What to See at the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival

From Shakespeare to Steve Jobs, which shows to make a beeline for this year.
Don’t miss 1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera at the Capital Fringe Festival. Photograph courtesy of the festival’s website.
Don’t miss 1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera at the Capital Fringe Festival. Photograph courtesy of the festival’s website.

Looking to navigate the undeniably rich but ever-puzzling terrain of the Capital Fringe
Festival this year? In preparation for the festival, which runs July 11 through 28,
we’ve broken down which of the 130 shows on offer to bookmark, categorized by musicals,
comedy, drama, and physical theater/dance, and ranked—as usual—by general quirkiness.


The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: The Musical

When: July 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, and 28
Who: Timothy Guillot (after Mike Daisey).
Why: Remember that fairly newsworthy Daisey

about Apple and China? Timothy Guillot has made it into a
musical, and that’s all
we need to say.

Quirk Factor: 5/5

Cabaret XXXY: Who Do You Think You Are?

When: July 12, 16, 20, 24, 25, 26, and 28
Who: Pinky Swear Productions, Stephen Spotswood.
Why: Pinky Swear won the Best Fringe Musical award in 2011 for
Les Femmes Fatales, and return for a third year with this ode to rock anthems and unabashed female sexuality.

Quirk Factor: 2/5

Disco Jesus and the Apostles of Funk

When: July 13, 17, 21, 25, and 27
Who: Vaughn Irving, Doug Wilder, and Paul Foreman.
Why: This disco-themed musical about the son of God and his bartender mother stars
the amazing Felicia Curry and nine other singers. Plus you get to say “Disco Jesus.”

Quirk Factor: 2/5

1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera

When: July 11, 14, 18, 20, 23, and 26
Who: Written and composed by David Dudley and Dave Israel.
Why: Because between
Bloody Bloody Andrew
Hoover Comes Alive, historical rock operas are a thing now? Also because this is apparently the summer
of Washington being destroyed by haters, and this musical depicting the Battle of
Baltimore has shockingly good timing.

Quirk Factor: 1/5


A Guide to Dancing Naked
When: July 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, and 27
Who: Brynn Tucker, local actress and apparent naked dancer extraordinaire.
Why: There isn’t actually nudity, but don’t let that stop you. Tucker is funny, charming,
and, most important, a great dancer, and in this confessional show she aims to help
everyone embrace their own graceful selves.

Quirk Factor: 3/5

The Encyclopedia Show DC

When: July 13, 14, 20, and 27
Who: The Encyclopedia Show DC.
Why: The variety show comes to Fringe with its blend of vaudeville, music, and smart

Quirk Factor: 4/5

Fish Outta Water

When: July 12, 14, 19, 20, 21, and 26
Who: Ron Litman.
Why: Litman was a hit last year at Fringe with
DC Trash, his one-man show about his experiences as a garbage man. In
Fish Outta Water he details exactly how he got to his unusual profession via the American heartland.

Quirk Factor: 3/5

Funny Stories 2

When: July 11, 13, 16, 18, and 20
Who: James Judd.
Why: Judd, a writer, performer, NPR contributor and former Groundlings member, tells
funny stories about his life, some of which may include sharks, camels, and canoeing.

Quirk Factor: 1/5

Haute Mess

When: July 14, 18, 20, 21, 23, and 27
Who: Landless Theatre Company.
Why: Ian Allen, former artistic director of DC’s infamous, now-defunct Cherry Red
Productions, directs this punk/drag/comedy show excoriating the fashion industry.

Quirk Factor: 4/5

H Street Housewives

When: July 14, 20, 25, and 26.
Who: Jenny Splitter.
Why: Because we miss
The Real Housewives of Washington DC, and because “H is for hipster” Street is an easy target.

Quirk Factor: 3/5

Impossible to Translate But I’ll Try

When: July 13, 16, 17, 21, and 28
Who: Noa Baum.
Why: Storyteller, performer, and peace advocate Baum recalls her experiences growing
up in Israel.

Quirk Factor: 1/5

I Tried to Be Normal Once, It Didn’t Take

When: July 13, 14, 18, 21, 26, and 27
Who: Stephanie Svec.
Why: No Rules Theatre Company’s Joshua Morgan directs this one-woman show fusing music,
storytelling, and standup.

Quirk Factor: 2/5


When: July 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27
Who: Washington Improv Theater.
Why: Breaking out of the “only two stories exist, and one of them is
Cinderella” mold, WIT seeks to find entirely new plots and tales with the audience’s help.

Quirk Factor: 2/5

Married Sex

When: July 12, 14, 21, 25, 26, and 27
Who: Laura Zam.
Why: Any Fringe festival is always laden with sex-themed stories, but this solo show
directed by Shirley Serotsky features Zam playing 30 different people recounting the
intricacies of their married sex lives.

