Fringe Festival brings out Philly’s freakier side

Molly Gallegos

Once again folks, it’s time to immerse yourselves in the 16 days of outlandish, nontraditional, avant-garde dance, theater, music and performance art referred to as the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. The sixth annual festival, which began Aug. 30 and closes Sept. 14, features a truly provocative and diverse roster of artists and performers from across the country and around the world. Attracting more than 35,000 people last year, Fringe Festival participants empower themselves by tackling dangerous and controversial issues. Here’s the inside track into some of this year’s 237 shows and some of the most anticipated exhibitions.

Mum’s Puppettheatre serves as the perfect location for hilarious, whimsical, yet sophisticated performance art pieces. Thus, Fringe veteran Drew Fairley has no qualms in executing his exhibition, “The Golden Mullet,” at this very location. Passion, rock, air guitar and humor set the stage for this exciting tale of a shy country boy named Dazza, played by Fairley, and his dream of winning the Golden Mullet Rock Star Competition. Witness art at its most peculiar tonight at 7 p.m., Sept. 7 at 4:30 p.m. or Sept. 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The Headlong Dance Theater combines MTV culture with Dante’s “Inferno” in “Britney’s Inferno,” a risky assault on the role of pop culture in today’s society. Showcasing 14 dancers and a highly experienced team of designers and theater artists, this performance is expected to be a Fringe Festival favorite with its raunchy renditions of some of your favorite music videos, including those of pop princess Britney Spears. The show premieres tonight at 8 p.m. at the Arden Theater. Tickets are $15.

The Lion Theater becomes lair to 10 angry women tonight at 8 p.m. when Angry Bubbles Productions showcases its unique “Angry Jellow Bubbles,” a powerful production featuring the song, dance and improvisational talents of its all-female cast. Promising to take an “honest, direct and entertaining approach to women’s issues,” the actresses play upon their true-life experiences to create original and insightful shows each night. Tonight’s performance will be followed by an 8 p.m. show on Sept. 7 and performances at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sept. 8. Tickets are $10.

A new feature of this year’s festival is a theatrical tribute to the victims of Sept. 11. In this 70-minute production by Delusional Sanity Productions, performers will share memories through music, drama, art and poetry. Audience members are also encouraged to share their own art, readings and writings, as the latter portion of the performance is interactive. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m. at the Shubin Theatre.

Experience the wild and crazy aspects of art. Venture to Philadelphia within the next two weeks to see one of the previously mentioned shows, or visit the official Fringe Festival website at for a detailed description of each of the shows featured this year. The Philadelphia Fringe Festival promises to introduce you to exciting, fresh art like none other you’ve ever seen.