< BLOG

Posts Tagged ‘2013 Fringe Festival’

A Taste of “Leo”

Posted September 18th, 2013

So much goes on here, it’s hard to believe that LEO is only halfway through its run. In the Inquirer, Wendy Rosenfeld called it a “reminder that a subtle shift in perspective can sometimes change everything,” and got a great review from Lewis Whittington in The Dance Journal. Below, see the magic for yourself.




LEO continues its run tonight through September 22 at the Arts Bank, 601 S. Broad Street. Times vary, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Audience Response: “My Mother Has Four Noses”

Posted September 18th, 2013

JonathaBrooke4nosesI run a lot of links to press reviews on this here blog. But what’s more important than public praise, I think, is how Fringe Festival performances move us, transport us, help us think about the world, and at their best, create the world anew. As we approach our final weekend, I’d love to hear your feedback about the 2013 Fringe Festival. Email me at NickG[at]fringearts[dot]com.

First up: a woman transported back in time and out of the muck of daily life by Jonatha Brooke’s musical.

I surely can’t be the only person here who’s crying every time Jonatha Brooke sings. At first I’m horribly embarrassed, because nothing is worse than crying in public, but the lights are down and I’m able to do some discrete face-wiping and snuffling after each number. I decide to stop worrying about it. It’s been a tough week.

As I look around, and listen, during intermission, to the conversations taking place around me, I realize that whether there are actual tears or not, I’m not alone in being transported by this show. An anonymous “Wow” punctuates the last note of the last song before intermission. The man and woman sitting at the table next to mine–he’s wearing light blue suspenders over a light blue shirt, and she’s no more than a dark mass of curling hair in the dim–but I can see his arm closing around her shoulders, hugging her tight. One half of a gay couple tells the other about the time he first saw Jonatha Brooke, 19 years ago, at a coffee shop in Bethlehem. His partner replies, “I’m glad you brought me.”

Read More

Shameless Plug: Phindie

Posted September 18th, 2013

phindie1Hey, I work here, and even I have a hard time keeping up. But this year’s new flood-the-zone coverage of Philly Fringe comes courtesy of our friends at Phindie, which has dispatched an army of reviewers to cover like 70 shows. If you’re looking for some guidance to your last week of the 2013 Fringe Festival, saunter on over. Thanks, Phindie!

–Nicholas Gilewicz

What’s More Fringe than Opera? Q&A with Michael Leinard of “Opera Macabre: Edgar Allen Poe”

Posted September 13th, 2013

OperaMacabreOpera! One of the world’s great mysteries. OK, not really, but it seems opaque to lots of folks. So we caught up with Michael Leinard of the 2013 FringeArts production Opera Macabre: Edgar Allen Poe, and demanded he justify its existence. Much to our surprise, he was not angered. We think. Opera Macabre opens tonight and runs September 14, 15 and 19 at The PlayGround at the Adrienne. Times vary, $15 to $20.

How did you guys get started?
Reese Revak and I have been friends since our undergraduate studies. Right before our Master’s programs were to begin, Reese and I were becoming disillusioned with what we were seeing in the operatic world. After complaining a lot and being admittedly pushed by Felipe Vergara and Alison Hoban (both founders of Found Theater Co.) decided that we should focus on what we believe opera should be and form our own company.

The Philadelphia Opera Collective was founded on the principle that opera is an accessible and honest expression of human emotions. The music will always be there, the beauty will always be there, but the DRAMA is often what is ultimately lost. It is for this reason that we focus on American opera, in English, and perform in intimate spaces.

Why opera? Justify its existence.

Well, it was once of the most popular forms of entertainment IN THE WORLD! Opera singers were (and in some countries still are) respected as vocal Olympians – able to sing higher, lower, softer, louder, faster, longer than anybody. Now, it is often ripe for parody. People don’t realize that while yes, there were plenty of operas written about mythological subjects and had women in Viking helms, there are just as many operas written about the common person. We believe that opera is honest and that it is visceral. At the times when most popular opera was written it was accessible, but now we must focus on what opera means to us in 21st century rather than rehashing time and time again same operatic canon. In a country were La Boheme is performed 1000s of times each year, we need to reach out and say “there is more than that. Trust us.” I mean, sure the stereotypes are fun. But opera is much, much more than that. We focus on proving that opera is not simply an empty spectacle.

