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Australian acts to debut in Off Broadway fringe series

Arts

Shows hand picked from an Australian festival will feature in the international Fringe Encore Series in New York for the first time this month.

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The Off Broadway series is in its 12th season at SoHo Playhouse but organizers are hopeful this year will be the most successful yet.

Irish-Australian comedian Jimeoin will perform the first of his five shows on opening night of the series on September 5. Fafi D’Alour & The Delinquents will also perform five times from September 29 to October 7.

The acts were chosen following shows at the Adelaide Fringe – the world’s second largest fringe festival – that caught the attention of SoHo Playhouse Artistic Director Darren Lee Cole in February.

They will join performers from Edinburgh and Brighton fringes in the United Kingdom as well as artists from Hollywood and Winnipeg fringes.

Cole has just flown back to New York from Edinburgh – his fifth fringe festival of the year – and said the average quality of the shows and the talent he saw in Adelaide, South Australia, was equal to or better than any other 2017 fringe.

He said early ticket sales and the potential to fill the void left by the New York Fringe’s hiatus this year had his Fringe Encore Series on track for its most successful season yet.

“I’m hugely optimistic about how the Adelaide Fringe acts will be received,” Cole said.

“New York is about as far away as you can get but I think a New York audience will naturally gravitate towards the Adelaide acts.

Cole said he chose Fafi D’Alour & The Delinquents for their talent and because he thought they would be well received in the United States.

“Her cabaret is a very sophisticated cabaret – not only is this a great show but it’s a style of cabaret that is re-emerging in New York so I thought it would be very well suited,” he said.

“It’s a show that also fills a niche – I like to fill the series with some comedy, primarily theatre and some cabaret and physical performances.

“Especially because there is no New York Fringe this year and we have fully internationalized the series, I know there are a lot of bookers who are already booking tickets to coming to see.”

Fiona Smith, 21, writes, produces and stars as Fafi D’Alour (pictured) in the contemporary cabaret that includes ballet, burlesque, a soul jazz singer and aerialists.

The four-woman show enjoyed success at the Perth and Adelaide fringes this year and will play at the Melbourne Fringe in mid-September before heading to New York.

Smith, who takes great inspiration from the Bob Fosse jazz style of dancing made famous by the musical Chicago, trained in New York last year but is yet to perform there.

“The trip to the United States last year blew my mind – I’ve been dancing since I was four years old and I’d never seen anything like what I saw in the US – it was so inspirational,” she said.

“I want people in other places to see what Adelaide has got.

“Everyone knows about Edinburgh when you talk Fringe but I think a lot of people in the US really don’t know about Adelaide including a lot of the brokers and directors.”

Cole was among 178 delegates in Adelaide as part of the Fringe’s Honeypot program, which aims to forge relationships between artists and presenters, programmers and producers of festivals and venues from around the world.

Fafi D’Alour & The Delinquents and Jimeoin were among 108 Adelaide Fringe acts to be signed up by Honeypot delegates at the Adelaide Fringe this year.

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