FringeNYC Presents Benefit — And Announces Plans For The Future/Sunday, August 20th


FringeNYC (New York International Fringe Festival) will present FringeNYC 20/20: A Vaudeville, the first ever benefit gala for New York’s largest theater and performance festival. FringeNYC 20/20 will celebrate FringeNYC’s first twenty years with an evening of eclectic performances by FringeNYC alumni and will include the highly-anticipated first announcement of their vision for the future. Hosted by Todd Robbins, the evening will feature performances by Billy (The Mime), Jena Friedman, American Horror Story’s Naomi Grossman, Dominique Salerno, Gianmarco Soresi, and more. It will be presented Sunday, August 20 at The Gramercy Theatre (127 E 23rd Street between Park and Lexington Avenues). The VIP reception begins at 6pm, doors open at 6:30pm and the show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $50 – $175, available at

FringeNYC is a production of The Present Company, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Elena K. Holy. In 1997, New York City became the seventh US city to host a fringe festival, joining Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Houston, Orlando and San Francisco. FringeNYC has presented over 3000 performing groups representing every continent, prompting Switzerland’s national daily, Neue Zuercher Zeitung, to declare FringeNYC as “the premiere meeting ground for alternative artists.” FringeNYC has also been the launching pad for numerous Off-Broadway and Broadway transfers, long-running downtown hits, and regional theater productions including Urinetown, Matt & Ben, Never Swim Alone, Jammer, Debbie Does Dallas, Dog Sees God, Brandon Teena, Dixie’s Tupperware Party, 21 Dog Years, The Irish Curse, and Silence! The Musical; movies including WTC View and Armless; and even a TV show (‘da Kink in My Hair). FringeNYC alumni include Bradley Cooper, Melissa Rauch (Big Bang Theory), Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me, CNN’s Inside Man), Mindy Kaling, Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Pippin), Alex Timbers (Rocky), Leigh Silverman (Violet), W. Kamau Bell (Totally Biased), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), David Anders (iZombie), Sam Underwood (Fear The Walking Dead) and Kristen Schall (Last Man on Earth), among countless other success stories.

Todd Robbins (FringeNYC ’00) is a New York City based performer who has spent decades specializing in arcane forms of popular entertainment, offbeat amusements and intriguing deceptions. Currently Todd can be seen on the Investigation Discovery channel’s new series True Nightmares. The series features Todd as the host telling bizarre true tales of murder and mayhem that all have a lovely ironic twist to them. Recently Todd he was seen in the acclaimed off-Broadway theater show Play Dead. It is a joyous evening of true ghost stories about real people and unholy resurrection that he created with Teller (of Penn & Teller). The show also played to a sold out run at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and a new production will be opening soon in Las Vegas. Todd is also one of the partners in Magical Nights Inc, the producers of New York’s longest running magic show Monday Night Magic and its sister show Magical Nights at Feinstein’s. He is the author of the cult classic book The Modern Con Man: How to Get Something for Nothing and the creator of the companion Modern Con Man DVD Collection.

Billy (The Mime) (FringeNYC ’06) first garnered attention with his show stopping appearance in the hit documentary The Aristocrats. After appearing at FringeNYC, he presented his show, America Love Sex Death, at The Flea Theater in New York, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Risadaria Festival (Brazil), Mainstage at Playwright’s Horizon, Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, The Lake Shore Theater and Mayne Stage (Chicago) and The Revolutions International Theater Festival in New Mexico. Television appearances include Mom, My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Parks and Recreation.

Jena Friedman (FringeNYC ’08) is a stand up comedian, actor, writer and filmmaker. She is currently a correspondent for National Geographic Explorer and has worked as a field producer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and has written for Late Show with David Letterman. Her critically acclaimed stand up special, American Cunt, is now available on Seeso and Amazon.

Naomi Grossman (FringeNYC ’11) is best known for her portrayal of “Pepper” in “American Horror Story” Previously, she wrote, produced, and starred in her second hit solo show, “Carnival Knowledge: Love, Lust, and other Human Oddities,” which enjoyed a twice-extended, sold-out run and rave reviews (“Recommended” by LA Weekly); the show was then reprised at the world-famous fringe theatre festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it received more critical praise (4 stars: The Scotsman, Broadway Baby, Fringe Review) and a transfer to London’s West End (Leicester Square Theatre). It was later reprised Off Off Broadway in New York. Its predecessor, “Girl in Argentine Landscape,” also received critical acclaim (LA Weekly, “Pick of the Week”) and earned her an LA Weekly Theater Award nomination for best solo performance. Naomi also toured with “Girl…” to Chicago’s Single File Festival, the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, and FringeNYC. A graduate in theatre from Northwestern University and a former member of the esteemed Groundlings Sunday Company, Naomi has starred in numerous self-penned/produced comedic shorts under her “Red Meat Entertainment” umbrella, as well as recently appeared in her first feature film, “Table for Three.”

Dominique Salerno (FringeNYC ’16) is a New York based actress, singer, director, improvisor, and playwright. She received her MFA in Acting from American Conservatory Theater, and her A.B. in Religion from Princeton University. Her hilarious solo show, The Box Show, recently won the Overall Excellence Award in FringeNYC and Best Comedic Script in the United Solo Theatre Festival.  It also was selected as one of the ‘Top 10 shows out of 200’ for the Fringe Encore Series

Gianmarco Soresi (FringeNYC ’14) is a comic, storyteller and actor, but his obituary will likely lead with “the guy from all those General Electric commercials.” A regular performer at The PIT, UCB, Broadway Comedy Club, The Creek and The Cave and more, he’ll be headlining Carolines Comedy Club September 27th and releasing his first hour special, Infinite Bris, later this year. His play, Less Than 50%, debuted in the 2014 Fringe Festival, transferred for Fringe Encores, and will return next summer to 59E59 for a full Off-Broadway run. His sketch comedy work has been featured Fast Company, A. V. Club, Huffington Post, Metro New York, CityLab, Splitsider, Laughspin, and he’ll be creating original video for Funny or Die in October. Besides his commercial work, you might recognize from Blue Bloods (CBS), Unforgettable (A&E), Hack My Life (TruTV), I Love You But I Lied! (Lifetime), The Last O.G. (TBS), Clown Bar (Pipeline Theatre Company) and the EST One-Act Marathon. Follow him @GianmarcoSoresi for upcoming stand-up dates or with his sketch team Uncle Function and check out his sketch series Matza Pizza and An Actor Unprepared. More at

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