Read More

Preview: “All the Sex I’ve Ever Had”

Posted September 12th, 2013

Tomorrow night, Mammalian Diving Reflex’s All the Sex I’ve Ever Had opens at Plays and Players, where you can also check out This is Not a Theater. For a glimpse of what’s in store, as some, well, experienced practitioners talk about their sexual lives and histories, watch below:

Mammalian Diving Reflex’s All the Sex I’ve Ever Had runs September 13 and 14 at Plays and Players, 1714 Delancey Place, Rittenhouse Square. Both shows 7:00 p.m., $20 to $29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Living in the Eyes of the World: On Romeo Castellucci’s “On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God”

Posted September 10th, 2013

When I ask my 1-year-old daughter, “How much do you love On the Concept of the Face?” she raises both her arms in the air! How much do we love it? So much so that we commissioned this essay from Nicholas Ridout about On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God, which opens tomorrow night and runs through Saturday. Enjoy:

ontheconcept

Only under special circumstances can we expect to be able to contemplate a face. In sleep, perhaps in love. In most of our everyday encounters with one another we look at, up, down, and away from one another in a constant negotiation of glances, restfulness, tact and attention. If we were to suspend this movement and arrest the face of another person so that we could see it as a face, so that we could examine its contours and make it into an image for ourselves, the relationship between us would also be suspended. You can’t talk and listen to someone at the same time as looking at their face, not really looking. It has been suggested that the theatre constitutes one of the special circumstances in which this is not the case. The theatrical situation permits a mode of attention that is usually prohibited in everyday life, because the face on stage is felt to invite all kinds of sustained, exploratory, inquisitive, absorbed and fascinated regards, to summon them up, even, from the dim anonymity of the auditorium. At the same time, conditions in the theatre make such contemplation quite frustrating. The faces you are encouraged to contemplate seem available but they are often just too far away. Never as close up as the close-up. But then the close-up in the cinema is not there; the person behind the face has already made themselves absent, leaving just their face behind. But it’s that illicit combination – of presence and the face – that the theatre seduces you with and which the cinema, and, indeed, the painting, however amplified, can’t quite promise.

Read More

Where (Gillian) Lives

Posted September 10th, 2013

HomeGillianOne of my oldest friends from college (Hi Gillian!) sends in this pic from Iowa.

My home must have a delicious garden and thus is home to many.

Even if I don’t know all your old stories, I still want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of your “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Race, Class, and the Subway: “Dutch Masters”

Posted September 10th, 2013

DutchMasters2Regardless of people’s individual feelings on the state of race relations in America, whenever we hear the “n” word spoken out loud, we seem to obsess over the mouth that speaks it and the context in which it is spoken. In Greg Keller’s play Dutch Masters, brought to the 2013 Fringe Festival by Azuka Theatre, the “n” word comes in the very first sentence and continues to be used throughout the dialogue between the play’s two characters, both young men about the same age who meet on a New York City subway in 1992. One white, one black, the characterization and setting might suggest that the play itself is about race, but it’s not. Its essence delves much deeper than the color of its characters’ skin.

Kevin Glaccum, producing artistic director of Azuka, first heard of the play when one of his students brought him a copy shortly after its debut at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in 2011. The play found its way to him again this spring, this time via Keller’s agent. Glaccum was considering whether Azuka would produce a play for Fringe this year, and as he read the manuscript for a second time, he thought, “If we decide to do this play, it’s perfect for Fringe.”

Known for choosing plays “a little outside of the mainstream,” says Glaccum, Azuka’s most recent season included an outrageous contemporary comedy (Pookie Goes Grenading), a drama centered around Frank O’Hara and Billie Holiday (Everyone and I), and a 1920’s fable play set in a clock shop (Failure: A Love Story). Glaccum and Azuka seem to thrive on mixing it up–producing various genres and bringing fresh voices to the Philadelphia theatre scene.

