What makes film different from theater is that film is fixed forever, performances and lines repeating endlessly year after year, while theater has the ability to surprise us. And what makes theater different from life is that theater is scripted and life is random, unexpected, not planned out ahead of time. And what makes Philadelphia’s FringeArts Festival fun is that it delights in performances that confound expectations.
Aleksandra Berczynski once again brings a short, delightfully self-indulgent mono-drama to Fringe audiences.
Have you ever been caught between two conflicting emotions at the same time? Have those ambivalent feelings left you hanging, unable to decide what to think or how to act? Have you turned to your most primal impulses to figure out who you are and where you’re going? Baring body and soul, Brian Sanders’ JUNK explores the psychology and physicality of uncertainty and transition in SUSPENDED.
Alan Ayckbourn’s inventive rom-com about failing and budding mid-life relationships in suburban London is that the play (or more accurately, the first volume of the playwright’s original two-volume work that is performed here) offers sixteen plot options and eight different endings. And for the first time in its production history, 1812 shines the spotlight on random members of the audience to decide spontaneously which path the characters should take as they reach a series of crossroads in their lives.
From the mind that created the internationally popular ‘Clive Barker’s Books of Blood’ and the movie ‘Hellraiser’ comes another of Barker’s successes, also known as a play called CRAZYFACE. The downright madness of this three-hour play is performed by a cast of over 30 of the finest members of the local BrainSpunk Theater group.
“There is no future for a people who deny their past. My Foreparents, My Grandparents, My Mother, My Father did not suffer and die to give me an education to…
Daniel Talbott’s YOU KNOW MY NAME: A DANIEL TALBOTT TRIO presents some unique challenges. Three short plays which could easily take place in the same town dwell with nearly pornographic clarity on the cruelty of the town’s inhabitants and of fate.
Commonwealth’s production draws the curtain on enough of the play’s window into regret to reveal the melancholy brilliance of THE GLASS MENAGERIE.
On a favor called in by a friend, the misanthropic Jay agrees to let a traveling college drop-out, Frank, crash on his couch for the night. Jay has given up on his dream of becoming a writer, while Frank eagerly seeks advice and guidance on his own play. However, in a great display of “neon nihilism,” Jay teases and bullies his straight guest Frank, who looks uncannily similar to Jay’s recently deceased boyfriend. As these men come to understand each other, and themselves, we discover what it means to sacrifice yourself for lovers, friends, and art.
Self-proclaimed “heir to Sodom and Gomorrah,” the divinely talented writer/ actor/ singer/ musician/ composer/ “disaster in lipstick” Erik Ransom stars in a newly revised version of his 2011 Philadelphia smash hit COMING: A ROCK MUSICAL OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS for FringeNYC.
SOME ARE PEOPLE is about summer people. Those people who come into our lives for a time and then go back to wherever they came from, leaving us changed forever.
John “The Grumpy Professor D’Allessandro paid over $100 for a ticket to THE BOOK OF MORMON and thinks it was worth it.
Under Aaron Cromie’s creative direction, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s production of LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST captures the playfulness of the Bard’s early comedy in a fluid romp.
The Second Annual One-Minute Play Festival (InterAct): Tipsy on Theater: Wine-tasting 90 plays and a night-out in Philly without a hangover
You step off the tour bus, the smell of exhaust replaced first with fresh air, then with the sugary smell of grapes. You sit around a bar with a wine…
Director Patrick Mulcahy takes a modernist approach to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s production of MACBETH, with a 20th-century minimalist aesthetic that compels the audience to focus on the emotions and actions of the characters and the power of the playwright’s language. It’s stark and intense, and also, at times, oddly anachronistic and comical, performed in attire that suggests a peculiar mash-up of wartime Berlin and dance club chic, military and punk.
A post-modern fusion of Pop art with opera, ANDY: A POPERA, a work-in-progress by the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, explores the enormous fame and legacy of Andy Warhol, with elements of both tragic opera and opera buffa. The synthesis reflects in part the ambiance of Warhol’s Factory in the Sixties.
With WE ARE BANDITS, director Rebecca Wright and Applied Mechanics are working against a brutal opponent: American cynicism.
They’ve turned the third-floor space of Asian Arts Initiative into what looks like a sprawling, minimalist installation piece. Tables, chairs, and little else delineate various spaces throughout the basketball-court-sized venue, including a city square, the apartments of various characters, a rooftop, and a church.
Zeus has decreed that Muses from Mount Olympus are not allowed to fall in love with mortals – that includes the Muse Clio and a boy from Venice Beach. Therein lies a story of forbidden love, gumption, and sly swipes at certain Hollywood movies — especially XANADU (Universal Pictures, 1980).
People’s Light & Theatre Company pairs Itamar Moses’s uber-witty historical farce BACH AT LEIPZIG with the zaniness of director Pete Pryor in a hilarious, intelligent production.
HERRINGBONE (Flashpoint Theatre Company): A remarkably strange solo musical, about a boy … with a problem
This mighty peculiar story opens with a grown up George looking back at 1929 and singing, “Did ya ever have one of those years?” His parents have one foot in the poorhouse, as their only prosperous relative has just stinted them in his will. When eight-year-old George has the chance to take performance lessons from the surviving member of an old vaudeville act, he shows inexplicable ability beyond his years. Parental hopes for financial resurrection ride on little George singing and dancing his way to Hollywood.