Peruse the Hollywood Fringe Festival program and you’ll find productions organized into categories like “Cabaret and Variety,” Musicals and Operas,” and “Events.” They seem self-evident until you consider some of the descriptions in the “Comedy” and “Theatre” sections.
Headscarf and the Angry Bitch is described as a “…hilarious hour of story and song.” How Did I Get Here? chronicles Laura Levites’s life, including “…bizarre situations involving emergency rooms, cults, fires, and drug deals.” Carl Kozlowski’s Asleep at the Wheel charts his “decade-long fight against narcolepsy and the array of utterly insane, embarrassing and dangerous experiences” he’s had to handle. Evolution of a Kiss is a called a “comedic romp.”
Which is comedy and which is theater? Can you guess? (Answer below.)
When asked about categorization, Fringe publicist Stacy Jones says, “Participants are given a choice which category they want to be listed in; we leave it up to them.” One important factor: “There are winners named in each category,” Jones explains, “so people may think about whether they have a better chance being considered as a comedy or a play.”
Fringe organizers only step in when absolutely necessary. “One show – Zombie as Fuck – was submitted under the ‘Fringe Family’ category,” says Jones. “Obviously, we had to change that one.”
(Answers: Headscarf = theater, How Did I Get Here = comedy, Asleep = comedy, Kiss = theater.)