Since a preliminary roster was released last month, an additional 150 artists and arts groups have signed up to take part in the Fringe Festival/Los Angeles in September, bringing the total to some 400 events presented by about 325 local art organizations and artists.
"It's going to be twice as big as I thought it would be," Fringe Festival director Aaron Paley said Wednesday. Paley predicted in March that the festival would encompass 200 events.
The multidiscipline Fringe Festival, which will coincide with the Los Angeles Festival, will be dominated by lesser-known arts groups. It is scheduled to run from Sept. 4 to Oct. 4 at a number of conventional venues throughout Los Angeles County, as well as on street corners, in parks and at the beach. (Participants are required to pay their own production costs plus a Fringe entry fee ranging from $100-$250. The fee was waived for 68 participants in exchange for technical assistance or volunteer work, Paley said.)
The Los Angeles Festival will feature some 35 events Sept. 3-27 by well-established music, dance and theater performers and groups from around the world.
Additions to the Fringe Festival roster were uniform among the arts disciplines. Theater still dominates the schedule, with more than half (212) events planned. Visual arts is the second largest category, followed by music and multidisciplinary art events, third; and dance performances, fourth. Literary arts, film and video and family entertainments will also be presented.
Here are a few of the Fringe Festival additions:
--L.A. Choreographers and Dancers, with tap and modern dance at Barnsdall Park in Hollywood.
--Conceptual artist Marc Kreisel, with performance art at Al's Bar downtown, including one work, "The Shrimps are Coming! The Shrimps are Coming!"
--Dave Peir's 18-piece Stardust Big Band playing swing era jazz at Hollywood's Plummer Park.
--The Jewish Community Building Gallery on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, exhibiting contemporary painting and sculpture by Los Angeles artists.
--The Royal Short Company, with a multimedia puppet show featuring the life and adventures of Nichols Nickleby in 8 1/2 minutes at the Victory Theatre in Burbank.
--The L.A. Connection Comedy Troupe supplying its dialogue to clips from classic and cult films at D.B. Levy's restaurant in Westwood Village.
--The Midnight Special Bookstore and International Black Writers and Artists presenting an evening of poetry and music meant to remind audiences "of what we will lose if we don't make a fight for the homeless and unemployed" at the Midnight Special Bookstore on Santa Monica mall.
While further additions and deletions are expected, Paley said a festival schedule with ticket information will be available in mid-August, and may be obtained by calling the Fringe Festival office at (213) 931-1255. (There will be no central Fringe Festival box office. Festival participants will handle ticket sales to their own events.)
Some Fringe Festival events are scheduled to begin before the festival's official Sept. 4 start date and some are scheduled to extend beyond its official Oct. 4 ending date. About 10 Fringe events will be presented by groups outside Los Angeles County, including some from out of state.
Paley said he is not worried about competing with the Los Angeles Festival, which has supported the Fringe Festival financially and technically, nor about drawing audiences to all 400 Fringe events. (Almost half the Los Angeles Festival's tickets, which average $20 per event, have been sold, with revenues totaling $1.1 million, a festival spokesman said Wednesday.)
"I don't see the Festival as taking away from the Fringe at all," Paley said. "The people who have bought Festival tickets don't constitute a huge audience. What does the L.A. Festival have, 4,000 or 5,000 tickets?
"Also, some Fringe attractions will have natural, built-in audiences, like those planned for shopping malls or the radio. Or some will occur on a corner for whoever is on the street at the moment. And 75 Fringe events will be free." Admission to most other events will cost under $10, Paley said.
In addition, many who attend the Los Angeles Festival will attend Fringe Festival events, Paley predicted. Many Fringe artists, particularly those with downtown venues, have coordinated their events with the Los Angeles Festival's schedule, he said. For example, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions will present six weekend events at 10 p.m.
"So when people are finished with an L.A. Festival event, they can go right over to a Fringe event," Paley said. "And Fringe Festival schedules will also be available at all Los Angeles Festival venues."