NYC-ARTS Top Five: NYC Fringe Festival, Sandcastle Competition in Rockaways

Interesting. Unusual. Uniquely NYC. The NYC-ARTS top five is your cheat sheet to what's hot before it hits the radar. Get the top five in your inbox every Tuesday and follow @nycarts on Twitter to stay abreast of events as they happen.

Here are our picks for the week of August 6 through 12:

1. Breakfast With Mugabe at Pershing Square Signature Center.

Originally produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2005, Fraser Grace's award-winning thriller begins previews this week in NYC. Inspired by accounts that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe sought treatment from a white psychiatrist for depression, the suspenseful play highlights how a man who was oppressed becomes an oppressor. See NYC-ARTS for discount code.

Amanda Palmer teased her way into cult status as half of The Dresden Dolls. With her Grand Theft Orchestra, the ever-inventive Palmer brings intense stage presence, evocative storytelling and theatrical flair to the Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival.

The scrappy theater festival that launched "Avenue Q" and the career of Mindy Kaling with "Matt and Ben" is back for its 17th year. Saucy one-woman shows, a slew of Mormon-themed works, a mash-up of Bram Stoker and Shakespeare and more await in 18 downtown venues. For just $15, say you saw it first at FringeNYC.

Creative Time returns to Far Rockaway to host its second annual Artist Sandcastle Competition. On Friday, August 9, a group of ten selected artists and their teams will pack sand and blow your imagination near the Beach 86th Street boardwalk to battle it out for prizes. Click for a video of last year's creations.

5. Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work at the Museum of American Illustration.

These are the last weeks to view never-before-seen works by the author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. Exhibited for the first time are 200 Sendak originals, curated by two rare-book dealers, including previously unpublished artwork from "Where the Wild Things Are."