2006_08_arts_fringediving.jpgIt's hard to believe if you've already taken in numerous performances, but the Fringe Festival is just picking up steam. Some productions haven’t even started their 5- or 6-night runs yet, including The Burning Cities Project from Dreamscape Theatre (a multimedia collage about the experiences of people who have seen their cities burn – a touch of comedy is promised); The Goods are Odd, by Julie Sharbutt and Liz Wisan (about two Alaskans looking for love in a place where, unlike NYC, men outnumber women – plus bears outnumber people); The Legitimate Theater Co.’s An Off-White Afternoon, a dramedy by Eric Meyer about a husband and wife with some strange issues, and Helen Stratford’s punk-rock opera Suicide, the Musical, which opens today. The word on the street is that Diving Normal, Flying on the Wing, and Open House are so far the hottest shows, having sold out every performance, though there are plenty others that are also sold out or are selling at the door -- plus plenty that you can still get into, and should.

Last Sunday we reviewed seven of the shows that are up so far (including Open House) – a tiny drop in the bucket, so check out other sources for more. Of course, you can also just get the info straight from the companies themselves; not surprisingly, this year more than in any year past, shows have an internet presence, whether dedicated to this production alone, or linked to the director or a troupe more generally. And though the festival’s main site itself looks identical to the way it did last year (which in some ways isn’t such a bad thing – there’s little to improve upon with the “Slice-o-Matic,” the show search tool) this year the Fringe is getting its podcast on with an assortment of show previews and reviews, recordings of “FringeU” panels about working in theatre, and testimonials from people who have been involved in the Fringe over the past ten years, such as Greg Kotis from the original Urinetown. Drew Odom, who's running the podcast program, also pointed us to the official podcast which is a lot of fun and a good way to keep up with what's going on as well as get in the mood for the actual shows. If you haven't yet made it to anything, there's still of time, but don't miss out! What have you seen and loved or hated in the Fringe this year?

Banner shot from Ashlin Halfnight's Diving Normal.