The company itself has come a long way since Glaccum was cast as an actor in their first show in 1999; they’ve been sharing the Off-Broad Street Theater at 1636 Sansom Street with Inis Nua Theatre Company for the last two years. “Before that,” Glaccum tells me, “we did twenty four shows in eleven different locations; it was a lot harder for people to keep track of where we were.” Glaccum has been in his current role for ten years now working closely with Mark Andrews, one of Azuka’s original founders.

Glaccum says that Dutch Masters sucked him in: “As I read it, I felt anxious, threatened, an ominous sort of feeling. I feel like audiences won’t know what’s going to happen next.”

Read More

Where (Linda) Lives

Posted September 10th, 2013

Linda Dubin Garfield, a visual and installation artist, writes in with her depiction of “home.”

HomeLindaHouse_on_a_HillIn 2011, I did a Fringe Festival Mixed Media Memoir Installation with participatory workshops called A Place to Be with Susan Dipronio about home which included going to homeless shelters and having residents make portraits of what they thought of as home, write their ideas and talk about them in small groups. We did it a three different places. I have been going to one of them for years, starting in 2006 from a contact I made through my first installation.

This image, House on A Hill, expresses the fragile nature of how I see home now as opposed to how I saw it when I was young. Home is where my story starts and I felt safe as a child but now with huge fires, storms, tsunamis, divorce run wild, cancer at such early ages, home seems less safe and more precarious like teetering on a mountaintop. You hope you make it but you’re not sure you will.

Even if a bit bleak, I want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of your “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Where (Marjorie) Lives

Posted September 9th, 2013

HomeMarjorieGrigonisFringeArts fan Marjorie Grigonis shares this picture of home, writing,

Color and whimsy to deflect world anxiety.

We all need a bit more whimsy, don’t we?

I want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of you’re “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Press Round-up

Posted September 9th, 2013

OK, after doing this blog for a few years, I’m out of press puns. But don’t just take my word about worthwhile endeavors at the 2013 Fringe Festival. Links forthwith:

>>>Hey, it’s people I know! Former festival guide intern Julius Ferraro now writes for the Philly.com et al. project Art Attack, and here’s his take on this year’s fest.

>>>Oh, hi Cherri! My former Temple school chum Cherri Gregg reports on the festival’s expansion for KYW radio.

>>>We made it onto the TV! 6ABC coverage here.

>>>Boss man Nick Stuccio is afraid of tsunamis, at least when he talks to Philadelphia magazine.

>>>Wendy Rosenfield is on the family-friendly show beat for the Inquirer.

>>>Lewis Whittington talks dance with Brian Sanders and Gunnar Montana at Dance Journal.

>>>Chuck Darrow orients Daily News readers to the Fringe Festival.

>>>Peter Crimmins covers The Object Lesson for Newsworks/WHYY.

>>>Peter and Howie Shapiro talk all things Fringe for Newsworks/WHYY.

>>>Howie also has nice reviews for PAY UP and A Doll’s House.

>>>The GPhilly division of Philadelphia magazine will “help you get the most gay for your buck” at this years fest.

>>>Newsworks gets into the Neighborhood Fringe, with Alaina Mabaso’s guide to Fringe in Northwest Philly.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Where (Jackie) Lives

Posted September 9th, 2013

Adult apartment indeed? Cripes, I’ve been here since 2005, and I have a toddler, and I don’t even have a dining room. FringeArts fan Jackie Dunayevich shares her rise to adulthood, featuring fancy chairs.

homeJackieMy home is mine. I moved out east from Michigan in 2010 for nursing school, and then moved to the city for my job. My first city apartment was pretty typical; infested with mice and loud drunks outside. And, then I moved again. I live in Queen Village now, where the people are friendly and the living is easy.

I took about two months with help from family and friends decorating and getting my place perfect for me. As my sister put it, I have an “adult” apartment now. And I’m so proud of it!

