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The world famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival showcases acts from around the world: dance, theater, music, circus acts, even work outside the avant garde box. The festival lasts 25 days.

In 2012, it boasted 2695 shows from 47 countries in 279 venues, along with ongoing street performances — "buskers" — on Edinburgh's Royal Mile.

That's right: two thousand, six hundred, ninety-five shows, in the final three weeks of August.

I've been to the Fringe and it's amazing. Bottle that energy and the world would never need another drop of oil. Tourists clog the streets — wide- and/or bleary-eyed (the latter also known as the "fringe coma," the result of seeing six or 10 acts a day).

Performers advertise their work with matchbooks, flyers, or balloons. I saw shows in tents, garages, a pool hall (they called it "snooker"), even a hole in the ground. Word had it that living rooms, a taxi, and a public toilet were also temporary stages.

Somehow, thanks to inconceivable logistics, every act had a space and times to perform, including building and taking down the set. And performances ran, it seemed, around the clock.

You received a booklet, a good inch thick, listing every act but in print so fine it was almost unreadable. The question became, since there could be as many as 20 or more shows each hour, which to choose?

From the beginning, the founders wanted the festival to be "un-juried." That is: no pre-selection committee. Organizers would provide a venue, scheduling, ticket services, marketing, and general publicity.

But each entrant was/is on its own.

To this day all the king's newspapers and arts writers can't cover the entire festival. Performers pray for a four-star notice in The Scotsman, the city's leading daily. But many of its stringers, hired just for the event, would rather show off than review: display their wit, or sidetrack you with trivia. Few describe what people need to know: what the piece is about and if it's worth seeing.

San Diego's first ever Fringe Festival begins next week. It runs from July 1 to July 7 and offers a potpourri of the arts: Buskers (street acts) at Seaport Village: dance, drama, music, and hybrid genres. Most acts will run only three days, from Friday the 5th through Sunday the 7th, from 11:00 a.m. to midnight. Performances last about an hour.

In effect, that's four or five shows, at four or five locales, during each time slot, which makes complete media coverage impossible (the weeklies will also be writing about three openings at the Old Globe and one at the La Jolla Playhouse, along with other theatrical productions).

Here's where you come in.

If you see something you want to recommend, especially on Friday the 5th (since that will alert people for Saturday and Sunday), do it at once! Tweet, Facebook, text, cell (or even rotary) phone, bull-horn, Vulcan mind-meld — whatever.

The key for prospective patrons is word of mouth — rapid word of mouth — since the festival will come and go in a heartbeat.

For a complete list of shows: sdfringe.org (click on tickets). Or the Reader's theater guide.

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Comments

mshannahlogan June 23, 2013 @ 4:12 p.m.

Kevin Charles Patterson and Patrick Kelly are doing one HECK of a job lining things up. It's not my first fringe, but it IS my first self-written one person show and they have helped so much in the organizing of things. SUPPORT THE FRINGE SAN DIEGO...LET'S MAKE IT ANNUAL! Consider this your personal invitation from one enthusiastic participant... THANK YOU JEFF SMITH FOR GIVING US SOME SPACE HERE!

COME GIT YER THEATRE ON, Y'ALL!!

http://www.sdfringe.org/shows/artists.php?id=267141

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UnityProductions June 23, 2013 @ 4:34 p.m.

Unity Productions/San Diego Fringe Festival Present:

The U.S. Premiere of NOTHING by Nic Balthazar July 5th @ 3:30pm, July 6th @ 6:30pm, + July 7th @ 2:00pm The 10th Avenue Theatre- 930 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

Ben, a young-man struggling through the social grind of high-school retreats to a world of technology in order to escape reality. Finding romance in a divine-online connection, Ben ventures out of his comfort-zone to visit "Barbie" in the flesh, ultimately putting his life at risk.

More Info Here: -Unity Homepage: www.UnityProductionsOhio.weebly.com -$10 TICKETS: https://app.ticketturtle.com/index.php?show=33932 -San Diego Fringe Page: http://www.sdfringe.org/shows/artists.php?id=267121

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MsAnneMeighan June 23, 2013 @ 7:39 p.m.

Wigs & Lipstick Presents: MONA ROGERS IN PERSON by Philip Dimitri Galas starring Anne Meighan directed by Sean Sullivan **starting JULY 3rd running to JULY 7th

“How much did you pay her to pose like that? She’s not posing, you damn fool, she’s always like that. Five minutes with her and you want to slash your wrists!” - Mona Rogers in Person

Enter the dark, glittering and desperate world of Mona Rogers. Created by San Diego artist Philip-Dimitri Galas, and respawned for 2013 by director Sean Sullivan (master of physical theatre and long-time Galas collaborator) and performer Anne Meighan, Mona Rogers in Person is a searing celebration of the vacuity of American life.

Tickets available at link text or link text

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finestcityimprov June 23, 2013 @ 8:50 p.m.

Finest City Improv presents COMEDY MUTINY with house ensembles Red Squared and Silent Majority! The best of the best long form improv groups bringing you fearless comedy. Do you want to be IN a fringe show? Show up and we might use your life to spin some great improv!
http://www.sdfringe.org/shows/artists.php?id=265281

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Redboots June 28, 2013 @ 6:38 p.m.

  1. ‘Baby Redboots’ Revenge’ (Toronto)

One-man, manic “avant-vaudeville” show stars Sean Sullivan, whom the New York Times called “a virtual Nijinsky of performance art,” as a former child star now condemned to play stand-up bass in a polka band for eternity. It was written by Philip- Dimitri Galas, a San Diego-based playwright who originally performed the piece in 1986 in La Jolla, and died later that year. Another Galas revival, “Mona Rogers in Person,” will also be staged at the Fringe.

■ See it: 8 p.m. July 3-6; 11 p.m. July 7, 10th Ave. Theatre, 930 10th Ave., San Diego

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