East to Edinburgh: 59E59 Theaters Edinburgh Fringe Preview 2013

I continue to be impressed by the high-quality programming at 59E59 Theaters. They've done a spectacular job of living up to their claim of being the number one Off-Broadway destination in New York City. From July 9 through July 28, 2013, catch their wonderful series "East to Edinburgh," their annual Edinburgh Fringe Preview. It's a chance for New Yorkers to see and celebrate sixteen American shows that are scheduled to travel to Scotland's capital city as part of what is dubbed as the largest arts festival in the world.

Here are my top four picks of this year's excellent selection (with the synopses provided by 59E59).

Expiration Date
Imagine it is 2113, you've reached your 150th birthday and must transition into another life form or simply disappear into the ether. What would you do?

His Majesty the Devil: A Play with Music
A mysterious gentleman. A young terrorist. The eve preceding destruction. Wit, wisdom, foolishness, and drama intertwine with violins, questioning injustice and violence in our world.

Honest Iago: And 3 Other Choice Villains from Shakespeare
Gripping scenes from the careers of Shakespeare's top villains: Iago, Richard III, Claudius, and Edmund.

The Island of Doctor Moreau
A mystical and savage tale of science run amok. On a strange island, a mad scientist tampers with nature to warp animals into humans in this Butoh-inspired physical adaptation of H.G. Wells' horror classic.

The rest of the line-up is also enticing and deserves mention (again, all descriptions courtesy of 59E59):

American Gun Show
20% of Americans own a gun. Is it safe to go to the theater in the land of Ted Nugent Disease?

Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies
Journey into the minds of Hollywood's greatest stars on the night of the 1939 Oscars and see what happens when someone who always wants to win...loses?

It Goes Without Saying
A fun and unflinching look at the life and mimes of Bill Bowers. From Barbie dolls in his backyard to Broadway and beyond, Bowers talks (yes, he talks) about a life lived out loud.

Longing for Grace
Hitchcock's "volcano covered with snow" is poignantly channeled by actress and playwright Grace Kiley. A cautionary tale about the danger of abandoning one's dreams, directed by Austin Pendleton.

Mercy Killers
Joe loves apple pie, Rush Limbaugh, and the Fourth of July. But when his wife is diagnosed with cancer and loses her insurance, his patriotic feelings are brought into question as he struggles with losing your health in the land of plenty. Michael Milligan (August: Osage County) stars.

Miserable Lesbians: The Musical Parody
This loving parody of Broadway's favorite show follows rebels struggling for gay rights in 19th century France.

Nina, an affluent prep school girl from the east side of Manhattan, meets a dangerous man. Will she be safe?

Savvy Secrets of Successful Mistresses
Charismatic comedian Lisa Faith Phillips as Dr. Faith whips up an "outrageously funny, devilishly clever, and wildly entertaining" (NewYorkCool.com) self-help seminar with original songs.

Sex with Animals
Think David Attenborough meets Eddie Izzard on Grindr -- an expedition through animals' often hilarious, occasionally profound sexual habits, starring Ryan Good (Neo-Futurist, NYIT award-winner).

The Sordid Sex Life of the Montane Vole
Award-winning comedian Adam Strauss tackles two wildly divergent topics: sex and love. Is true connection possible, or are we the mere playthings of archaic evolutionary impulses?

Woolly Mammoth Panic Attack
A bizarre, perturbing odyssey into the mind of a deeply troubled soul. In this debut standup show, Matt proves he's darker than the average Jew.

The Year I Was Gifted
The true tale of a working class girl's attempt to survive a prestigious boarding school for the arts. Should she betray her friends to stay there?

You can purchase tickets in person, by phone, or online. Members receive a discount. Visit http://www.59e59.org/ for details.