Everyone is asking, “Where’s the next ‘Hamilton’?” Your best chance to catch a cultural phenomenon before it takes off is coming this month, when FringeNYC returns Aug. 12-28.
At the country’s largest performing arts festival, you’re likely to see the next off-Broadway hit (“Urinetown”) or the next major television star (Melissa Rauch, “Big Bang Theory”). Over 16 days, Lower Manhattan will host 200 professional productions from vaudeville to musicals and ultra-modern comedies tackling the issues of the day, all at the rock-bottom price of $18 per show (and even some free productions).
Don’t let the sheer amount of options deter you – we’ve rounded up our picks of the buzziest shows.
“15 Villainous Fools”
Ever since the success of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” playwrights have been revamping the Bard’s centuries-old works for modern audiences. Right on track with this trend, “15 Villainous Fools” is a two-woman show parodying Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors,” jam-packed with fun tidbits like remixes of rap songs, pop culture references and spontaneous dance numbers.
“Eve and Her Neighbors”
Biblical stories aren’t always relatable, but we all know what relationship drama is like. Author Ruby Hutson-Ellenberg goes not just for any couple, but the first couple ever in her play, “Eve and Her Neighbors.” The day of Adam and Eve’s one-year anniversary becomes a not-so-romantic occasion after trouble with a certain in-law, causing Eve to storm off on her own and meet other women for the first time, as well as a certain snake…
The high school struggle is real, and even the ones who seem to have it together are probably hanging on by a thread. Inspired by real life events involving mass hysteria among high schoolers, the cheerleaders in Elenna Stauffer’s comedy are having a stellar year – until one by one, they succumb to a mysterious illness and hilarious chaos ensues as the team’s social hierarchy collapses.
“Walken on Sunshine”
How far will one man go to find Christopher Walken? In this fast-paced musical comedy, an out-of-luck filmmaker gets caught up in the moment and lies to an investor that he has secured Walken to star in his newest movie. Dave Droxler is the play’s writer-star, a la Lin-Manuel Miranda, who goes on a wild hunt to find Walken and convince him to act in his film.
“Night of the Living N-Word!!”
The combination of slasher film, comedy and social commentary may be unexpected, but “Night of the Living N-Word!!” conquers all three genres as it wrestles with how white people have engaged with the Black Lives Matter movement. The play, written by Kevin R. Free, focuses on Barbra, a middle-aged Southern white woman who throws the most dangerous dinner party since “Clue.”