Five Must-See Shows At This Year’s Frigid Festival

Poe Dunk Photo by Kevin P. Hale Kevin P. Hale A moment from “Poe-Dunk.”

The East Village has Fringe Festival (applications for next summer’s are due next week), and in the winter it has Frigid Festival. Founded in 2007 by San Francisco’s Exit Theatre and our own Horse Trade Theater Group, it runs from Feb. 22 to March 4 this year. Earlier this week, “snapshots” of 13 of the festival’s 30 shows – all produced by independent theater companies – debuted at Under St. Marks. Five of them stood out.

“Rabbit Island
Chris Harcum was without his cast, but if his charisma is any indication, his play in which a talkative Canadian mime navigates New York will be one to watch. Of Frigid, Mr, Harcum said, “I think it’s better than the New York Fringe festival, personally, because you get to see five shows each night and all the money goes back to the artists.” Many in the room echoed his sentiments.

“Stripper Lesbians”
This deep, probing comedy with philosophical roots will appeal to feminists and the women who love them. Expect lap dances paired with talk of Sartre and de Beauvoir.

“Poe-Dunk: A Matchbox Entertainment”
“Poe was a satirist, which means his sense of humor wasn’t very funny,” said Kevin P. Hale as he played with paper miniatures and curios. This comedy of the macabre uses tiny props to illustrate the famous poet’s lesser-known tales.

“Missed Connections: An Exploration into the Online Postings of Desperate Romantics”
Someone should have thought of this a long time ago: just stand onstage and recite some of the most poignant, hilarious “Missed Connections” postings on Craigslist. Jake McKenna’s Latina character stood out in this preview. Pathos, thy name is “triste face.”

“The Terrible Manpain of Umberto MacDougal”
If you have a heart, writer-performer Emleigh Wolf’’s excellent brogue will break it. Expect to leave with a beard full of tears.

The Frigid Festival runs for 12 days at Under St. Marks, the Kraine Theater and the Red Room. Tickets are $10 to $16, or $30 dollars for a festival pass. More info here.