By Advocate Contributors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 08 2014 5:00 AM ET
Every Fringe has its benefits. The New York International Fringe Festival, North America's largest multi-arts festival, takes over the downtown Manhattan theater scene today through August 24 in its 18th year. Which of the 205 FringeNYC shows from 17 states and 13 countries are worth seeing? Take a peek at 20 of the most promising performances featuring LGBT characters and themes.
Fantasies meet reality in Kim Ehly's play about a spirited young daydreamer who, after coming out as a lesbian and alienating her adoptive family, searches for love and a place to call home.
Jack Herholdt's adaptation of a Euripides classic puts a modern twist on the gruesome rivalry between the god Dionysus and mortal king Pentheus.
Behind Closed Doors
Revolution erupts in Peter Berube and Aaron Beaumont's musical when an Orwellian government tries to shut down an underground burlesque brothel full of second-class citizens.
The Bloodline of Shadrick Grace
An orphaned boy grows up to become a bootlegger in Maya Contreras's boozy Southern tale, which also includes a couple of lesbian nuns.
Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions
Prepare for the Glamageddon! A demonic gay rock star tries to corrupt the Messiah, a singer spreading love as an American Icon contestant, in Erik Ransom's spin on the Book of Revelation.
Depression: The Musical
A songwriter finds she may be a lesbian alcoholic in Marianne Pillsbury's semiautobiographical pop-rock tuner about falling apart and picking up the pieces — with or without pills and therapy.
Barry Levey, a Jewish playwright and performer, leaves his non-Jewish boyfriend at home to embark on a journey to find and challenge Holocaust deniers from Illinois to Iran.
Bjorn Berkhout's musical comedy reimagines Shakespeare's The Tempest on Fire Island, where Madam Sparrow, a mysterious innkeeper, seeks vengeance on unsuspecting men from her past.
I Am Not I
Jane, who has a girlfriend, struggles with her gender identity in Laura Abbott's family drama. How will Jane's folks react if their teenage daughter wears a tux to her quinceañera?
Love at Home
From their teens in the '90s to the passing of Proposition 8, two San Francisco sisters, a lesbian and a Mormon, struggle to find mutual understanding and acceptance in Mary Matoula Webb's drama.
The Mormon Bird Play
Six men portray little girls who become birds that manifest themselves as Mormon temple workers, missionaries, and pioneer women in Roger Benington's surreal comedy.
Moses, The Author
Moses must cope with career headaches, God problems, and family issues, including a gay son, in Andrew R. Heinze's comedic love story with scrolls.
An acid-tongued New York drag queen named Helen Back riles up his family when he returns home to New Jersey in Colin Drucker's dramedy.
Friends and family believe that inseparable roomies Luke and Ash are a couple, even though the dudes aren't gay. Or are they? Brandon Baruch's bromantic comedy puts them to the ultimate test.
The Picture (of Dorian Gray)
Neal Utterback's contemporary adaptation and unconventional staging of Oscar Wilde's text explores how far a boy will go to satisfy his darkest desires.
Popular gay Australian comedian Joel Creasey, a master raconteur, takes Manhattan with his acclaimed solo show about idols and icons, including Joan Rivers and Meryl Streep.
Skin in the Game
Hunky, underprivileged high school seniors compete overseas for a full-ride university scholarship in Anthony Joseph Giunta's suspenseful thriller.
Childhood friends Cali Bulmash and Emily Lowinger explore the many shades of love — requited, unrequited, straight, queer — in this adult mixtape of comedy, poetry, and improv.
The Teddy Teddy Show Live in NYC
A legendary '90s club kid muses on the current state of NYC nightlife and recalls his heyday on the scene in this solo comedy by Pete Zias.
Inspired by true events, Joe Norton's play tails six AIDS charity bicycle riders who must overcome various obstacles. Can a chicken help them cross the road?
For a full performance schedule visit FringeNYC.org.