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Mini-musical Cautionary Tales for Adults is one of the many Fringe Festival productions.
Mini-musical Cautionary Tales for Adults is one of the many Fringe Festival productions.
Photo: Courtesy of the Fringe Festival
Eleven days, 120 performance troupes, 500 shows. The second annual Capital Fringe Festival kicked off yesterday, promising thrills, risks, and artistic innovation in an otherwise sleepy season.

The festival here—part of the “fringe” movement best known for the annual extravaganza in Edinburgh—has developed a reputation as a laboratory for new, experimental, often daring (and sometimes unfinished) work. And most of that work is local: More than four in five entrants this year are from the D.C. metropolitan area.Over the next week and a half, actors, dancers, comedians, and other purveyors of the dramatic arts will perform at two dozen spaces around the city, clustered in the Penn Quarter (at Warehouse Arts Complex, for example, and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre), but extending to H Street NE (the Atlas Performing Arts Center), the 14th Street corridor (Busboys and Poets), and other neighborhoods.

This year the festival’s directors hope to sell 20,000 tickets, at an average price of $15. They have curated a bustling, vibrant visual art installation, “Unified Launch Theory,” to serve as their box office, located at 507 7th St. NW.  

The festival features cabarets, nude puppet shows, and genre-defying productions like Air Heart, one woman’s tribute to Amelia Earhart, performed atop a spinning 12-foot sculpture of an airplane. The revelry will wrap up with an all-day Fricnic (Fringe picnic) on July 29 at RnR Bar and Lounge.
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