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It’s Just a Stage

Fringe Festival, preteen division.

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Kids can meet the actors from FringeJr. shows at Fort FringeJr. events.  

The Fringe Festival is generally considered “adults only.” But, like seemingly all New Yorkers, it has spawned and arrives this week toting FringeJR, a trio of child-friendly plays, in its proverbial BabyBjörn. (They’re intended for ages 5 to 12, though what toddler doesn’t like songs and fanfare?) Myles the Hypoallergenic Superhero and His Superhero Friends, about a wheezy 9-year-old who’s magically given powers to combat his allergen enemies, surely has the best title of the three. “I never listened to authority unless it was cool, which superheroes are,” says its creator, Bridget Ryan, who is allergic to dogs and kiwis. “It’s cool to know how to take care of yourself. The show empowers kids, doesn’t belittle them with lessons.” She’s particularly proud of a nine-minute battle sequence with pollen, peanuts, and cats. (Spoiler alert: Myles wins.) Another show, Angela’s Flying Bed, is a quintessential New York story: Overscheduled girl with cell-phone-addicted parents refuses to get out of bed after one too many moves to bigger places in better neighborhoods. On a new, magical mattress, she takes a musical journey of self-discovery, meeting a contented humpless camel along the way. “The show does have an agenda. It’s about materialism and stuff and the pursuit of whatever,” says co-writer Dave Hall. In the third play, Earth’s Vacation, a sick planet wants a break. “He has internal problems because his humans aren’t taking care of him well,” says playwright Maura Kelley. Four other celestial bodies explain why he can’t go out of orbit and offer a topical Al Gore–lite message about recycling, hybrid cars, and the like. Kooky songs and plenty of kid humor (gassy Jupiter burps a lot) round it out. At $10 a performance, catching all three is hardly out of the question.

Myles the Hypoallergenic Superhero and His Superhero Friends: 8/14 through 8/18 (8/14 at 3:15 p.m., 8/15 at 4 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., 8/17 at 7:45 p.m., 8/18 at 6:45 p.m.). The Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce St., at Bedford St.; Angela’s Flying Bed: 8/10 through 8/26 (8/10 at 5 p.m., 8/15 at 5:45 p.m., 8/19 at 3:15 p.m., 8/23 at 8 p.m., 8/26 at 2:30 p.m.). The Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker St., at Mulberry St.; Earth’s Vacation: 8/11 through 8/22 (8/11 at 2:15, 8/17 at 7:30 p.m., 8/18 at 7:30 p.m., 8/21 at 2:45 p.m., 8/22 at 3 p.m.). The Cherry Lane Theatre. (For all shows, call 212-279-4488 or go to fringenyc.org). $10 each.


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