09/05/2013 09:07 EDT | Updated 11/05/2013 05:12 EST

5 Fringe Festival shows not to miss

With more than 600 performances by 89 different artists, Vancouver's annual Fringe Festival can be daunting for people who don't know much about the performers or what to expect.

CBC Radio's On the Coast asked festival expert Robyn Williams Dann for her top picks this year.

Dann — who has been catching about 30 shows a year for the past eight years — says she looks at festivals in other cities to see what's been a hit, then talks to people in line and at the Fringe Bar once the festival starts.

Here are her top five picks heading into this year's festival, which runs from Sept. 5 to 15 at locations across the city.

1. Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future - SNAFU DANCE Theatre won Fringe awards for their last offering, Little Orange Man in 2011. This is the sequel.

2. Against Gravity - part shadow puppet show and part live musical performance with beat boxing and an overhead projector.

3. Hockey Night at the Puck and Pickle - a look ahead at what game night will look like for the Canada vs. Russia match at next year's Olympics - featuring local actors Ryan Gladstone and Jon Paterson.

4. The Adversary - Victoria based comedian Andrew Bailey draws on his decade as an inner city church custodian. The performance has been described as Woody Allen stuck in The Wire.

5. Unpossible - a magic show by Vancouver performer Travis Bernhardt that was a hit at the Edmonton Fringe Festival.