The 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival is upon us, which means drama, stand-up, improv, music, socializing and lots and lots of one-person shows are headed to the area around Santa Monica Blvd. and Vine St.
Here are previews of 10 of the most intriguing-sounding shows on the festival's roster based on their descriptions. Check back here in a couple days for our critics' reviews of the actual shows they saw during previews this past week.
10. Philosophy in the Boudoir
It's a bunch of naked Brazilians from theater company Os Satyros performing disgusting, violent sex acts in complete nudity to honor the legacy of the Marquis de Sade's 1795 book. It should be horrific. Who wouldn't want to see this? Just make sure to keep the kids at home, and go on an empty stomach. Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 962-1632, hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1240.
9. Graham Bowlin's Rodeo Town
Rodeo Town looks quite promising: A yuppie dentist driving his Rover to San Diego breaks down in a small, dusty town, where the only residents are three lonesome, drunken cowboys waiting for their yearly hookers to show up and provide them with sexual pleasure. This year, however, only one lady shows up, and she seems...different. Sounds like scandal and tension is afoot, pard'ner. East Theatre at the Complex, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 455-4585, hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1198.
8. Rob Florence's The Katrina Comedy Fest
Apparently, this production was inspired by mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin, when he proposed celebrating Hurricane Katrina's first anniversary with a fireworks display and comedy hour. The idea was canceled due to public outrage, but writer Rob Florence took the idea and ran with it, weaving together five New Orleans-style true and hilarious stories about riding out the storm. Props to anyone who can face their tragedy and laugh in its face. The Katrina Comedy Fest received "Best of the Festival" and "Overall Excellence in Production of a Play" honors in the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival. The Lounge Theater, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 469-9988, hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1350.
7. Bill Ratner's Bobbywood: Whatever Happened to Bobby the Bellboy?
One of the many promising looking solo shows to rock the Fringe, Bill Ratner's new piece explores the fascination he has held with his uncle, comedian Bobby Jellison, since childhood. Jellison appeared thirteen times on I Love Lucy as Bobby the Bellboy, but mysteriously disappeared soon thereafter. Of course, any child would have a fascination with an uncle who not only appears on television but is also cast-off as a black sheep of the family. Ratner's parents called Jellison "too Hollywood" and didn't encourage their son to have a relationship with him. It's no wonder Ratner has decided to play detective on this interesting case. Fans of I Love Lucy will have to agree to wonder: what the hell did happen to Bobby the Bellboy? Complex Theatres, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., (323) 960-5774, hollywoodfringe.org/projects/1191.