Things to Do

What to See at the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival

Highlights in comedy, dance, and more.

Loren Bray and Josh Adams star in R+J: Star-Cross’d Death Match at Capital Fringe. Photograph via

The annual quirk-fest that is the Capital Fringe Festival runs Thursday, July 10, through the 27th, offering around 140 works of theater, music, dance, and other performances. This year’s festival—the last to hold shows in Capital Fringe’s Fort Fringe before it moves to new digs—also features, for the first time, five site-specific works. We combed through the list of shows for some highlights; read on for a mostly unscientific sampling of the works we found intriguing. For the full list of shows, visit


Homeboy Thanksgiving 
July 11, 19, 25, and 26 at Fort Fringe
The odd combo of a parolee, a rival ex-gang member, and an online gamer have to surmount their differences and make Thanksgiving dinner together. I enjoy mishmashed-family holiday stories almost as much as I enjoy saying the word “homeboy.” 

Brick Penguin Tries Its Best 
July 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, and 26 at the Fridge
The sketch comedy group collects some of its top sketches from the past four years for this new show. Laughs are guaranteed. 

The Inaugural Election for President of Mrs. Jacobson’s Sixth Grade Class 
July 12, 15, 19, 20, and 26 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
An interactive show lets you decide which of six sixth-graders should become class president, and gives politics-obsessed Washingtonians the chance to see the absurdities of modern elections the way kids do. 

Size Doesn’t Matter! Seven Shorts by DC Playwrights
July 12, 13, 16, 19, and 26 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
Local playwrights Mari Baldessari, Renee Calarco, Zachary Fernebok, and John Morogiello present a collection of seven unrelated works. 

What Would Tina and Amy Do?
July 11, 13, 16, 17, and 19 at Fort Fringe
Two recent college grads try to find their place in the world with the help of advice from everyone’s favorite superstar BFFs Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. 

Call Steve Guttenberg
July 12, 18, 20, 22, and 25 at Fort Fringe
Danny Pushkin’s work promises “Lovecraftian gothic horror, ancient artifacts mistaken for paraphernalia,” and maybe even some ’80s references—what’s not to love? 

July 11, 13, 16, 19, 23, and 27 at Fort Fringe
Perhaps the most relatable work of the festival, this play based on true anecdotes satirizes the terrors and frustrations of trying to start a career in DC. 


July 11, 13, 19, 22, and 25 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
What do you get when you combine ballet, electric guitar, Twitter, and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner? I have no idea, actually, but it certainly sounds interesting. 

“Installment 1: Relax(h)er”
July 19 at Jet Set Hair Designs and Plush Beauty Box
As part of the festival’s site-specific series, dancer and choreographer Jasmine Hearn explores her memories and personal experiences centered on hair, in the first installment of a four-part series called That’s What She Said

Everybody Knows This Is Now Here
July 10, 12, 13, 15, and 17 at Goethe-Institut
This multimedia piece by Eliza Larson and Rachel Rugh examines friendship and connection in the digital age. Fittingly, the show was developed largely through Skype. 

Intrigue, A Mystery on Marley…
July 11, 18, 19, 22, and 27 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
Clue fans will enjoy this noirish physical-theater whodunit, conceived by DraMAStic Dance Works artistic director Mary A. Stiegelbauer. 

The Old Man Never Let It Go
July 10, 13, 18, 23, and 26 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
Relive your high school English class with this wordless adaptation of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, written and directed by Hector J. Reynoso and composed by Synetic Theater’s Koki Lortkipanidze.


Chesapeake by Lee Blessing
July 10, 13, 19, 23, and 26 at Fort Fringe
This work from the playwright behind A Walk in the Woods is a magical realist tale about a Southern politician, a performance artist, and a dog named Lucky. 

July 12, 17, 22, 23, and 26 at Goethe-Institut
One to appeal to Washington’s scandal-loving side: When a disgraced diplomat returns to DC, he must deal with the impact his actions have had on his wife and kids. 

Contrafact of Freedom
July 15, 16, 17, 19, and 20 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
Learn about the man behind “The Star-Spangled Banner” (which has its bicentennial this year), in this work by Alex Pappas. 

July 10, 12, 14, 18, 20, 24, and 26 at Mount Vernon United Methodist Church
John Feffer, who was behind 2012’s Fringe hit The Pundit and last year’s The Politician, returns with this dark comedy about surveillance and interrogation. 

R+J: Star-Cross’d Death Match
July 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, and 26 at DC Reynolds
An audience-involving take on Romeo and Juliet set in a bar and featuring rap battles and flip cup—like your usual weekend night, except with more iambic pentameter. 

Ten Principles
July 12, 18, 19, 23, and 26 at Fort Fringe
Ten people from the Washington area share their experiences at Burning Man, based on founder Larry Harvey’s “ten principles.” 

The Fever
July 22, 23, 24, and 25 at Goethe-Institut
This drama, written by Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride), stars Patrick O’Brien as a well-off traveler who has a crisis of conscience while suffering from a mysterious fever as he’s traveling in an impoverished country. 


Martin, Love, Sex & Rhythm
July 12, 16, 20, 22, and 27 at Atlas Performing Arts Center
This “sexy” all-male musical explores the topic of gay-on-gay shaming through choreography and top 40 songs. 

Cabaret XXX: Everybody F**king Dies
July 16, 17, 19, 22, 25, and 27
Pinky Swear Productions presents this raucous eulogy to Les Femmes Fatales. Spoiler: The show contains profanity. 

You, or Whatever I Can Get
July 16, 19, 20, 24, and 26 at Fort Fringe
The team behind last year’s Disco Jesus and the Apostles of Funk return with a look at the highs and lows of dating in your twenties and thirties. 

July 10, 12, 13, 15, and 16 at Goethe-Institut
This musical love story features a pear that gains consciousness and travels the world. If that’s not a must-see, what is? 

Rock Bottom (A Rock Opus)
July 10, 13, 16, 18, and 26 at Warehouse
Based on the novel by Michael Schilling, this is the story of a rock band in its death throes. The folks behind it also produced Diamond Dead, which won Best Musical at Fringe in 2008.