Although it’s slimmed down by about 10 percent from last year, the Capital Fringe Festival is still a huge, sprawling jungle of an event, and deciding how to bet your $17 can be taxing. (In this heat, blinking your eyes is taxing.) But soft! The Fringe & Purge Action News and Commentary Squad does more than just change tires and foil attempts to steal the U.S. gold reserve! We’re here not merely to protect, but also to serve.

And so: Here’re five shows you can see this very evening that more or less won over individual foot soldiers from our unstoppable blog-army.

Sisters of Ellery Hollow (The Apothecary, 6 p.m.) — Olivia Gunn says Stephen Spotswood‘s whimsical tale of two sisters who tell each other stories to transcend the pain of their lives is a worthy diversion for those prepared to suspend disbelief.

The Vindlevoss Family Circus Spectacular! (Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar, 6 p.m.) — Lindsey Boyle was quite taken in by the multitude of characters performed by a company of two, and especially by the professor’s mustache.

The Oregon Trail: The Quest for the West! (The Mountain – Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, 7:45 p.m.) — Regular WCP theater critic Rebecca J. Ritzel thinks this game-based musical has a real future, unlike her middle-school crush, a cholera casualty every time they played the old computer game.

Boston Marriage (Spooky Universe – Universalist National Memorial Church, 7:45 p.m.) — David Mamet‘s Victorian-ladies-cohabitating play is — says Aaron WienerWaiting for Godot with an Aaron Sorkin polish.

Preacherman (Wonderbox, 8:15 p.m.) — Ian Buckwalter was moved to paraphrase Dennis Hopper in Speed in his assessment of this one-man show from the Reverend Nuge, a self-described “Pentecostal minister-turned-athiest street magician, strip-club bartender and law-school dropout,” searching for his place in our unforgiving world.

So you’ve got some options. Go, get thee to a show!