Fringe Festival

The 2017 Philly Fringe Festival runs September 7-24, 2017. and Phindie is the place for coverage, with previews, interviews with artists, and reviews of more Fringe theater productions than any other publication.

8. John Schultz, TILL BURNAM WOOD promo image

TILL BIRNAM WOOD (John Schultz): Fringe Review 30

One way to focus on the extraordinary eloquence and drama of Shakespeare’s language is to eliminate all visual distraction, and that is precisely what John Schultz has done in TILL BIRNAM WOOD—a rapid-fire 55-minute adaptation of Macbeth that is performed before a blindfolded audience.

broken-wing-fringe

BROKEN WING (Pantea Prodctions): Fringe Review 29.1

A morally ambiguous and deeply political tale of two cultures clashing when an American photographer comes to stay with a family in rural Iran.

Melissa Dunphy stars in iHAMLET at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre (Photo credit: Kendall Whitehouse) 

iHAMLET (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre): Fringe Review 28

Robin Malan’s iHAMLET, a stripped-down contemporary one-man adaptation of Hamlet, is performed in The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s Fringe production by one impressive woman. Actor/musician/composer Melissa Dunphy displays a remarkable command of the non-linear script, not once misspeaking a word of her 55-minute solo performance.

human-fruit-bowl-spin-cycle-fringe

HUMAN FRUIT BOWL (Andrea Kuchlewska and Harmony Stempel): Fringe Review 27

HUMAN FRUIT BOWL draws audience members into the mind of a nude model as they witness an open depiction of this model as an aware and vocal object.

would-i-lie-to-you

WOULD I LIE TO YOU? (RealLivePeople): Fringe Review 26

Compelling in its investigation of untruths, half-truths, white lies, omissions, and embellishments, WOULD I LIE TO YOU? left me with questions. What is a lie? Is something a lie if we lie only to ourselves?

trajal-harrell-twenty-looks-xs

TWENTY LOOKS OR PARIS IS BURNING AT THE JUDSON CHURCH (XS) (Trajal Harrell): Fringe Review 25

Trajal Harrell’s TWENTY LOOKS comes in a selection of lengths and sizes, and although the Presented Fringe version of his solo show runs extra small, at a mere 25 minutes to a 25-person audience (hence the XS in the extended title), you will be reminded that good things come in small packages.

Splatter_Manayunk-Theatre-Company-500x500

SPLATTER (Manayunk Theatre Company): Fringe Review 24

This Neighborhood Fringe show, directed by Sean Connolly, transpires in the murky basement of an old church in Manayunk. The space lends an ideal sinister atmosphere to a play which, like many psychological thrillers, is more intimation and suspense than action.

SEPHRO: EARTH’S REVENGE (Fantasy Weavers): Fringe Review 23

Imagine if Frank Herbert’s “Dune” had been adapted not by David Lynch but instead by the Mummers. That’s not too far off from what we get with SEPHRO: EARTH’S REVENGE.

Experiment #39

EXPERIMENT #39 (The Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure): Fringe review 22

Those who dread audience participation should beware of the IPA’s work—this quixotic, immersive walking tour into the urban ether requires that you play along. On your personalized journey, friendly strangers lead you through memories, as well as your ties to the city of Philadelphia.

Pre-production photo of Kaleid’s NO PLACE LIKE (Photo credit: Valerie Giacobbe)

NO PLACE LIKE (Kaleid Theater): Fringe Review 21

Part performance piece and part group therapy session, the self-devised offering is a soul-baring exposé of the growing pains of real people, in which an all-female ensemble of five creators/performers (Jess Brownell, Nina Giacobbe, Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez, Rae Bradley, and Samantha Rose Schwab) explores the concept of “home” through memorable events from their own personal backgrounds.

New Paradise Laboratories The Adults Fringe

THE ADULTS (New Paradise Laboratories): Fringe Review 20

Rhrough minimal, absurd dialogue and highly stylized, disjointed movement, the ensemble-devised work evokes the boredom and bad behavior of a privileged vacationing family of film artists and their guests.

PAC, RAPE OF LUCRECE, Dan Hodge, phto WideEyedStudios

THE RAPE OF LUCRECE (Philadelphia Artists’ Collective): 2014 Fringe review 4.2

PAC’s THE RAPE OF LUCRECE is not only the performance of a lifetime by Dan Hodge, but also a momentous socio-political statement and a stirring call to activism.

Visitor tagging art at UNTITLED. Photo by Osenlund.

UNTITLED: WHAT YOU SEE OR WHAT DO YOU SEE (KrieArt): 2014 Fringe Review 19

This entry in the Visual Art category is an art exhibit based on the association between the person looking at the art and the meaning ascribed to the art itself. The artist, Krie Alden, who spoke to me at the event, is excited to be a part of FringeArts, and she loves the idea of “the Fringe being on the fringe, where they support the unexpected.”

butter-and-serve-v

V (Butter & Serve): Fringe Review 18

With simulated oral histories, storytelling through creative movement, and naturalistic scenes of the women’s interaction, Butter & Serve craft an engaging and intelligible account of military service from a female perspective.

Oedipus-the-Musical_Van.Martin-Productions-1500x1500

OEDIPUS THE MUSICAL (Van.Martin Productions): Fringe Review 17

Van.Martin Productions lampoons the Sophocles classic with their silly OEDIPUS THE MUSICAL, which ties together Greek tragedy, #YOLO, and herpes into one madcap package.

Rainbowtown

RAINBOWTOWN (Two Ducks Theatre Company): Fringe Review 16

This short musical is aimed at really young ones, but its message (and its sense of humor) is universal. Two actors and one musician run through a simple story, and model a gamut of moods and behaviors for their young audience. Queen Annie (the captivating Amanda Curry) is on a journey to find a new place to build her castle. She visits a series of emotionally-themed towns and connects with a local resident in each.

We Are Proud to Present, University of the Arts, FringeArts

WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT (The University of the Arts): Fringe Review 15

You know that moment when playfighting becomes real? Everything is nice and amusing until a pulled punch actually connects, and then laughter gives way to the sounds of a struggle. Things become very serious awfully quickly once people start getting hurt for real. That’s the main thrust of WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT A PRESENTATION ABOUT THE HERERO OF NAMIBIA, FORMERLY KNOWN AS SOUTHWEST AFRICA, FROM THE GERMAN SUDWESTAFRIKA, BETWEEN THE YEARS 1884-1915.

Tribe of Fools, TWO STREET, phto Kate Raines

TWO STREET: A TALE OF STAR-CROSSED MUMMERS (Tribe of Fools): Fringe Review 12.2

Shakespeare meets South Philly in Tribe of Fools’ TWO STREET, a high-energy take on Romeo and Juliet through the perspective of a contemporary gay couple. But here the tale of…

Globe, magic

The International Philly Fringe: A welcome to far-flung artists

Anyone who says that Philadelphia is provincial hasn’t attended the annual Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Here’s the latest sampling of shows, performances, playwrights, and artists from around the world. Phindie writer…

What I Learned About Outer Space (Pennsylvania Ballet and Curtis Institute of Music

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT OUTER SPACE (Pennsylvania Ballet, Curtis Institute of Music, FringeArts): Fringe Review 14

If dance is a language, it is spoken in a variety of accents. With WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT OUTER SPACE, FringeArts commissioning three contemporary choreographers—Zoe Scofield, Georg Reischl, and Itamar Serussi—to create pieces on PA Ballet dancers.