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Zootown Fringe Festival opens with First Friday occupation of Brink Gallery

The Second Annual Zootown Fringe Festival unofficially opened on August 1 with a First Friday occupation of its Fringe Central headquarters at the Brink Gallery on Front Street in downtown Missoula.

Zootown Fringe Festival celebrated First Friday at the Brink Gallery on August 1
Bob Leggett
The Zootown Fringe Festival sign shines in the window of the Brink Gallery
Bob Leggett

The night featured five performances of Beet Preparation 1-5 by the talented actress Lisa Venuti of Potomac, Montana. Venuti performed her five-minute piece each hour on the hour between 5 and 9 p.m. Check out the photos by Chelle S Imaging and Jonathan Qualben for a visual representation of her show.

Tamarack Brewery Company donated a case each of their Yardsale Amber Ale and Hat Trick Hop IPA which were sampled by some of the more than 100 adults who attended the show. Giving out those samples, as well as a case of red wine donated by the Brink, kept the Fringe's Executive Director Bob Leggett busy for most of the night. Creative Director Michelle Risho provided the hosting duties.

Music was featured between the hourly dramatic performances. MyssLyss and the Mysstic Uke played in the 5 o'clock, 7 o'clock and 9 o'clock hours, while Missincinatti provide the tunes during the 6 o'clock and 8 o'clock hours.

In addition to the dramatic and music performances, artists Geoff Pepos, Susie Risho, Marlo Crosifisso and Jeff Pernell displayed their visual art. Home ReSource loaned the kidney-shaped stage used by the musicians for First Friday and throughout the Fringe while Bitterroot Flower Shop loaned the plants that decorated the space. The mirror was donated by Kristin and Travis Morris, while the Fringe light box was donated by King Design & Sign. Stage design was provided by Jonathan Qualben. Exit 360 Creative and Ephie Risho provided the graphic design.

Next up for the Fringe is their Taste of the Fringe fundraiser and party on Tuesday, August 12 at the Top Hat Lounge. The evening will start off at 6 p.m. with a performance from local band Basses Covered followed by two and a half hours of 10-minute previews from several of the Fringe participants before concluding with musical performances by Max Grotto, Cherry Sky Studios, Leif Christian and local fan favorite funk & jam band, Shakewell. In addition, a silent auction featuring more than 35 items donated by local businesses will take place from 6 to 9 p.m.

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