Final Fringe Festival post is up over at Gothamist. Mallory reviews two last shows -- Manatee and Ratface -- and also talks a little about the winners. (Here's a link to the full list.)
I have to admit that I'm shocked at an Outstanding Play mention for Go-Go Kitty, Go! which was fun and all but nothing spectacular. I was happy to see both The Miss Education of Jenna Bush and Jesus in Montana received kudos for Outstanding Solo Show. Even though I found it somewhat trite, predictable and incredibly sitcomy, I'm not surprised at all that Fluffy Bunnies in a Field of Daises received an Outstanding Ensemble notice. The acting was stronger than the writing, and this show is a simple audience pleaser.
We don't know what shows, if any, are likely to get extensions into commercial runs. SILENCE! The Musical seems like the most likely what with the combination of hype, generally positive (if not enthusiastic) critical reception, a sold out run and audiences that seemed to love it. Personally, I'm hoping that Movie Geek finds its way to another stage as I really wanted to see it, and Mallory said it was great.
After all the awards talk comes a little rant of my own (shocker) regarding the organizational aspects of the festival. While I am quite encouraged by the selection of shows from which I was able to choose this year, I'm still surprised that nine years in some common sense elements of organizing a festival like this are missing. The Present Company does an impressive job with a festival staff that is primarily donating their time, but experience should be educational, and although the venues this year were generally much improved, plenty of other things weren't.
I can say, however, that while previous years attending the Fringe would leave me with a mild feeling of dread about subjecting myself to the experience the following year, ultimately overcome by a simple love of theatre and desire to see the three "I"s -- interesting, imaginative and innovative -- that isn't the case this time around. The 2005 New York International Fringe Festival was a pleasant experience overall. Here's hoping they really go all out for their 10th birthday next August.