The Fringe Festival has expanded greatly from its Old City roots, spreading from a compact neighborhood to all corners of the city and beyond. So to those who remember earlier incarnations, there’s something comforting and familiar about this year’s conceit: a “Presented Fringe” and a “Neighborhood Fringe”, the latter organized in the Fringe Guide and marketing collateral into geographic units. Over the next several days, Phindie will look at the offerings in the designated areas and pick out a couple good bets for each neighborhood. In this second preview, we consider another of the smaller and far flung “Neighborhood Fringes”.
Northwest Philly Fringe (includes Germantown, Chestnut Hill, and Manayunk)
It’s safe bet that with several established theaters (Quintessence, Allen’s Lane, Old Academy Players) and frequent pop-ups (Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, Moving Arts), this area will see many more than five productions in future festivals. Curiously, two of the five shows on offer in 2013 are Cinderella-themed musicals, which, well, may be some people’s bag. Others will be enticed by the duo of circus acts at the Funicular Railway Station, which is apparently an old funicular railway station, or at least looks a lot like one on google maps. David Darwin’s Circus Legacy promises sword swallowing, fire-eating, and self-indulgent adult monologues. Cultivate, by Baltimore-based Charm City Movement Arts, is an abstract production featuring direction by a Cirque du Soleil alum.
But by some distance the pick of the Northwest offerings is a show that’s generating a lot of pre-festival buzz: a breakfast-focused interpretation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Holly’s Dead Soldiers (A Breakfast Play) promises cooking and drama by three excellent local playwrights.
Bruce Walsh has been involved in six previous festival productions, including three in what is now the Presented Fringe. He wrote and produced last year’s critically acclaimed living room piece, Chomsky vs. Buckley, 1969, and returns this festival with a similar intimate show. Fellow producer and writer Chris Davis authored 1 Year and a Day, a favorite from the 2012 fest, and has impressed since with two one-man pieces: Drunk Lion and The Violence of the Lambs. They are joined by admired playwright Douglas Williams, who will host the Manayunk performances of Holly’s Dead Soldiers. Other performances take place at Walsh’s Northern Liberties home. Tickets are probably already sold out, but if not, get one now. Kegs and eggs, Capote style.
The 2013 Fringe Festival runs September 5-22. See fringearts.ticketleap.com for tickets and info. Check out Phindie previews of other Fringe neighborhoods and more great festival coverage on our 2013 Fringe Festival page.