Over the next few weeks, the 600 block of New York Avenue NW will be teeming with people. And there are sure to be plenty of gays out and about at the end of that block, in the space known as Fort Fringe, headquarters of the Capital Fringe Festival.
As ever, among the 145 productions at this year’s ninth annual festival, there are a couple handfuls of shows with obvious appeal to LGBT denizens of D.C. (Of course, local gay theater folk have written or are performing in many more Fringe shows with otherwise no LGBT content or focus.) Among the LGBT highlights being staged in 2014 are a couple that explore serious issues, including the drama The Other Day, which tackles love and addiction, and at least on the surface sounds like a follow-up to Recovery, the 2013 Capital Fringe show by the same playwright, Mark Jason Williams. Another drama at this year’s Fringe is Larry E. Blossom’s As We Are, which follows three siblings revisiting a gay-bashing incident from the past. The large-cast production is billed as a “quirky whodunit that whipsaws and blurs the lines between truth and lies, victim and perpetrator and gay and straight in surprising ways.”
Among musical shows, this year’s Fringe offers A Fire In Water, composed by Michael Oberhauser and Terrance Johns, with libretto by Shannon Berry, and focused on two goddesses who struggle to protect their loving sons from harm. There’s also the all-male Martin, Love, Sex & Rhythm, featuring Alvaro Maldonado’s choreography to recent Top 40 hits while also exploring the theme of internalized homophobia.
John Bavoso’s Olizzia is a drama on a lighter tip, a romance focused on the unexpected love that blooms between two seemingly straight female best friends while on vacation in Brazil. On a similar theme, there’s the one-woman comedy A Lesbian Belle Tells!, in which Elizabeth McCain recounts the slow and stilted — but also hilariously relatable — way she owned up to being a lesbian. You can take the belle out of Mississippi…
Capital Fringe runs to July 27, at various venues but based at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Ave. NW. Tickets are $17 a show, plus a one-time purchase of a $5 Fringe button, or multi-show passes range from $30 to $350. Call 866-811-4111 or visit capitalfringe.org for a full schedule and tickets.