Inside the Fringe: So many choices, so little time at the Boulder International Fringe Festival

The toughest thing about fringing -- attending a fringe festival, that is -- is choosing what to see. It all happens so fast -- wham bam, six performances in six days -- and there's no real chance for a buzz to really form about a particular performance until it's already over and gone.

You just have to take your chances, which, when you think about it, is already made easier by affordable fringe admission prices. But still. So, with the Boulder International Fringe Festival officially set to start in a week, we caught up with Boulder Fringe executive producer Dave Ortolano about what's new and what's already shooting off sparks.

One good way, he notes, to follow where the fringe goes is by attending the Daily C.R.A.B. nightly at 10 p.m. at Rueben's Burger Bistro in Boulder, beginning August 19 and continuing through August 28. Hosted by comedian Dave Burdick, whom Ortolano describes as just plain "awesome," the late-night talk-show will include performer interviews, quickie previews, lots of comedy and patter and other fun and games (especially games of the audience-participation persuasion). "It's okay for Dave to have an opinion, and he won't have to curb his judgment, Ortolano says. "This is an open, accessible fest, so all is fair in art and war."

And following are a few of Ortolano's quick picks. Because, as he adds, "We don't jury the event, so we're allowed to have opinions."

Moxie Pickpocket Theatre, Boulder A monologue by Alana Eve Burman and Teresa Sparks

Losing My Religion: Confessions of a New Age Refugee A one-man show by Seth Lepore, Brattleboro, Vermont

Birdsongs Striding Lion InterArts Workshop, Chicago, Illinois A musical directed by Amanda Berg Wilson

The Goddess Here - Women of Choice A solo performance with masks by Tammy Meneghini, Boulder

Long Neck, Big Heart A one-man, hand-drawn, comic book cabaret by Timothy Foss, Boulder

Music by SoundRabbit Boulder, Colorado

Embodying Rhythm A body rhythm workshop with Jim Santi Owen

Check 'em out, and pssst: Don't tell 'em who sent ya. Go to the website to get tickets and a complete rundown of Boulder Fringe events, dates, times and performance synopses. Happy fringing!

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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