Philly’s fastest developing neighborhood (seriously, every time I go up there there’s some unrecognizable new Euro-chic housing units or hipster art galleries) is home to a number of dance studios (<fidget>, Mascher Co-op), and theater spaces (Walking Fish, Papermill). It’s no surprise, then, that old and lower Kensington is the site of more Fringe shows with each passing year. Phindie‘s fifth Fringe preview looks at the offerings in the near Northeast.
Fishtown–Kensington Fringe (includes Tacony and the Far Northeast)
Fringe favorites Pig Iron Theater Company are based in Old Kensington, at 2nd and Master. Although their own much-anticipated Presented Fringe show is in Center City, their Crane School home is host to several enticing theater productions. In the building’s White Space, Strange Attractor Theater takes a look at the compellingly overlooked job of museum security guard with Enlightenment on the E Floor North. In Pig Iron School Studio One in the old schoolhouse’s rear, Elbow Room Performance presents the ideal show for those of us flying solo this Festival: This is Not For You, an exploration of solitude with dialogue, movement, and music. In Studio Two, No Face Performance Group’s spaceplay takes the audience on a meditative sci-fi ride.
Walking Fish Theatre is a cultural heart of lower Frankford Avenue, and owners Stan Heleva and Michelle Pauls have been active in the Philly Fringe since its inception. This year, their intimate space hosts three Fringe pieces: off-beat one-woman comedy How Do You Solve a Problem Like Laurel?, pirate adventure The Sea Monster, and a pick of the neighborhood’s offerings with The Safe Word is Begonia. Inspired by the explicit graphic novels of Eric Stanton, local playwright Ari Flamingo’s new play promises a spanking good exploration into the murky world of 1950s S&M. Yeah, that’s the spot.
On a similarly, er, salubrious, note, surely one of the most intriguing shows of the entire Festival, Joint Bender Productions’ Stripped of Common Sense, is slotted into this expansive neighborhood section. This perfectly site-specific work set in the backroom of a strip club will take place in the backroom of a strip club, DayDreams in Tacony. An insider’s peak indeed.
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.