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Fringe Festival launches Sept. 11

Honolulu arts organizations are banding together to present a one-night “fringe festival” launch party Saturday, Sept. 11 giving performance artists a chance to strut their stuff and introducing local audiences to the alternative arts festival.

The Oahu Fringe Festival is sponsoring a night of “cabaret, live theatre, comedy, dance, music, slam poetry, improv and more” at The Venue downtown. It’s being produced by Tim Bostock Productions, The ARTS at Marks Garage, The Culture and Arts District and Projexart.

Expect a wide range of entertainment, from performance art and burlesque to improv comedy, dance, folk, electronic and rock music, with a lineup that includes Convergence Dance Theater, Cherry Blossom Cabaret, Samadhi Hawaii, Red Rockets, Laughtrack Theatre, Monkey Waterfall, Robert Reed, Jeff Gere, James McCarthy, Eva Bosch, Brian Shaughnessy, Mary Babcock, Uvovu + Yeda, Ronald Giliam, Erica Loveland, Jason Tom, James Mane and Mike C. Hall.

“What we want to do is inform Hawaii what a fringe festival really is,” said Cyrina Hadad-Ralya, a spokeswoman for the event. “It’s really a teaser event for the big event next year.”

Fringe festivals have become popular in many major U.S. and European cities as a way to spotlight performers in non mainstream arts. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland is a model, now decades old and a major international tourist attraction.

Organizers describe fringe festivals as “a variety show to the extreme, with a carnival like atmosphere mixed and a dash of Alice in Wonderland.”

The performances will be at The Venue, 1144 Bethel St. Festivities begin at 7 p.m. Cover charge is $10.

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