Posts Tagged ‘2012 Philly Fringe’

That’s All, Folks!

Posted September 28th, 2012

Well, not quite. A few more stories are coming down the pipe, and please come back from time to time to check out what we’re up to. We’re hoping to have growing year-round blog content, as we move in that direction as a presenter. In the meantime, read our board chairman Richard Vague’s Inquirer column about our future, new building and all.

We love you guys! Thanks for everything.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Mining the Mine of the Mind for Minderals

Posted September 21st, 2012

“Dualism has proved so popular because it feels right,” says “Mason Rosenthal,” played by Mason Rosenthal in Mining the Mine of the Mind for Minderals, a collaboration between Mason and Megan Mazarick that continues its run with two shows tonight and two more tomorrow, at 7:00 and 10:00 pm.

Talking with Megan and Mason about the show before it went up, I realized that if I had to call it something, I suppose I’d say it’s a theatrical installation. Moving the audience into differently designed spaces throughout the Jolie Laide gallery space, the design of the show echoes its content, examining the big question of the separation between body and mind, between form and consciousness, as attendees themselves move through a science-lecture-cum-movement-piece.

Minderals is firmly planted on the theater side of dance theater, but also has much of the physicality that you’d expect from Megan, who works primarily as a dancer and choreographer (but often with text-driven work), and Mason, through his 2011 training at the Headlong Performance Institute, where he also worked as an instructor.

“I saw his final performance at HPI,” Megan says, “and wanted to scoop him up before the theater people got to him.” Mason had moved to Philadelphia last fall to attend HPI, and Megan, seeing an aesthetically sympathetic figure, struck fast.

After the jump: diving into consciousness, science as backdrop, and Eckhart Tolle.

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Reflecting Bodyfields

Posted September 20th, 2012

Bodyfields Performance Collective reflects on their work so far:

And I’m pretty sure a couple of ’em came over for BBQ once; Jonathan and Bobby, I’m looking at you. Enjoy the rest of the fest, kids!

Experiencing people as really kind of huge runs tonight at 7:00 pm and Friday at 9:00 pm, at First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse Square. $10 in advance, $5-$20 sliding scale at the door.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Orpheus and Eurydice, The Musical

Posted September 19th, 2012

Take one part musical theater, one part Greek myth, one run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, remount it for Philly, and you’ve got the 2012 Philly Fringe show Orpheus & Eurydice, opening tonight at Asian Arts Initiative.

“We were just talking about being excited to do a show for an American audience,” says Andrew Hanley, who, with Melissa Nally, are the Green Elephant Theatre behind the show. “With musical theater being such an American art form, there are basic assumptions that aren’t the same over there. People would talk to me afterwards, and would ask where I was during the show—everyone thought it was weird that we wanted the music to come from offstage.”

After the jump: one of Andrew’s songs, falling in love with Philly and musical theater, and the insanity of Edinburgh Fringe.

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Illadelph or Portlandia?

Posted September 18th, 2012

Ellen Freeman is a freelance writer and former Festival Blog intern who is based in Oregon.

We’re iller than thou. Portland’s still pretty awesome, though.

Remember the segment Adam Carolla used to do on the radio show Loveline called “Germany or Florida?” Oh, you had better things to do at 11:00 pm on weekdays than listen to ecstasy-addled sexually-active teens discuss their problems with Dr. Drew? Well the concept was simple: listeners would call in with bizarre news headlines like “Woman wearing sausage earrings is mauled by pack of toy poodles” and the hosts would try to guess whether the event took place in Germany or Florida.

Here at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, we’ve come up with an even better game called “Philadelphia or Portland?” The two cities have been duking it out for supremacy in the categories of foodie snobbery, beer-lovers-per-capita, and rapidity of gentrification for years, but they’ve got something else in common—both are currently hosting some of the world’s finest performing arts festivals: the Time Based Art Festival in Portland and the Live Arts/Fringe Fest here, of course. We’ve compiled a list of highlights from both festivals, leaving it up to you to guess which city you can catch each event in. And before you say “That’s so ___________ (fill in city here),” remember that the answers may surprise you.

