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Fringe finishes strong, sets attendance record

Well, here’s one theater that’s not struggling.

The 2009 Minnesota Fringe Festival broke its previous attendance record and issued 13 percent more tickets than last year during its week-and-a-half run.

This year’s edition issued more than 46,000 tickets, according to preliminary figures. The 2008 Fringe had 40,926. The previous record-setting year, 2006, saw sales of 44,692 tickets. The box-office gross for 2009 is more than $330,000.

Saturday night’s performance of the Four Humors Theater’s “Sideways Stories From Wayside School” set a single-show attendance record, with 402 tickets.

The top-selling show was the very funny “Harty Boys in the Case of the Limping Platypus,” presented by Joshua English Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen, which had 1,062 attendees at the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center Thrust. You can see the Fringe’s top-10 lists here.

Several shows played to more than 100 percent capacity, including Jon Ferguson/Stages Theater Company’s “Projectile Thinking”; “Parry Hotter and the Half-Drunk Twins,” presented by Empty S Productions; “Sarah, Your Ovaries Are Drying Up: The Musical” presented by Crankador Productions; and “Two Short Operas: Mr. Berman’s Bath-Size Bar and There’s a Mastodon In My Backyard” presented by the Dead Composers Society.

Final figures are still to be issued. And, by the way, the 2010 Fringe will run Aug. 5 to 15. Theater folks ­ start planning now.

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