Fringe reviews

Reviews of theater and performing arts events in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Phindie is providing more critical coverage of the festival than any other publication in Philadelphia.

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.”

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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.

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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…

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.

Found Theater Company’s DEEP BLUE SLEEP (Photo credit: Harish Pathak)

DEEP BLUE SLEEP (Found Theater Company): Fringe Review 13

This year’s Fringe offering by one of Philadelphia’s most consistently impressive young collectives transports us through a maritime dreamscape of sailors and pirates, shipwrecks and skeletons, sea shanties and sea creatures, as two children drift into a fitful sleep filled with the imagery of bedtime stories and seafaring tales

Tribe of Fools, TWO STREET--A TALE OF STAR CROSSED MUMMERS (Photo credit: www.plate3photography.com)

TWO STREET: A TALE OF STAR-CROSSED MUMMERS (Tribe of Fools): Fringe Review 12.1

This love story, full of gags, comedic misunderstandings and lotsa heart, encompasses two smitten gay mummers, family devotion, and mummer-love.

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THEOREM (Greg Kennedy): Fringe Review 11

Cirque du Soleil alumnus Greg Kennedy toys with the concepts of innovation, invention, and collaboration through circus arts in his new performance THEOREM.

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THEY CALL ME ARETHUSA (Colie McClellan & Mark Kennedy): Fringe Review 10

In THEY CALL ME ARETHUSA, Southern-tinged Greek myths tie together documentary theater-style interviews reminiscent of Anna Deavere Smith’s one-woman shows.

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(SOME) LOVE AND (SOME) INFORMATION (Ira Brind School and Headlong Dance Theater): Fringe Review 9

Staging a Happening used to be straightforward. To jangle the audience out of the role of The Observer, you redefined art from what-I-the-Artist-do-up-here into what-is-happening-between-you-and-me. You and the audience would…

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99 BREAKUPS (Pig Iron Theatre Company): Fringe review 8

Each Fringe, the Pig Iron Theatre Company show is one of the most highly anticipated. This year’s offering, 99 BREAKUPS, may be untidy and inconsistent but it’s already almost completely sold out.

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INCONGRUOUS (Audience Wanted Productions): Fringe Review 7

HBO After Dark meets Bunraku-style puppetry meets documentary theater in Laurencio Carlos Ruiz’s INCONGRUOUS. The piece is constructed of six short stream-of-conscious monologues from six characters who are dramatizations of real-life…

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AE$OP (The Drexel Players): Fringe review 6

The Drexel Players bring us with their adaptation of Aesop’s fables, AE$OP, re-hashing the fables’ warnings concerning might and deception, but subvertting others for our society in which money speaks the loudest.