Sally Dana and Danny Krueger in Arousal, one of the Best of the Fringe shows at EXIT Theatre, Oct, 1-2. Photo: George Pfirrmann
Sally Dana and Danny Krueger in Arousal, one of the Best of the Fringe shows at EXIT Theatre, Oct, 1-2. Photo: George Pfirrmann

The 19th annual San Francisco Fringe Festival, which closed its 12-day run on September 19, has announced the 14 winners in its various “Best of the Fringe” Awards for 2010.

Fourteen shows were chosen from the 43 participating in the 2010 festival. Winners come from the Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Brooklyn, and Toronto. They represent a wide variety of theatre work – solo and ensemble, original plays and adaptations, musicals, and dance, according to Festival producer Christina Augello.

The 14 “Best of” are listed here by category, title, company/performer, and home town.

Best of the 2010 San Francisco Fringe Festival

Best Comedy – Arousal – Annabelle Productions/George Pfirrmann (San Francisco)

Best Short Plays – Zero to 90 in 90 Minutes – Phoenix Arts Assn & Lucky Dog Theatre (S.F.)

Best National Solo/Comedy – Homeless – Rotimi Agbabiaka (DeKalb, IL)

Best Local Solo Show – The Burroughs and Kookie Show –RIPE/Secret Theatre (S.F.)

Best Male Solo National/Drama – The Stories of Cesar Chavez – Fred Blanco (L.A.)

Best Female Solo – Phone Whore – Cameryn Moore (Boston)

Best Performance Artist – Little Tainted Blood – Julia Steele Allen (Brooklyn, NY)

Best Stand Up Juggler – Bad Day To Be a Juggler – Aji Slater (S.F.)

Best Ensemble – Star Crossed Lovers – Magnum Opus (L.A.)

Best Site Specific Show – Paper Angels – Direct Arts (NYC)

Best Musical Revue – Joe’s Café – Rupert Wates And Friends (Brooklyn, NY)

Best Sketch Comedy – OPM’s Green Tea Party — OPM (L.A.)

Best Newcomer – The Self Rose – Ally Johnson (S.F.)

Techie Choice Award -The Burroughs and Kookie Show – Chris Kuckenbaker (S.F.)

“Best of the Fringe” Encore Performances – Oct.1 & 2

Encore performances of four of the shows will be staged October 1 and 2 at EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy Street, in Downtown San Francisco. Tickets for each show are $20.00 or $40 including a $20 donation, and all proceeds go to support the 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival scheduled for next September

Friday, October 1

7:00 p.m. – Zero to 90 in 60 Minutes

A Smorgasbord of Short Plays and Monologues written by Smart Bay Area Women. Selected plays from the original 2010 Fringe award-winner, Zero to 90 in Ninety Minutes. Written by LindaAyres-Frederick, Joya Cory, Janet Johnston, Ruth Kirschner & Naomi Newman. Starring Juliet Tanner, Heidi Wolfe, Paul Gerrior, Linda Ayres-Frederick, Joya Cory, Bruno Kantor.

Excellent writing, acting and directing…The whole evening is fun, professional and deserves to be seen!

Joya Cory is succeeds at being funny, sad, and universal all in the same moment. And the rest of the players are clearly professionals at the top of their games, engaging with real stories and real content.

It is rare indeed when you get the full impact of the magic which is theater at its best, an experience of art that touches our core and leavens ones understanding of life and human nature. This show has MANY such moments. Its writing is super smart and penetrating and the acting is superb. I give an unqualified A. – Fringe audience reviews

8:30 p.m. – Arousal
A sudden death in the family leaves Clifford, who has Asperger’s and has never been with a woman, all alone for the first time in his life. Driven to desperate measures he responds to an ad online for a “special friend”. Albena, a immigrant from the Ukraine who runs a one woman prostitution business out of her studio apt. and who is running from her own troubles, is the one who placed the ad. What happens when they meet? Sex? Absurdities? Orgasms? Yes! Yes! Yes! AROUSAL. A comedy about connections, lost and found.

A top-notch production: funny and poignant and thought-provoking. Thanks to a terrific, well-crafted script and phenomenal acting, this story of a Ukrainian hooker and her new Aspergers client performs the rare trick of delighting us and moving us at the same time. A 45-minute gem. Don’t miss it! – Fringe audience review

I was amazed that something so short felt so engaging. The characters had a wonderful balance of irony & authenticity…and I laughed and laughed and laughed. At the same time, they were real, authentic, and the play was quite moving. I was in tears at the end & it left me reflecting on the human condition, and wanting to see more. Overall, I thought they did a remarkable job & highly recommend the play to everyone. – Fringe audience review

Saturday, October 2

7:00 p.m. – Homeless

What does home look like when you are a black, gay immigrant? And where do you find it? Rotimi Agbabiaka’s “Homeless” is a sometimes funny, always poignant trek from Bulgaria to Nigeria to the United States of America. On his journey to find home our protagonist encounters past loves, present obligations and future fantasies. In this piece, Rotimi uses music, dance, storytelling, and shapeshifting to examine the meaning of identity in our global village.

Homeless is an auspicious debut…Agbabiaka is a performer with the muscular fluidity of a trained dancer, the nuance of a veteran actor, and a personality that audiences can’t wait to embrace…his is a major talent that is well worth following. – George Heymont, My Cultural Landscape.

8:30 p.m. – The Burroughs and KookieShow: Late Night at the Interzone
Welcome to INTERZONE’S favorite late night talk show. Hosted by the God-Father of Punk, William S. Burroughs. Join Christopher Kuckenbaker as he assumes the role of William S. Burroughs and takes the audience on a journey through the twisted, irreverent, and darkly comedic world of William S. Burroughs. Ripe Theater and Secret Theater conspire together to bring this Ripe/Secret to the stage. Ripe Theater received “Best of Fringe” in 2002 and “Best Ensemble” in 2006. WARNING: Mugwumps may be milked, cut-ups mended, and a vibrator may get a good talking-to.

Kuckenbaker ably switches between burroughs and the acerbic, paranoid writer’s hapless talk-show guest…smartly directed by Sarah McKereghan, with deadpan musical support by Louis libert, “Burroughs” is a blithely mind-altering visit that soars with wry witon excerptsfrom its namesake’s writings. – Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle


Backstage Awards

The annual Barbara Holloway Volunteer Award went to Bob Hayden.

“The backbone of the Festival is our tireless cadre of volunteers, without whom this 12-day theatre marathon would be impossible to stage,” Augello says.

The Techie’s Choice Award, for superior cooperation and congeniality with the technical crew, and chosen by the crew, went to The Burroughs and Kookie Show: Late Night in the Interzone. Michelle Talgarow won the Uber Tech Award for her all-round technical expertise and ability to keep the shows on schedule.

“Sold-Out” Awards

Eat Our Shorts was recognized for overall Best Box Office.
The following shows received awards for having “Sold Out” one or more of their performances:
Angina Monologues
The Burroughs and Kookie Show: Late Night in the Interzone
Eat Our Shorts
Good Grief: Confessions of a “Peanuts” Junkie
Little Tainted Blood
Magnum Opus Theatre Presents: “Star Crossed Love”
OPM’s Green Tea Party
Phil the Void: The Great Brain Robbery
Road Trip to Pluto: The Bitter Planet
Theme Park
Zinnia Rosenblatt

For “Best of the Fringe” Info & Tickets

For complete descriptions of the four encore shows in the Oct. 1 and 2 “Best of the Fringe,” Or call the fringe hotline at (415) 673-3847. All shows are at EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy Street in downtown San Francisco.

The 2010 San Francisco Fringe Festival

The 2010 San Francisco Fringe Festival featured over 200 performances of 43 new shows in 7 venues in 12 days. The Fringe Festival features fresh, exciting theatre of all kinds for open-minded audiences of all persuasions. This year’s Fringe brought performers from Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and all over the Bay Area. Having completed its 19th year, “The Fringe” offers bright, new, often hysterical, and sometimes shocking theatre by up-and-coming writers and performers, as well as seasoned veterans.

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.