Christmas in August is how some people consider IndyFringe and I am in absolute agreement. Each year, for a ten-day span (this year it’s Aug. 20-29, Indianapolis is full of strange and wonderful folks, transforming Mass Ave with jugglers, magicians, musicians — guerilla theater performers of all kinds. The gifts are prodigious: surprises abound, spontaneity rules, art epiphanizes, friends are made.
Fringe nourishes the local performance groups — theater, dance, magic, comedy — while drawing dozens of other artists from all over the country and beyond.
The shows are edgy and fun, the artists themselves make money, and it’s easy to meet and hang out with the performers whom you admire at venues like the Rathskeller, Chatterbox and Chatham Tap (my faves, at least).
Last night, Pauline Moffat, Justin Brady and all the Fringe volunteers and potentates threw their annual Longest Dinner fundraiser, the unofficial opening to the Fringe season. A couple hundred revelers gathered for a slow food experience, a 3 course dinner, courtesy of as many locally-produced foodstuffs as possible — all while being entertained by Motus Dance Theatre and the mellifluous (and conflagrative) fire dancing by Molly Wyldfyre, among others.
There were rumors all along the table that Pauline Moffat must have a friend named Mephistopheles, since last night’s weather was absent of humidity or a thunderstorm. “How does she do it?” one attendee whispered. “This is the best evening of the whole summer, weather-wise!”
It was nigh on perfect, in fact.
Here are some things to know:
The Fringe program is now on-line at www.indyfringe.org and you can get your print-guide to the Fringe in next week’s NUVO.
Watch for our upcoming coverage, previewing our best bets, on Aug. 18 and you can rely as you do each year on our comprehensive review product the following week, Aug. 25, to help you figure out which performances you'll need to show up early to get a seat.