|Comedy Shows Rule Fringe Encores
Categories: Comedy Shows,Latest News
Posted: September 4, 2012
by Ted Greenberg
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For 16 years, the New York International Fringe Festival has owned August in the Big Apple. The festival has been the place to see emerging talent as well as new plays and musicals. Produced by The Present Company (Elena K. Holy, Producing Artistic Director), FringeNYC has been the launching pad for Broadway, Off-Broadway and Regional shows as well as fertile ground for creating new artistic partnerships and developing the theatre community. Some of the shows that have enjoyed post-FringeNYC life include Urinetown, Silence! The Musical, Tales from the Tunnel, Dog Sees God and Krapp 39.
In recent years, FringeNYC has also been a terrific home for comedians who create and perform solo shows. Since 2008, when my show – Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer – started its journey at FringeNYC, three shows starring comics have been selected for Fringe Encores, which is a sort of “best of fest” series presented in September.
Matt Graham in This Too Shall Suck
This Too Shall Suck, a new solo show by Matt Graham, was this year’s selection. The production has been extended through September 24th at SoHo Playhouse. You’ve probably seen Matt Graham before. Perhaps when he performed stand up on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Or in the 2004 documentary film Word Wars. In addition to being a comedian, he’s a Scrabble champion. This Too Shall Suck was hailed as a “funny, oddball, occasionally awkward autobiographical show” by The New York Times while NYTheatre.com raved that it is “an emotional punch in the gut rhapsody about being human.” You’ve got four more chances to see it. I suggest you go. I promise it won’t suck.
Two years ago, Micha Wertheim’s so-politically-incorrect-Bill-Maher-would-blush show became the first international show in Fringe Encores after an electrifying run at FringeNYC. In Amsterdam Abortion Survivor, Wertheim skewered everyone and everything — paraplegics, liberals, and his countrymen, the Dutch. TheaterMania.com commended the show, saying “It’s edgy humor, indeed, but he (Micha Wertheim) delivers it with such casual and impish glee — landing closer to Jon Stewart than Dennis Miller — that only touchiest theatergoers are likely to object. And when his act follows the traditional standup route, Wertheim’s timing and delivery are razor-sharp.” Here’s a NSFW video featuring some of Wertheim’s outrageous material.
Four years ago, my show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer — was selected for Fringe Encores, and I haven’t left the SoHo Playhouse since. That’s right, every Saturday night, I’m on stage at the Huron Club at SoHo Playhouse performing my mostly one-man comedy show.
And, I’m thrilled to be part of FringeNYC’s burgeoning comedy show scene. It’s a great place for comics like Matt Graham, Micha Wertheim and myself to try out new material and develop our shows. I cannot wait to see who’s on stage next year.