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Hollywood Fringe Fest is back with another batch of the weird and wonderful

The Hollywood Fringe Festival springs back to life this week. Affording opportunities for aspiring and independent creators to get their work on stage, the month-long festival is definitely not restricted to horror, fantasy, and science fiction; nevertheless, a sizeable percentage of its productions fall into those genres. In keeping with the festival’s artsy-indie feel, these shows typically are not straight genre pieces but rather spoofs, reinterpretations, or mediations on genre tropes. Nevertheless, there is a lot of fun in store for fans of weird and wonderful entertainment.

The festival officially runs from June 13 to 30, but this week is “preview” week, including a performance of Reforged on Saturday, the latest SCP Universe adventure from Last Call Theatre (Signals, The Showroom). This week’s other upcoming titles of interest include Final GirlDracula: Live from Transylvania, and Bigfoot! The Musical.

Attending an independent festival of short plays staged on microbudgets sounds like a bit of a crapshoot, but our past experience at Hollywood Fringe is overwhelmingly positive. Yes, you may stumble upon a clunker or two, but more often than not, the creativity on view is quite inspiring. We will be back with reviews to help you decide what you want to see, but in the meantime, we recommend Poe-Etic License (which we saw at last year’s Fringe Fest,) Bride of Blood (which we saw earlier this year when it ran outside the Fringe Festival) and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition: Part 2 (a sequel to Part 1, which we reviewed last year).

There is so much to see that merely contemplating Hollywood Fringe Festival can be a little overwhelming. Shows run back-to-back, occasionally with little downtime in between, and the festival uses various locations scattered around the Hollywood area, making it difficult to schedule several shows in a single day. Fortunately, most plays are staged multiple times on different days of the week, so there is a good chance you can find a performance at a time convenient for you.

Below is a list Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024’s productions featuring horror, fantasy, and science fiction themes. Descriptions are taken from the official Fringe website. Find the complete schedule here and a complete list of shows here. Tickets are typically $15, though individual productions may have discount performances or special deals. Shows run anywhere from 20 to 90 minutes.

BIGFOOT! THE MUSICAL. Ages 13+ · 90 mins. You’ve heard the myth and the legend, but do you know the man? BIGFOOT! is the next gut-bustin’, laugh-a-minute Fringe musical you have to see! Featuring book and lyrics by Amber Ruffin (New York Times bestseller, Tony Award, WGA & Emmy nominee) and Kevin Sciretta, with music by David Schmoll.

BLACKS IN SPACE: THE FANTASTIC VOYAGE. Comedy. Ages 10+ · 40 mins (*2024 Fringe Festival Scholarship Recipient). When Earth becomes uninhabitable for Black people, the Floyd family must travel through space and the far reaches of the galaxy in search of a better life. While on the way to their new world, they encounter obstacles that will test their bond and love.

BRIDE OF BLOOD. Drama. Ages 13+ · 69 mins. Bride of Blood is a phantasmic adventure of King Solomon. It features heavenly and demonic entities, comedy, horror, special effects and puppetry. Presented by Trepany House, sponsored by Titmouse. FREE PARKING. June 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 at 8pm

DID I JUST JOIN A CULT? Drama. Ages 12+ · 1hr. A secret lurks in Boyle Heights: an eerie blood-soaked warehouse that leaves guests numb from horror. Is it immersive theatre as advertised, or a front for a SHADOWY CULT? Larry’s sleuthing uncovers a conspiracy to re-make his stalled life…but in whose image? A true story reminiscent of “Westworld”.

DINOSAURS. Drama . Ages 16+ · 1hr. A girl, her new best friend, and a real-life dinosaur she accidentally conjured, all go on a quest to kill her high school abuser, or ummm… maybe just tell him off? They haven’t decided yet. Dinosaurs is a brand new workshop about time travel, healing your inner child, and sweet, sweet revenge.

DND BETCHES! Comedy. Ages 14+ · 50 mins. Three adventurous women are sucked into their game of Dungeons & Dragons (DND) and must fight mythical monsters to win all of the money in the world… or die trying. Together, they learn they can change the rules of the game – and play by their own.

DRACULA: LIVE FROM TRANSYLVANIA. Comedy. Ages 18+ · 1hr. Back for the first time! Come and check out this New Standup Special from The Lord of Darkness as he hilariously covers topics from his origins as a ruthless warlord known as Vladimir the Impaler to dating in Los Angeles!

EXTRATERRESTRIAL KINK. Solo Show. Ages 18+ · 1hr. A woman has sex with an alien when she is 16, messing up all hope for real love on Earth.

FINAL GIRL: THE MUSICAL. Ages 15+ · 55 mins. Callie finds herself in another abusive relationship where she must defeat her killer boyfriend. With the help of a 911 operator and her knowledge of horror films, will she finally break the cycles of abuse and be the final girl standing? Inspired by true events. Directed by Tyler Hansen.

FRONTIERS: THE LIVE EXPERIENCE. Comedy. Ages 16+ · 75 mins. One Night Only. In this PULP FICTION STAR WARS, an army deserter and his partner—the alien super-intelligence inhabiting his spaceship—set course for darkly-comic, scifi adventure in a multimedia, audience participation, staged reading extravaganza! Sex! Violence! Sarcasm! It’s everything you love!

I LOVE SORORITY RUSH! Musical. Ages 16+ · 1hr. A science fiction musical comedy about sororities and fighting off your best self. When Evan, a college senior out as non-binary, helps younger girls through sorority rush, a murderous version of themself comes from another dimension to wreak havoc.