1) Shakespeare’s classic Antony and Cleopatra is transported through time and space to modern-day Egypt, as represented by the Nefertiti busts and sarcophagi of the Ancient Egyptian wing of the host city’s art museum.

2) Fat-livered audience members shotgun beers in time with the cast of a drinking-game-cum-sketch-comedy-show performed in a pub.

3) One of the creators of those wacky Old Spice commercials pulls audience members onstage for a live life-coaching session.

4) Audiences downward-dog and open their heart chakras to live acoustic music in a nirvana-inducing musical yoga journey.

5) More than 150 amateur dancers celebrate the joy of community in a performance that’s part flash-mob, part line dance extravaganza.

6) A genderqueer chanteuse belts out her R&B condemnation of societal evils like the gender binary and capitalism while making ample use of butt plugs and onstage golden showers.

7) An experimental American pop band plays auto-tuned covers of Tuareg desert jams.

8) A choreographer who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome crafts a dance inspired by her own tics.

9) Audiences will recognize the harsh fluorescent lighting and excruciating/hilarious mundanity of these gesture-driven vignettes depicting office life, performed in Japanese with projected English subtitles.

After the jump: Answers!

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Found Theater’s Electric Jungle

Posted September 17th, 2012

If the plaudits from Philadelphia Weekly, Metro, and their amazing feature on the Knight Arts blog didn’t already compel you to check out Found Theater’s Electric Jungle, perhaps their trailer will. Man, it’s only noon on a Monday, and I am already ready to smoke some balloon with an alligator.

Electric Jungle runs tonight at 7:00 pm, and September 20 through 24 (times vary) at the Painted Bride, 230 Vine Street, Old City. $15.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Sacred Spaces and the Arts: A Chat with Rich Kirk from the Calvary Center

Posted September 17th, 2012

Prarthana Jayaram is a Philly-based writer and regular Festival Blog contributor. She talked to Rich Kirk, the chairman of the board for the Cavalry United Methodist Church. The West Philly church, located at 48th Street and Baltimore Avenue, hosts the Cavalry Center for Culture and Community, which in turn hosts Curio Theatre Company and Crossroads Music. Crossroads produced two shows for this year’s Philly Fringe: The Legend of Nahia: A Healing Story, which closed Saturday, and a concert this Wednesday, September 19 with Sao Paolo Underground (which features killer trumpeter and Chicago-by-way-of-Sao Paolo scenester Rob Mazurek). After the jump: Rich Kirk on Cavalry, and video from Sao Paolo Underground.

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The Beat on Brat

Posted September 14th, 2012

Madi, in situ

“I lost the best actress award to Lynn Redgrave, which is awesome!” says Madi Distefano, of her 2004 Barrymore Award nomination for Popsicle’s Departure, 1989. That show was also nominated for outstanding new play at that year’s Barrymores, but got even greater plaudits when it moved to the Edinburgh Fringe: best solo show.

Madi, the founder and artistic director of Brat Productions, described her one-woman show better than I ever could, when we spoke last week: ” Popsicle Departure 1989 is a tall tale shaggy dog monologue about a 19-year-old punk rock chick who lives in a warehouse and has a lame temp job and a crystal meth problem. Her boyfriend is a slacker guitarist South Boston boy. It goes back and forth between the two of them and they’re headed towards collision; she’s planning something, he’s planning something else, and a train wreck kind of thing ensues.”

“It’s beautiful,” says Jess Conda, who’s stage-managed numerous productions of the show. “I’ve done that show with Madi at least five or six times—all the Philly mounts, a run in New York City, the run in Edinburgh that won all the awards, and a run with her in Glascow. I probably have it memorized too.”

