Welcome to the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, with one of the most open-minded and challenging programs for miles. Whether you’re a member of the LGBT community, a supporter of equal rights, or just curious: everyone is welcome at the Philly Fringe Festival. Attend as many shows as possible, and feel free to share this link.
A rundown of and welcome to sixteen LGBTQ+ shows in the 2019 Fringe Festival. (Read the companion article on LGBTQ+ news from around the world.)
Laipni lūdzam & Welcome Gunnar Montana, all your dancers, and everyone involved in your Basement show. FringeArts.com/9202. Gunnar Montana transports us once again, this time downward into the dark depths of terror. Follow one man’s frightening descent into deranged madness and witness his unrelenting, visceral nightmare unfold. Graphic content. Runs through September 28; visit GunnarMontana.com for more dates.
Welcome, Nick Jonczak. FringeArts.com/9621. This original solo performance seeks the deep, dark, and exalted in human ingenuity through a queered historical sci-fi epic. From the first test of an atomic bomb to the spread of white nationalism and our race to the stars, Churn reveals: You are every age you have ever been, and every age you will ever be.
3. Everybody Loves Each Other These Days
Welcome, Nathan Crawford / Philly Improv Theater. FringeArts.com/9631. Without a job or a home after graduating from college, Ezra crashes with his sister. After his boyfriend dumps him, Ezra develops a crush on his sister’s roommate, Sam. Sam complicates matters by leaving it unclear whether she knows Ezra is pansexual or is wrongly assuming he is gay.
Bienvenu/e & Welcome, Eric Jaffe and all your fellow artists. FringeArts.com/9635. If you like Les Miserables, you’ll LOVE Gay Mis! Join us for a queer, drag queen–infused parody of everyone’s favorite musical! Join Parmesan, Jabear, Fontina, Epanini and the whole gang as they go on a journey through time, space, and cheese. Visit theericjaffe.com for more information.
Welcome, Harrison Scantling / Philly Improv Theater. FringeArts.com/9639. An autobiographical one-man show written and performed by Harrison Scantling. Harrison shares the story of his transition from female to male, chronicling his journey from childhood to adulthood.
6. If You Can’t Make ’em Laugh, Make ’em Cum: The Life Story of a Thieving, Whoring Saint
Welcome, James Bradford. FringeArts.com/9304. Equal parts hilarious and dark, this autobiography of actor, singer, comedian, and filthy whore James Bradford details a life spent on the stage and TV screen and behind closed doors as an escort.
The one-of-a-kind audiobook features traditional readings plus live storytelling, intimate Q&A sessions, and comedic retellings of the written version. jamesbradford.com/book
7. I Know It Was the Blood: The Totally True Adventures of a Newfangled Black Woman
Welcome, Tara Lake / Lawnmower Media. FringeArts.com/9642. In this award-winning sojourn embracing Southern roots, gospel rhythms, and queer identity, one family’s love conquers all. A scrappy Jersey girl finds the courage to live authentically in this soul-rich performance of storytelling, theater, song, and poetry. Philly Premiere!
8. Late Night Snacks
Welcome, Bienvenida & Bienvenido, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret. Heyyyyy, u up? Looking for a post-Fringe nightcap? A consensual art hookup? A sugar high to ride into the wee hours?
9. Lavender Life.
Welcome, Ultra V Theatre Co. FringeArts.com/9408. Slip into the Lavender Lounge, a 1930s speakeasy where the underground LGBTQ+ community comes together in search of strength amid the rise of fascism. Come as you are and BYOB as the music of the era tells the story of a community whose spirits cannot be broken and a place where everyone can be themselves for a little while.
10. our ouija board, the games we played, the shit we conjured, & the dead dude we hate-fucked
Welcome, ON THE ROCKS: Elaina Di Monaco & Haygen-Brice Walker. FringeArts.com/9663. ouija boards | necrophilia | Kelly Rowland | yearbooks | Satan | YA fiction | sexual perversions | kitten play | instas | finstas | high school reunions | dog attacks | mascots | christianity | lesbians | crocodile teeth | passing notes | road head | celebrity ghost hunters | gotta sign a waiver.
11. Queer Bait: Sterile
Bienvenida & Welcome, Rose Luardo and Shannon Fahey ofGood Good Comedy Theatre. FringeArts.com/9108. Queer Bait (Rose Luardo and Shannon Fahey) sensitively stroke your Elsa and Anna as they freeze and squeeze the daylights out of your fun factory. Two parts performance art, one part comedy, one part clown, three parts dance, five parts friendship, two parts dress-up, one part queer, zero parts bait, maybe another part queer.
12. Significant Other
Welcome, Joshua Harmon, Peter Reynolds, Brandon McShaffrey, Lindsay Mauck, and the entire cast of the Mauckingbird Theatre Company. FringeArts.com/9681. The Philadelphia premiere of Significant Other by Joshua Harmon . Four college friends search for relationship and commitment. As Jordan watches his best girlfriends get engaged and married, he is faced with his own circumstance as a single gay man. Will he ever find the one to marry?
13. Skein of Heart
Welcome, Brian Sanders, the entire cast, and anyone involved in JUNK. FringeArts.com/9410. Enter/Exit the broken way. Always right? The metal is transparent and the softness of heart urges you forward. Find your way through a labyrinth of ugly human/beautiful monster. Part maze, part performance, part musical homage—a cryptic love. Those who enter the Skein of Heart do not leave as they came.
14. Translation: Cracking the Girl Code
Welcome, Terrell M. Green and the entire 267 Productions Company. FringeArts.com/9688. This new musical by Terrell M. Green follows the journey of the first trans girl group to make it mainstream. Five days out from their first world tour, these women fight for equality and acceptance from the world while navigating the demands of the music industry.
15. Whine & Waffles
Welcome, Devin Randall and everyone at Messy Confidence Productions. FringeArts.com/9692. Ti likes Jo, Jo likes drugs, Lionel hates work, and Janelle hates Lionel. Watch these twentysomethings tackle clubs, drugs, and insecurities in a city where dancing strangers become fast friends. But can their wine-induced whine sessions handle the gay crushes, foul language, failures to love … and ghosts?
16. Un Poyo Rojo
Bienvenido & Welcome, Hermes Gaido, Alfonso Barón, Luciano Rosso, Nicolás Poggi, Jonathan Zak, and Maxime Seuge. Sport. Sexuality. Humor. Charismatic Argentinian duo Un Poyo Pojo explores the range of possible relationships among men.