San Francisco Fringe Festival

250 performances of over 40 experimental works by companies near and far in just two weeks

PREVIEW There is literally something for everyone at this year's 18th annual San Francisco Fringe Festival. Don't try to argue, man — this year's slate, which jams over 250 performances of over 40 experimental works by companies near and far into just under two weeks, is incredibly diverse. And though the old judging-a-book-by-its-cover cliché definitely applies to theater, some of the titles here are pretty irresistable: Hell, the Musical (inhabitants include a Valencia Street dyke and a Marina ditz); Spider Baby the musical (based on the 1968 movie subtitled The Maddest Story Ever Told? Yes, please!); and the Ed Gein-inspired The Texas Chainsaw Musical (sense a theme here?). For fans of history and, uh, sketch comedy, there's the Revolutionary War-themed Ticonderoga; for morally-conflicted mountain climbers, there's The Tao of Everest; and for anyone who thinks plays are boring, there are several on tap that challenge that belief in the most scandalously delightful ways, including Bible-stories-on-crack Pulp Scripture and the site-specific Missing: fugue #9: wear a warm coat, performed as audiences stroll through Bayview's Quesada Gardens.

SAN FRANCISCO FRINGE FESTIVAL Sept 9–20, $10 or less. Various venues (main venue is Exit Theater, 156 Eddy, SF). (415) 673-3847,

Also from this author

  • Rise up singing

    'Alive Inside' charts one man's quest to bring music to patients with memory loss

  • Shots fired

    A PFA series brings World War I films into focus

  • What she sees

    Truth, tears, and staple-gun battles: SFJFF's female-centric films