A 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival Preview
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A 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival Preview

The time has come again for theatre, dance, comedy, and who knows what other artistic oddities to descend upon Toronto—it's the Toronto Fringe Festival!

Gideon Arthurs, former Executive Director of Toronto Fringe, gives his opening remarks to an eager crowd in 2012. This year, Kelly Straughan takes his place as Lead Fringer. Photo by Corbin Smith.

So we’ve had a few long weekends, a few Jays wins, and a few swealtering days followed by a few rain showers. Why doesn’t it truly feel like summer yet?

Because the Toronto Fringe Festival has yet to begin! But don’t worry, it will soon. Soon being Wednesday, July 3.

From July 3 to 14, some of the world’s most exciting performers and theatremakers (as well as plenty of total unknowns) will be performing at the annual arts festival, which is curated solely by a random lottery. With almost 150 shows and over one thousand artists involved this year—the Festival’s 25th anniversary—there are bound to be some extraordinary shows, some mediocre ones, some gruesome ones, and most of all, something for everyone.

We at Torontoist have scrutinized the Fringe program for our best bets, which you can check out by following the links, below. You can also pick up an official program at any of these places.

Oh, and between shows, make sure to leave time to take part in the Fringe’s weeklong 25th birthday party at the Fringe Club, located in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s. Not only can you find free events like the Visual Fringe, but new this year are Fringe’s free concerts (including Hooded Fang at the opening night party), an “after dark” schedule of activities like yoga and board games, and even an underground dance party. Plus, they’ve responded to audience demand and eliminated lineups, got rid of the weird sound-reducing truck, and have extended their hours until 12:30 a.m. So, really, there’s no reason not to go.

Happy Fringe-ing, Toronto!

Our best bets:

Fringe 2013:
  Fringe 2013:
  Fringe 2013:
Something Different

CORRECTION: July 4, 2013, 8:10 AM This post mistakenly stated that the festival started on June 3, when the truth is it started on July 3. We regret the error.