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On the Edge

My first “fringe” festival experience involved KKK members, Satan, transsexuals and adults in diapers singing and dancing in Jerry Springer: The Opera. I learned that anything can, and probably will, happen when actors, dancers and musicians are allowed to perform completely uncensored. So expect the unexpected at the Boulder International Fringe Festival, which kicks off tonight with the All-You-Can-Artist buffet, featuring one-minute preview excerpts from many of the festival's shows and workshops. Performers include bands like Europe’s BB Blackdog, Izumi Ashizawa Performance’s Noh and Kabuki-influenced version of the epic Gilgamesh, magic shows and off-the-wall comic material.

Festival founder and executive producer David Ortolano stresses the grassroots, community-centric nature of the programming. “This year we have workshops and seventy groups performing. We provide the framework, but the artists control the events,” he says. “We give access to the audience to rate the shows and comment on them online, and we give out a people’s choice award at the end of the festival.”

For a nightly recap of the day’s programming, check out the late-night talk show, the Daily C.R.A.B., held at the Scotch Corner Pub, 1800 Broadway in Boulder, with host Jimmy Hogg and various fringe artists.

The fun begins at 7 p.m. at the Naropa University Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder; admission ranges from $2 to $12 (determined by a roll of the dice) at the door. The BFF continues through August 23; event tickets range from free to $15 and can be purchased online or at specific venues. Special Fringe passes are available for $50 to $240 at the main box office, located inside the Laughing Goat, 1709 Pearl Street. For more information, call 720-563-9950 or visit
Aug. 12-23, 2009


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