Jess, who is now the assistant artistic director of Brat, will be a bit distracted from Madi’s remount of Popsicle at this year’s Philly Fringe. Paired with Popsicle is Jess’s first original show, Eternal Glamnation, and together, they are known as Brat RockPile. Previews done, they take the stage in full RAWK mode tomorrow, and for he rest of Philly Fringe. Be forewarned: the RockPile description reads, “CAUTION: THESE SHOWS FEATURE SEX, DRUGS, FLESH, STROBE LIGHTS, LOUD ROCK, PROFANITY, AND ALIEN ABDUCTIONS.” And so it goes in the Eraserhood.

After the jump: two brats are better than one. And GWAR!!!

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Crossing Boundaries

Posted September 14th, 2012

Prarthana Jayaram is a Philly-based writer and regular Festival Blog contributor.

“Limitations in our minds are connected to those in our bodies,” says Michal Waldfogel, a Philadelphia native and local musician.

These self-imposed limitations are the subject of her new Fringe show, Crossing Imaginary Lines, in which she combines yogic practices with music to engage audiences. With eight years of yoga experience under her belt (three of which she has spent teaching), Michal is excited to combine her work in understanding and stretching physical limitations with the theme of overcoming boundaries in her compositions. She observes that both yoga and music are healing arts, and it is this inherent connection that she works to bring out in her performances.

“So much of my philosophy around education is about empowerment. I want to teach people to imagine new possibilities from their limitations,” she says.

After the jump: travel, boundaries, and yogic touring.

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We Got It All: Family Friendly Fringe

Posted September 14th, 2012

“It’s not a converted space and it’s not a ghostly space, and yet there are benevolent ghosts present there; children have been playing there for over a hundred years. It’s full of wood and old-fashioned plain toys—nothing with bells and whistles.”

When Seth Bauer, writer of this year’s Fringe work Seek and Hide, talks about Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse in East Fairmount Park, he leans forward and his torso initiates his speech; like kids manipulating a gumball machine, a metal head is thrust front before a saccharine planet drops out.

Smith Playhouse: 1890s play meets modern day parking lot. Photo by Katia Strieck.

After the jump: late 19th-century children’s fashion, and iMagic

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Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Jesus Christ?

Posted September 14th, 2012

The Irish Catholic upbringing in me shudders, but here it is: writing in from sketch comedy troupe The Waitstaff’s The Real Housewives of South Philly Play Match Game! is Jesus H. Christ, apparently sacrificing (I’m sorry.) his time to perform in this year’s Fringe, and to Vital Stat us. Thanks Jesus for this, and for…well, you know. After the jump.

Jesus and his Waitstaff disciples?

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Because Y’all Love Naked Bodies So Much I Decided To Ref A Game of Skins vs. Skins

Posted September 12th, 2012

Because the press has failed to remark on the penetration of au naturel into this year’s Live Arts and Fringe shows (read my sarcasm, then read the Inquirer’s most recent article on the same), I’ve decided to introduce a resolving flavor to the chatty pot of “No clothes; oh no!” “Take it off!” “You want to show your hoo has and joysticks in Penn’s city?”

Maybe a more valuable question to ask is: how can we begin to read the bodies we encounter at this year’s Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe? How can we frame what we see? By mediating Alastair Mccaulay’s recent New York Times “Nakedness in Dance, Taken to Extremes” and CultureBot’s response to Mccaulay (by way of Jeremy M. Barker), I hope to begin to answer these questions, and craft some ridiculous metaphors while doing so.

After the jump: I use Russian dolls as claim-making devices, and how to discuss this with your fellow performance aficionados (hint: it’s during the free talkback that follows a show that rhymes with farguendo).

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Dostoyevsky with an iPhone Camera

Posted September 12th, 2012

Festival Blog contributor Richard Bon lives in Northern Liberties with his wife and daughter. He posts original flash fiction of his own or by a guest writer every other Monday on his blog, liminalfiction.com.

He’s written plays, films, and television shows, and taught others about all of the above. But his newly produced seventy-seven minute movie, co-directed by and starring Seth Reichgott, is the product of a more than twenty years of thinking, and is the first full length film he’s produced himself from soup to nuts. The man is Larry Loebell, and the film he’ll debut as part of Philly Fringe is Dostoyevsky Man.

