Your Fringe 2011 Preview Guide
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Your Fringe 2011 Preview Guide

Uncalled For brings their stellar sketch show Hypnogogic Logic back to Toronto for a full Fringe run this year. Photo by Jeremy Bobrow.

The 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival begins tomorrow, and as that wonderful whirlwind of everything (on a tight budget) you’ve ever considered seeing on stage—and a few things you haven’t—descends on our city for 12 days, we have been scouring the program (and the dozens upon dozens of press releases we’ve received) to give you an idea of some of the best bets (mostly sight unseen) for your Fringe pass or dollars.
If you’re new to Fringe, the program lays out some common sense tips to help you navigate the fest: set your watch to CBC time (latecomers are never admitted, so don’t waste your breath arguing with the hard-working Fringe volunteer staff); a bike or transit pass is far more feasible for Fringing than a car; and most importantly: chat up other Fringe-goers at the Fringe Club behind Honest Ed’s (and in line-ups) to cotton on to word-of-mouth gems.
A recent and widely derided article about how to spot a “dud” based on venues (which are for the most part randomly allotted) and other apparent insider info makes it clear that there’s no surefire way to predict what will work and what won’t—and that’s part of the zany joy of Fringing. Our approach has been to look favourably at companies, performers, and playwrights who’ve impressed us in the past, but even that isn’t foolproof, so these all should be taken with a grain of salt.
The more Fringe shows you see, the more likely you’ll see something not to your taste; but you’ll also see so much more that will delight and thrill you, especially if you put a little legwork in, and that’s why we advise you to Fringe hard, friends. Buy a pass, and start seeing as many shows as you can. Here’s some to consider starting with…