IN ANOTHER LIFE BY T.W. STEWARD: A DYNAMIC READING OF A NEW FANTASY STAGE PLAY. Drama.· Ages 13+ · 2hrs. In Another Life is a new fantasy stage play that tells the story of a group of strangers who are brought together when they discover that they each have developed memories of past lives in a magical world, and that world is the setting of the latest bestselling fantasy novel

IN FOR A PENNY. Drama. · Ages 17+ · 1hr. Feminist, funny, and dark as f*ck: hot on the trail of the ultimate cold case. When a present day forensic criminologist finds himself at the scene of Jack the Ripper’s first murder, he grabs the chance to catch the original serial killer. WAITLIST $20 cash at the door, exact change only.

THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK. Immersive & Games · Ages 6+ · 55 mins. Adapted from the fantastical Lewis Carroll poem, “The Hunting Of The Snark” invites guests aged 6 to 106 to come aboard for a tall tale of impossible voyages, high sea hijinks, an improbable crew, an extraordinary task, an inconceivable creature, a peculiar land, and the thirst for adventure!

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING: EXTENDED EDITION: PART 2. Comedy.  Ages 13+ · 1hr. Actor/comedian Riley Smith is back with Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- Extended Edition Part 2! Now that Bilbo has left the shire, what will Gandalf do with the ring? Find out in this re-imagining of Peter Jackson’s re-imagining of J.R.R. Tolkein’s masterpiece.

LOW ON MILK. Musical · Ages 12+ · 1hr. A mother who struggles with breastfeeding must battle the zombie apocalypse to find formula for her newborn. Latch on, make some mammaries, and teat yourself to some udder fun in this musical comedy. 🍼

MURDER BLOOD BEAR STORY PART 2. Solo Show · Ages 16+ · 1hr. Bear witness to Blue, a spirited traveler with a love for strangers, on her quest home while she attempts to tame “happiness” in the form of her murderous grizzly companion (a giant bear puppet).

THE NIGHTDREAM. Solo Show · Ages 15+ · 20 mins. The play begins with a Mexican writer who is in crisis of not being able to write his next book, and is tired of the life he leads, then something tragic happens, and the writer closes his eyes, and with that is where Edgar Allan Poe´s life journey begins, with the help of his characters.

THE PARANOIA OF POE. Drama · Ages 10+ · 45 mins. Enter the eerie world of Edgar Allan Poe and be transported to a new horror…the horror of the mind. Music and dance underscore the terror in three of his most brilliant works: The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Fall of the House of Usher.

POE-ETIC LICENSE. Cabaret & Variety · Ages 13+ · 50 mins. Experience Edgar Allan Poe’s signature dark, dismal, and depressing side. And also his little-known humorous side, when we take poetic license in imagining him doing parodies of himself! Also includes live music, a song about Poe, a clown raven dream dance, and Poe’s tribute to … Bob Dylan?? June 9, 11, 15, 17, 20, 22, 27, 29 at Asylum @ Thymele Arts

REFORGED: AN SCP IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE. Immersive · Ages 13+ · 2hrs. The supernatural machine worshiping Church of the Broken God is in chaos, following the disappearance of their unifier; Robert Bumaro, who left behind only warring sects and an anomalous Blueprint of the future. In the darkness and confusion only you can take charge and Reforge the Broken Church!

REVENGE OF THE SPACE PANDAS BY DAVID MAMET. Comedy · Ages 5+ · 1hr. This sci-fi fantasy about two 12-year-olds and a sheep hurtling through space to a panda-policed outer dimension called Crestview (they hoped the name would attract investors) is packed with wry grown-up humor but has enough people chasing around in animal suits to entertain kids.

SPACE EXPLORATION BECAUSE SPACE EXPLORATION BECAUSE SPACE EXPLORATION!!! Solo Show · Ages 18+ · 90 mins. Everything is fine. Meet Baby – happy to be a wife, mom, and citizen to a new land. Yet, as she awaits her husband’s return from interstellar diplomacy, probing questions into his mission unearths long-hidden truths shaking up the new and foreign realities she now faces. But, everything is fine…

SPACE QUEST: A NEW MUSICAL. Musical · Ages 10+ · 90 mins. Andromeda and Glenn, unfulfilled by life on their planet, are unexpectedly swept away on a perilous quest to save the galaxy. Space Quest a laugh-out-loud, puppet-filled, heartfelt musical comedy about continuing to grow after living “happily ever after”.

SUNKEN. Drama · Ages 15+ · 90 mins. A ship navigated by children in purgatory, a sanctuary for parents who lost their children due to murder; “Sunken” is a whimsical original play that travels between these two worlds and investigates and honors death, grief, anger, all the ugliness within every beautiful human.

THE TRANSPIRING. Musical · Ages 14+ · 90 mins. A world premiere hip-hop musical comedy about gender identity and queerness, family…and vampires.

WHERE WITHIN. Musicals · Ages 6+ · 80 mins. When two distant siblings find themselves lost in a mysterious forest, they encounter strange, otherworldly beings that help bring them back to each other. Where Within is a family friendly, Celtic folk-inspired new musical, and speaks to the importance of facing the unknown together.

WE LOVERS. Drama · Ages 14+ · 1hr. Small-town neighbors gather to tell their best, fantastical love stories. In these tales an angel falls in love, a woman searches a desert party full of monsters for her ghost boyfriend, an 80s slasher flick final girl makes the ultimate sacrifice, and small town lovers race to escape a falling sky.

Note: There are many other Fringe Fest productions that reference elements genre elements (e.g. The Princess Strikes Back, about an actress with a crush on Han Solo). In the list above, we have tried to include titles that use their genre elements as more than just a theatrical device.

Get more information at hollywoodfringe.org.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.