In his Mount Airy home, Larry discusses the evolution of this one-actor movie where Seth delivers all of its lines in the form of a monologue spoken into his smart phone. True to his art, Larry shot the entire film on his own iPhone. As he puts it, “The reality and the fiction of the piece is that he’s talking into his phone, the actor and the character he plays.” Interior footage was taken in Larry’s basement and at Arcadia University, with exteriors shot around Mount Airy and again at Arcadia, where Larry teaches playwriting and dramaturgy (he also teaches film history at University of the Arts).

After the jump: The history of man. Dostoyevsky Man.

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Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Cecily and Gwendolyn

Posted September 11th, 2012

Hey ladies, why don’t we snuggle up in your horse-drawn buggy…

Meet Kelly Jennings and Karen Getz, veteran funny women and members of ComedySportz Philadelphia. For this year’s Fringe the two are dropping their pants (More nudity, score!) and hiking up their Victorian petticoats (Oh wait, no.) as Cecily and Gwendolyn, British women from the time of chamber pots and pots of tea, and they’re here to gather research about…our kind (cheesesteak lickin’, keyboard snoozin’, 21st-century Phillians). You can read up on Cecily and Gwendolyn in the Washington Post review of their appearance at last year’s Capital Fringe, and then browse their Vitals after the jump.

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No Snooze in This News

Posted September 10th, 2012

Spooky spooktacular! Not really. But after the jump, coverage of Fringe in cemeteries, my friend Cherri interviews Jumatatu Poe for KYW, some top picks from our media posse, and more. Rounding up the roundups again, here we go:

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Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Reuben Wade

Posted September 10th, 2012

Paint it, my friend, PAINT THE AMERICAN EAGLE! Reuben Wade talks Charles Darwin Dickens’ trip to America, and working it for the 2012 Philly Fringe, after the jump. Oh, did I mention that the show is free? Word is bond.

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And Proud We Are

Posted September 10th, 2012

YES! After all the talk about baring all at this year’s Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, we’ve definitely made the big-time. I found out over the weekend that this humble blog was linked to by another blog titled “Batty for Nudity.” I have done my part to advance art in these United States. VICTORY!!!

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Ricky Lake Jackson Needs to Get Back Home

Posted September 9th, 2012

It’s pronounced “uh-MAIR-kuh.”

Most of my exposure to so-called Southern Rock has been through either the biker part of my family (no joke, despite, or is it because of? my family origins in northwest Pennsylvania), Midwestern friends who played such things during drunken nights in college in a nostalgia for a time that never was and that they could never have experienced, and in a cover of “Sweet Home Alabama” played by two bands at my college who joined forces for an epic encore in a dining hall.

So, when I went to meet Ricky Lake Jackson of Jawbone Junction, five-month-old baby in tow, I was ready to hang. Stuck in Philadelphia after the death of their lead guitarist, they’re doing a three-night stand at the Twisted Tail during Philly Fringe, to try to get some scratch to get back home to Arkansas.

After the jump: How Ricky Lake got his name, the death of Slim Willie Jefferson, and face-melting.

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Tonguing the Groove

Posted September 9th, 2012

Today, Bobbi Block of Tongue & Groove ran from performing in Le Grand Continental at the Art Museum over to Rittenhouse for the first night of her group’s run at the Playground at the Adrienne. After the jump, this Philly Fringe vet—she’s produced or performed in a show at every Fringe—talks about what makes Tongue & Groove: Spontaneous Theater different from other improv. You should read it for a number of reasons, not least of which is that they are forebears of the spirit of 2012 Philly Fringe nakedness, for all their promo photos, including this year’s (see below), involve no clothes. After the jump: we talk, because you only subscribe to this blog for the interviews.

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Philly Fringe Vital Stats: Meaghan O’Hare

Posted September 9th, 2012

If you’ve ever been on South Broad Street in Center City, you know that the University of the Arts dominates those blocks. At the 2012 Philly Fringe, within their walls lies The Walls, which has its final performance tonight at 7:00 pm. After the jump, actress and UArts student Meaghan O’Hare lays out her vitals.

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