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Egad, what a sticky and eventful first weekend’s Fringery!

CapFringe Audience Services Director Cory Ryan Frank dons a tie to do the numbers: Nine thousand tickets! Five thousand buttons! A thousand passes! Uncountable memories!

It almost didn’t get off the ground at all. The milk of human kindness, as we all know, is in actuality beer. Some undetermined time prior to 1630 hours Thursday afternoon—-a mere T-minus 30 minutes from festival launch at the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent Bar, which had actually opened for drinking a couple weeks earlier—-the bar’s Co2 canisters had walked away, perhaps aided in their egress by miscreants. Intolerable!

Losing no time, festival Food & Beverage Manager Matty Griffiths appealed to the beneficence of several nearby imbibing establishments—-The Passenger, Busboys & Poets, The DC Eagle, Room 7—-securing enough donated Co2 to get the taps flowing only a few minutes after the tent-bar was set to open. (Kat Hansen, events & marketing coordinator at Busboys & Poets, confirms that her establishment was among the donors.)

Anyway, ’twas hardly the only heroic act of festival-saving charity this weekend! Our own Ian Buckwalter—-a distinguished returning member of the Fringe & Purge Action News & Commentary Squad who is in real life a film critic for NPR, Washingtonian, DCist, and probably a few more he’s added just while I’ve been typing this sentence—-had a hand in saving Saturday afternoon’s opening performance of The Morphine Diaries. Actually, two hands.

Ian’s not really the type to tell self-aggrandizing stories, so your humble Fringe & Purge editor will probably have to add emphasis and innuendo to his calm and sober recollections, but here goes:

“I was having a cigarette outside the Redrum space, and I saw a passing motorist execute a hasty, ill-advised U-turn across L Street. At this point there was a large, or perhaps a small, explosion. Perhaps it was more of a pop.” [EDITOR’s NOTE: U-turns, you do what you gotta, but cigarette-smoking is just gross, especially when it’s 90 goddamn degrees outside! We will talk about this at your next Fringe & Purge Action News and Commentary Squad fitness-for-duty physical, Buckwalter!]

A young woman whom Fringe & Purge would identify through canny Web-based reporting as Jessica Teaford ran from the vehicle carrying a large bag. Ian continues: “Everyone on the street points and says, ‘You just blew your tire.’ And she says, ‘This is the worst day ever!’ So she went inside to drop her bag off, then came back. She opened her trunk of her car and got on her cell phone with someone. I could see she was starting to cry.

“‘Are you going to require aid, Ma’am?’, I asked her. She said, ‘I think that I probably will.'”

Fringe & Purge notes the utter disregard Buckwalter displayed for his own physical safety, or that of his cigarette.

“I took the jack out of her trunk myself,” says Buckwalter bashfully, stuffing his capable hands in his pockets.

It is entirely possible that he took his shirt off to begin the sweaty, hazardous operation of tire-replacement. Watching in astonishment, Teaford remarked, “I always told my dad he shoud teach me how to do this.” She choked this encomium through tears, we’re assuming, but of gratitude, not vexation. And no wonder: “She said she was flustered because she’d been driving around for 45 minutes looking for a parking space,” Buckwalter says.

Buckwalter totally has a girlfriend. He is too old for this woman in any case. We have no idea why he would be carrying a rail spike with him in his messenger bag to attend a play.

LATER TODAY: Reviews of The Malachite Palace, Cloudism, Insurgent Sonata, Foggerty’s Fairy, Preacherism and more. And ace vidi-blogger Matt Bevillacqua‘s tour of CapFringe venues continues!

AND LATER THIS WEEK: Our theater-director guest-blogger Ryan S. Taylor checks in with an interview with Jo Firestone and Dylan Marron of Megan and David’s Original, Low Cost Creativity Workshop, and your humble editor sits down with playwright/actor Evan Crump, whose Genesis won Best Drama last year, and whose new to-infinity-and-beyond play, Flyboy, we quite liked. I’ll also review the not-just-for-Trekkies Who Killed Capt. Kirk? Plus power rankings! Your questions, answered! Buckwalter getting shirtless again, probably! YOU DON’T DARE MISS IT!