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Alternative slate

Canada's Frankenfringe stages 150 productions

EDMONTON — The biggest fringe festival on the continent, known this year as “Bride of Frankenfringe,” opens a 10-day run on Friday with 150 productions on 11 stages.

Performing will be alternative theater groups from seven countries, six U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces. A new Fringe Flicks component will offer 50 independent short-subject and feature films and videos.

Backed by government grants and widely supported by business and individuals in Edmonton, the 18-year-old stage and film festival is expected to attract 450,000 visitors and gross over $1 million. Ticket prices top out at $6.50.

The chief venue is the Arts Barns, a former bus barn in the Old Strathcona district.

“The festival is now second in size to the Edinburgh fringe festival,” director David Chereos told Daily Variety. Edmonton’s has a new version of “Hamlet” (two hours, seven actors, and free ham sandwiches) and — at a different place in the showbiz spectrum — “Three Sado Elitist Plays,” touted as “over two hours in length and rather ornate.”

There’s also “Trippin’,” a musical adaptation of Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.”

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