Natalie Rae Wass in "Fashion Risk or the Accidental Nudist."

The Minnesota Fringe Festival had sold-out houses for 17 shows during its first weekend, Fringe officials said Monday.

Ticket sales were stable compared to last year, according to preliminary figures, even as the overall number of shows and attendance were both up. The festival issued 17,758 tickets to 352 shows at 16 venues this year, according to Fringe officials. That's about 50 people per performance.

Over the same four-day period in 2012, the festival issued 16,885 tickets to 330 performances at 15 venues for an average of 51 patrons per show.

The sold-out shows included "Grimm For Kids," "Stuck In An Elevator With Patrick Stewart" and "Fashion Risk or the Accidental Nudist," which is among dozens of shows reviewed in the Star Tribune.

"We have first-time producers that sold out their shows," said executive director Robin Gillette in a release. She noted that the mix of over-subscribed productions included kids shows and first-time producers. . "We have kids’ shows selling out. We have one-woman shows; we have an out-of-towner selling out. It’s a really awesome mix, and it shows that our audience is willing to try out new artists and take a chance on new work.”

The festival also announced that because of a family emergency, the “Fata Morgana” had been dropped. It has been replaced by Tim Mooney's “The Greatest Speech of All Time” at the Playwrights’ Center.


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