Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Last year’s Boulder International Fringe Festival opened with high hopes...until hundred-year-strength flooding on Boulder Creek ravaged the proceedings (along with the rest of the town). Although the Fringe has now had a year to dry off, it can’t bring back money in the bank — and with a full program of 2014 Fringe performances slated for its tenth season in September, the folks who run the fest are hoping for a miracle that, well, perhaps only the wonderful Wizard of Oz can deliver.

So they’re calling on L. Frank Baum’s beloved character tonight to raise funds with Five 5ths of the Wizard of Oz: A Fringe Benefit!, a five-sided deconstruction of the Oz legend told in parts by five local performers and/or companies, including everything from a vaudeville crew to a burlesque troupe. Each grouping will handle its fraction in a unique way, and to further the element of audience surprise, not one of them will hit the stage knowing how the others will interpret their own sections.

“The biggest draw is that it’s just this one time,” says the Fringe’s Alexis Cooley. “There will be no run-through of the show until the show is actually on its feet. That’s not really scary for me, though, because I already know these groups, and I know it’s going to be amusing no matter what. It’s fun to be able to let them shine in what they do and let them interpret it as they want.”

See how the Five 5ths unfold in this emphatically Fringe-y, one-night-only experiment beginning at 7 p.m. at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; for tickets, ranging from $25 to $100, go to or call 303-444-7328. For more information about the upcoming 2014 Fringe Festival, visit
Fri., Aug. 22, 7 p.m., 2014

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd