Fringe Festival DC

If you're into weird, low budget, arty theater, the Capital Fringe Festival is going on now all across DC. I've attended a couple shows and been really impressed by the level of performance and the sheer creativity of the productions.

Friday night I went to the premiere of Prototype 373-G, put on by the Flea Market Theater Company at The Source. There's no way I can explain the plot of this play without making it seem completely ridiculous, which it is but in the best way possible. Here's the idea: An aspiring actress/comedienne receives a pet turtle from her neighbor who is recently released from an insane asylum. The turtle turns out to be a vessel for the ruler of an invading race of intergalactic turtle-men who wishes to impregnate our heroine and have his offspring hatch from her...what did he call it? Swampy womb? Something like that.

Now that I've done a huge injustice to the play, let me say that the writing by Benjamin Fainstein is snappy and emotionally pitch-perfect. Tara Giordana, who plays the lead as Belly, is the kind of actress you can't help but fall for from the very first scene. Her spark contrasts nicely with the tortured Jude (ex-crazy person), played by Daniel Eichner. The fact that the show comes off as strangely touching, laugh-out-loud funny, and unbelievably believable is owed to the vision and capable direction by Dan Pruksarnukul, who takes this hodge podge of humor, sci-fi, and romance and makes it all hang together.

The Fringe Festival is a great way to find some new theater and supports a whole community of artists here in DC. If you have the time, and I know you do, and if you're in DC, which you very well could be, take in a show.

Prototype 373-G will be playing at the Source on July 23rd at 5:40, July 26th at 1, and July 27th at 4:30.

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