Fringe festivals present a smorgasbord of comedies, musicals, circus acts, puppetry and more, along with offbeat and risqué subjects and experimental approaches that foster a sense that anything goes. A glance at the New Orleans InFringe Festival’s show titles gives a good sense of the tantalizing subjects meant to draw audiences to more than 40 shows at a dozen Bywater and Faubourg Marigny venues Nov. 7-11. There’s the solo memoir piece “A Lady Does Not Scratch Her Crotch.” Spooky Le Strange & Her Billion Dollar Baby Dolls present the David Lynch-inspired “Twin Peeks: A Black Lodge vs. White Lodge Burlesque.” “Knifeslinging!” is a mock self-defense tutorial. New York playwright Paul K. Smith’s “The Women of Paris: The Secrets of Mata Hari” looks at the Dutch exotic dancer convicted of spying for the Nazis, as well as other iconic women including fashion designer Coco Chanel, modern dancer Isadora Duncan and scientist Marie Curie.
The InFringe Festival presents shows in a densely scheduled long weekend designed for binge-watching, with mostly hour-long shows beginning every couple of hours. Tickets to most shows cost $10, and discount ticket packages and weekend passes are available. There also is a slate of shows for children at Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos. Lists of shows and venues are posted on the festival website. Below are some of the shows by local and visiting performers.
“Curie Me Away!” Though physicist Marie Curie became the first scientist to win two Nobel Prizes, she battled sexism, lost her husband and scientific partner and worked with hazardous materials during a career full of important discoveries. Sadie Bowman of Minnesota’s Matheater writes and performs shows about scientists and mathematicians and “Curie Me Away!” is an upbeat and clever musical about Curie. 7 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at Mudlark Public Theatre, 1200 Port St.
“Doctor Tanzler and the Girl Whose Name was Miracle.” The Mudlark Puppeteers’ rod and shadow puppet show recounts the strange but true story of Carl Tanzler, a radiology technologist masquerading as a doctor, who fell in love with a young woman with tuberculosis. After her death, he put her body in a mausoleum and began what he imagined as their relationship. 7 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday at Mudlark Public Theatre, 1200 Port St.
“Knifeslinger!” Minnesota performer Jeremy Motz’s comedic solo piece mimics and mocks the machismo and paranoid fears of self-defense experts. 7 p.m. Friday and 9 p.m. Sunday at GrandPre’s, 834 N. Rampart St.; 7 p.m. Saturday at Marcer Manor, 1000 N. Rampart St.
“A Lady Does Not Scratch Her Crotch.” In New York performer Celeste Cahn’s solo piece, she recounts growing up in world overrun by Disney princesses and becoming aware of her body’s physical changes, with scenes mimicking “Beauty and the Beast.” 7 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday and 11 p.m. Friday at GrandPre’s, 834 N. Rampart St.
“Operation #1: Living Without Memories.” Glenna Broderick of Fly Circus Space created the Circus Intelligence Agency to do dramatic shows featuring circus arts. In the group’s debut, the new resident of an apartment realizes two ethereal squatters lay claim to the space based on their memories in a show featuring trapeze and silk aerial work, clowning, physical comedy and musical accompaniment on harp. 9 p.m. Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. Sunday at Happyland Theater, 3126 Burgundy St.
“Shakesbeer: Romeo & Juliet.” Young love is usually complicated by excessive drinking, but in this streamlined version of the Bard’s tragedy turned into a drinking game, beer makes the story more fun. AshleyRose Bailey, Lauren Malara and Julie Dietz star in Goat in the Road Productions’ reprise of the show. Tickets include one beer. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday at Parleaux Beer Lab, 634 Lesseps St.
“Wow Wee2! Adventures of a Little Girl Killbot” New York’s Improvisational Repertory Theater Ensemble (IRTE) combines set characters and premises and improvised dialogue and stories. “Wow Wee2!” is a 1980s-style family sitcom set in a post-apocalyptic world, and the troubled teenager in the Truman family is Andie the Android. 11 p.m. Friday, 9 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at The AllWays Lounge and Theatre, 2240 St. Claude Ave.