du Soleil alum Jaron Hollander in The Submarine Show

With over 200 venues, hundreds of performers—some of whom you’ll recognize from film, TV and assorted other media -- FringeNYC is entertainment on steroids... an annual indulgence customizable to one’s whims, be they of the lighthearted/fun variety or on the darker, murkier underbelly of performance art. The website -- -- has even embraced the pop side of social media with “Find Your Fringe”, a quiz of the BuzzFeed variety that points you towards the FringeNYC events you’re most likely to lust after. Bonus: Not only do you get the lowdown on these handpicked shows, you also get an “exclusive discount code.”

As for the bound-to-sell-out short list, here’s a smattering of titles worth exploring: Curious Case of Phineas Gage; Sousepaw: A Baseball Story; The Submarine Show; Little One; and This Side of the Impossible.


• Bargain basement tickets go for $18 each—except for shows that are FREE and FringeJR performances that run $13 for kids under 12 only.

• Several productions feature post-show talkbacks with actors, creators and/or subject-appropriate experts.

• The dress code is so loose you can show up in a Groucho mask and wetsuit—no problem. But please reserve the thrill of semi-nudity and beyond for the stage.

• FringeNYC, with playing schedules all over the map -- i.e. 2pm to midnight during the week and noon to midnight on weekends – allows the savvy and the curious to OD on the cool and the cutting edge, live theatre being so much more intense than your basic TV marathon!

• Aprés theatre there’s FringePLUS, billed as “A new way for artists and audiences to hang out”. The perk here is venue-specific restaurants and watering holes offering “an exclusive ticket deal” to theatregoers who want to hob, nob and selfie with FringeNYC “Ambassadors.”

• Hit “Special Events” (including cited FringePLUS and AL FRESCO) for extras with appeal for everyone from kids to teens to art lovers.

FringeNYC runs Aug. 14-30 at venues throughout the city. For more information, check out

About the Author

City Guide Theatre Editor Griffin Miller moved to New York to pursue an acting/writing career in the 1980s after graduating magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then, she has written for The New York Times, For the Bride, Hotels, and a number of other publications, mostly in the areas of travel and performance arts. An active member of The New York Travel Writers Association, she is also a playwright and award-winning collage artist. In addition, she sits on the board of The Lewis Carroll Society of North America. Griffin is married to Richard Sandomir, a reporter for The New York Times.

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