Go West, young festival. Since its scrappy beginnings 16 years ago on the Lower East Side on the edge of gentrification, the New York International Fringe Festival has moved up in the world—or at least the Village. The 2012 incarnation features 187 shows playing over 17 days, and what once covered a couple of blocks now sprawls from Stanton Street to St. Marks Place to Avenue B to the Hudson. The Fringe’s best bets generally include the pop-cult-savvy musicals, confessional one-person shows, and absurdist comedies. And there’s always something for everyone. For instance, if you like cat stories, silly songs, and pole dancing, Meghan Gambling and Sascha Alexander’s Naked & Crazy might be for you. Other seeming highlights of this year’s lineup: a Sound of Music sequel entitled The Hills Are Alive, a military sex-scandal docu-drama called Tail! Spin!, Pulp Shakespeare, and LOLPERA.

Mondays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 10. Continues through Aug. 26, 2012

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