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  • N0424XMEN02KK.jpg N0424XMEN in the University of Colorado's production of "X-Men:...


    N0424XMEN02KK.jpg N0424XMEN in the University of Colorado's production of "X-Men: The Musical." Photo by Marty Caivano/April 22, 2009

  • N0424XMEN01.JPG N0424XMEN01.JPG N0424XMEN01 Bay Brian, left, portrays "Pyro," and Graham...


    N0424XMEN01.JPG N0424XMEN01.JPG N0424XMEN01 Bay Brian, left, portrays "Pyro," and Graham Emmons plays "Magneto" in the University of Colorado's production of "X-Men: The Musical." Photo by Marty Caivano/April 22, 2009


If you go

What: Fringe Festival 2012

When: Friday through Sunday

Where: CU’s University Theater and the Charlotte York Irey studios

Cost: Free

F estival organizers said this year’s Fringe Festival at the University of Colorado promises to be one of the most daring yet. The free weekend of quirky events, presented by CU-Onstage, features everything from improv comedy, to satirical musicals, to a burlesque show.

“It is one of the most diverse events you will encounter in Boulder,” Brendan Milove said, CU-Onstage’s public relations director. “This is not just a film festival, or a weekend of plays. This is an event where people who are interested in every type of art can share what they can do. There are plays, musicals, art showcases, films, improv comedy, music, dance showcases, sketch comedy shows, variety shows and more.”

Daniel Leonard, president of CU-Onstage, said the Fringe Festival, which is in its 16th year, is the organization’s largest event. This year, there will be 50 showings of 32 unique performances all directed, performed — and sometimes written — by CU students.

“It’s become a tradition at CU mostly, for lack of a better wording, because it is such a great time,” Milove says. “Each year everyone has a blast and looks forward to the next year. Fringe obviously has evolved over the years. Each year the festival gets bigger and better.”

The festival carries long traditions, such as a drag show and a spoof musical. In years’ past, spoof musicals have included themes of “Harry Potter” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” This year features “Wall Street: The Musical,” which is one of three student written and composed musicals.

“Fringe is a wonderful introduction to performing and visual arts at CU,” Milove says. “Not only is it a chance to see some of the most passionate work that you will find, but it is catered to the general public. Audiences will be blown away by some of the dramatic pieces. And Boulder is home to some of the highest-quality comedy you can find, and it’s all at your fingertips.”

Such comedy acts include CU’s nationally acclaimed troupe Left Right TIM, along with The Sexy Pilgrims, Slumber Party Knife Fight and Side Effects.

The festival also isn’t afraid to push the envelope, with “Sexting: The Musical” and adult burlesque show “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Nicole Dreistadt, a CU theater major, said “Girls!” (7:30 p.m. Sunday at the University Theater) marks the first time Fringe has allowed nudity in one of its shows. The student-written show revolves around “two notorious villains bent on stealing clothes from all the women in the world.”

The sexy satire will be more than just burlesque — it will also feature comedy sketches, musical numbers and acrobatic acts.

“Students can expect wild and raunchy humor with no apologies,” Dreistadt said. “This show is very unique — combining raw sexuality with bawdy humor, always poking fun at the way America deals with women’s issues today.”

Dreistadt said Fringe Festival helps create a community for artists at CU.

“Fringe Festival has always opened its arms to the weird and wild,” Dreistadt says. “The hardest thing for an artist today is finding someone who believes in you. At Fringe we all believe in each other. Art stops becoming a competition and turns into a community.”

But Fringe isn’t just for artists. Milove said it has something for everyone.

“Fringe Festival is a unique opportunity to see what the student body at CU is capable of,” Milove says. “It certainly will not disappoint.”

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