Quirk Factor: 2/5

No Sex Please

When: July 12, 13, 18, 26, and 28
Who: Derek Hills.
Why: Hills was a virgin until he was 27. Don’t you want to find out why?
Quirk Factor: 1/5

Sanka, Ya Dead Mon?

When: July 11, 14, 16, 20, and 27
Who: Wild Rumpus Productions.
Why: Love
Cool Runnings? Yup, us too. Manu H. Kumasi stars as Ben, a young man who uses the movie’s teachings
to make sense of his complex life.

Quirk Factor: 4/5

Social Media Expert 
When: July 11, 14, 21, 25, and 27
Who: John Krizel.
Why: Timeliness. Krizel wrote and directs this play about the social media manager
for a fast food chain struggling with a horse meat scandal.

Quirk Factor: 3/5

Tragedy Averted

When: July 14, 19, 20, 24, and 28
Who: Ad Hoc Players.
Washington Post comedy columnist Alexandra Petri wrote this show imagining what might have happened
to the tragic heroines of Shakespeare had they not shuffled off this mortal coil.

Quirk Factor: 3/5


A Killing Game

When: July 11 through 28
Who: Dog & Pony DC.
Why: If you haven’t heard of this show yet, you haven’t been paying attention. A hybrid
of theater, clue, and that game you play at sleepovers where someone’s a murderer,

A Killing Game is built around audience interaction as a deadly disease spreads throughout the theater.

Quirk Factor: 4/5.

In Search of the Perfect G String

When: July 13, 19, 21, 26, and 28
Who: Yvonne Caruthers.
Why: National Symphony Orchestra cellist Caruthers conceived and performs in this
one-woman show about how she became a classical musician.

Quirk Factor: 1/5

Mme. Macbeth

When: July 11, 14, 17, 21, and 28
Who: King’s Players.
Why: In this gender-bending production of Shakespeare’s unluckiest tragedy, the kings
and noblemen are women, and the witches and wives are men.

Quirk Factor: 4/5

Murder on the Bare Stage

When: July 12, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, and 27
Who: Stephen Mead, Magnus Magnus.
Why: Mead, a graduate of RADA (Britain’s most prestigious acting school) recites interpretations
of spooky tales by Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Dickens.

Quirk Factor: 3/5


When: July 11, 13, 14, 16, and 18
Who: Mark Jason Williams.
Why: Williams’s drama about two leukemia patients who forge a connection is inspired
by his own experiences as a childhood survivor of the disease, and comes to the Capital
Fringe Festival following runs in New York and Minneapolis.

Quirk Factor: 1/5


When: July 13, 18, 20, 21, 24, and 25
Who: New City Stage Company.
Why: This solo show looks at the last four years of Bobby Kennedy’s life and stars
Russ Widdall as the ill-fated politician and Kennedy scion.

Quirk Factor: 2/5

Romeo and Juliet

When: July 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, and 24
Who: We Happy Few Productions.
Why: The local company returns with another slimmed-down version of a Shakespeare
classic. Eight actors perform the play in just 90 minutes.

Quirk Factor: 1/5

Tea in the Slammer: A True Story

When: July 13, 14, 19, 20, and 25
Who: Geraldine Buckley.
Why: Everyone loves a good cross-cultural narrative, and Buckley, a Brit, recalls
her experiences working as a chaplain at a men’s prison in Maryland.

Quirk Factor: 2/5

The Politician

When: July 12, 14, 20, 24, and 28
Who: John Feffer.
Why: Think-tanker Feffer returns to Fringe with a new work adapted from last year’s
sellout show
The Pundit.

Quirk Factor: 1/5

Dance/Physical Theater

A Commedia Romeo and Juliet

When: July 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, and 28
Who: Faction of Fools.
Why: No one does the classics commedia-style better than Faction of Fools.
Quirk Factor: 1/5.

Bowen McCauley Dance: From the Ground Up

When: July 27 and 28
Who: Choreographer Lucy Bowen McCauley and Shakespeare Theatre associate artistic
director Alan Paul.

Why: Two considerable talents team up to explore how movement responds to its surroundings
in the original works “Afoot in Vienna” and “Fire and Air.”

Quirk Factor: 1/5.

Double Freakquency

When: July 11, 14, 19, 24, and 27
Who: Adam Stackhouse and Liz Sykes.
Why: We don’t fully understand how it works, but there’s apparently one room and two
sets of headphones to choose from, meaning you select the soundtrack and have a unique
individual theatrical experience.

Quirk Factor: 4/5


When: July 11, 12, 13, 20, 25, and 27
Who: Cherry Kiss Productions.
Why: Because even if you’re as bemused by burlesque as this writer is, the combination
of scantily clad ladies and Stanley Kubrick sounds enticingly bonkers.

Quirk Factor: 5/5

To Know a Veil

When: July 11, 14, 17
Who: Emma Crane Jaster.
Why: Jaster, a performer and choreographer explores the significance and meaning of
the veil in this movement-based piece.

Quirk Factor: 3/5

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