Shamus’s Picks for the 2018 Fringe Festival

Email Signature LogoAre you staring at your September schedule completely overwhelmed? Have no fear! I have scoured the Fringe App so you don’t have to. But since I’ve saved you this step why don’t you take a minute and download the app and like Close Your Legs, Honey-A New Musical. Here is a curated list of shows you should make time for this Fringe Festival!

The Show You Should Pony Up Full Price For
Do You Want a Cookie? by The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
The show is epic, taking over an entire warehouse where audience and performers shift, rove, and explore cabaret performances by artists from across the world. Plus: late-night performances by select stars from the show. Don’t get sold out on this one!

Honorable Mentions: Kill Move Paradise, The Accountant

The One-Person Show You Have to See
White Feminist by Lee Minora
Lee Minora is hilarious. A recent Barrymore Award nominee and brilliant satirist, I left her last one-person show, Cheeks, in stitches. Minora dissects the failings of white liberals everywhere and I can’t wait to be lampooned!

Honorable mentions: Simpatico Theatre Projectx: 4Solo, Voided, More Than Tracy Turnblad, Chaos Theory

The Midnight Show Experience
WOLFCRUSH (a queer werewolf play) by On the Rocks
Take a party nap because you are going to want to be wide awake for the experience that is any On The Rocks show. The show is BYOB so plan accordingly. I saw one of their midnight shows last year and watched people take shots from a skull during the curtain speech.

Honorable Mention: Late Night Snacks

The Digital Thing I’m Gonna Actually Stream
August in the City by Iron Age Theatre and August Wilson Consortium.
The future is now. Now you can enjoy Fringe from the comfort and safety of your claw foot bathtub. Now normally I’d probably lie to lots of people about their digital projects and say “oh of course I’ll check them out” and pray there was no quiz later. This year though I’m actually gonna do it!

Honorable Mention: Here to Fringespire You

The “Wait What is It?” Show
The Buried Life by Apartment 20
Fringe shows can be real artsy. According to the description The Buried Life is “a secret party in the woods with drinks aplenty” and features “music by the likes of” several musicians I enjoy. I’m going. I don’t know what the heck is gonna happen when I get there, but I’m going. Plus it’s about being outside but is in fact inside, perfect for an indoor kid like me! Pro-tip: The Buried Life shares space with Wolfcrush, check the schedule and make it a double feature!

The Outdoor Show
Troilus & Cressida by Revolution Shakespeare
As previously stated, I’m an indoor kid but I will absolutely make the exception to spend a night in Hawthorne Park with one of my favorite Fringe traditions. The show features an entirely non-male cast, original music, and some high fashion looks and usually they partner with a food truck. Grab a blanket and a box of wine and let me share both with you at the show.

Honorable Mentions: An Unofficial, Unauthorized Tour of LOVE Park, (Kensington) Street Play

New Play by a Local Playwright
A New Kind of Whole by Paige Zubel & Eleanor Safer
Fringe is full of new plays by local artists! A play focused on normalizing queerness and mental illness? Yes please! From the description “their queerness is not a dramatic plot point; rather, their sexuality simply is.” Yes to this future. Yes to young artists. Yes, I will see you there.

Honorable Mentions: Bon Iver Fights a Bear, A Vacation, The Living Dragon

Show That Will Only Happen in Fringe
Phaedra’s Love by Svaha Theatre Collective
Don’t expect playwright Sarah Kane to enter any of the big regional houses any time soon. Her brutally dark plays fit perfectly into the Fringe calendars of the daring theater goer and Barrymore-winning Amanda Schoonover in the titular role is not to be missed.

Honorable Mention: For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

Don’t Miss It One Night Only Event
Animation Nation by The Women’s Film Festival
Mark your calendars for September 12! Seventy-five minutes of original, award-winning animated shorts created by local and international artists. There are many great entries but keep your eyes peeled for the short about Big Foot. I saw a screening and fell in love!

Honorable mention: Of Arms and the Man

For the Musical Theatre Enthusiast
Basic Witches by Robi Hager & John Treacy Egan
It is a great year for new musicals in the Philly Fringe! After you check out my new musical, Close Your Legs, Honey, make time for Basic Witches. A drag musical about clawing your way to the top.

Honorable Mentions: Only in Your Dreams, The F Word

Visit or the FringeArts App for a full listing of shows and times.

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