I want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of you’re “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Preview: “The Society”

Posted September 6th, 2013

Fringe is not Fringe without show’s like The Society. When else to you get a taste of Norwegian physical theater? Nowhere but through FringeArts, at the Painted Bride. Here’s your teaser:



The Society runs tonight through Sunday at The Painted Bride, 230 Vine Street, Old City. Times vary, $20-$37.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Avant-Garde Men’s Therapy with Groundswell Players’ “Go Long Big Softie”

Posted September 6th, 2013

img_3342Flourishing from its foundations in long-form improv comedy, experimental theater group Groundswell Players’s brand of ingenious theater has come into its own in the Fringe Festival. Starting as a group of friends who met while studying at Haverford College, founding members Alison King, Jack Meaney, Jesse Paulsen and Scott Sheppard have swooped to the forefront of Philadelphia DIY theater scene, provoking outrageous and refreshingly self-aware conversation surrounding of a host of topics, historical and philosophical. They have responsible for such Festival favorites including How to Solve a Bear, The Speed of Surprise, Hackles, and 2013 Jumpstart Showcase’s The Living History Project. Groundswell Players emphasize collaborative artistic outlook and recently bulked up their performative arsenal by collaborating with fellow members of the inaugural class of The Pig Iron School, including Fringe Lab Fellow Mason Rosenthal (director, Hackles).

For the 2013 Fringe Festival, they’re once again armed with concepts as provocative and incisive as ever with Go Long Big Softie, a raw, clownish dive into the complex minefield of contemporary masculinity. For more insight, FringeArts recently caught up with artistic director Scott Sheppard.

“We take  a ‘what have you been reading lately’ approach.” Scott explained to me as  he broke down his inspiration. Groundswell  takes it upon themselves to stress relevancy in their artistic efforts by extracting from everyday material; they search for trends. As theater artists well immersed in the works of their community of peers, what really turned Groundswell’s attention towards theatrical dynamics of contemporary masculinity, was the overarching themes of contemporary femininity in two previous Fringe Festival shows, BANG! and Untitled Feminist Show.

“Charlotte Ford (BANG!) and Young Jean Lee (Untitled Feminist Show) dealt with feminine issues: fluidity of gender and sexuality identity and the liberation of the female body.  We were inspired, and that’s when we starting looking at the changing nature of male identity . . . to explore that  fluidity.”

Read More

Prequel: Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s “The Castle”

Posted September 6th, 2013

Prequel, prequel, what have you? Many chances to catch IRC’s interpretation of Franz Kafka’s The Castle at the 2013 Fringe Festival.




IRC’s The Castle runs every day now through September 22 at 2nd Stage at the Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street, 2nd Floor, Rittenhouse Square. Times vary, $10-$25.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Where (Meg) Lives

Posted September 6th, 2013

HomeMegMorrisFringeArts fan Meg Morris sends in this picture of home. What it look like? Look like home. What it feel like? Feel like home.

I want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of you’re “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photo courtesy Meg Morris.

Preview: Where (we) Live

Posted September 5th, 2013

For a taste of the 2013 Fringe Festival production of Where (we) Live, So Percussion has put together a nice little trailer from their premiere of the show at the Walker Arts Center. Watch below:

Where (we) Live Trailer from Eric Bradley Beach on Vimeo.

You can see the full performance here as well.

And don’t forget: I want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of you’re “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

A Comic for “This is Not a Theater”

Posted September 5th, 2013

The 2013 Fringe Festival hasn’t just put up murals at Plays and Players, it’s also created a comic. If you check out Navin Rawanchaikul’s 2013 FringeArts installation This is Not a Theater, you’ll get to check out the mysteries of Plays and Players, transformed into sequential art. Below, a taste. Watch out, there be ghosts!

ComicPage25

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Where (Gigi) Lives

Posted September 5th, 2013

As part of our series on Where (you) Live, Gigi McGraw writes in with this picture of her favorite room–a picture she also uses for some honest self-assessment:

HomeGigiMcGrawThis is where I live. My bedroom is my favorite place in my current home because it is the brightest as far as the sun getting in and it is cozy. Now wait! you may say . . . this room is a holy mess! And I’d concur it is a bit untidy but these are the challenges of the offspring of a hoarder. I took this picture to encourage me to keep cleaning. I actually have several pictures of the room in total cluttery mess–this picture is close to it being clean. When you are striving to re-structure inherited bad habits like sloppiness and hoarding you use all the motivational tools you can muster.

Truthfully submitted,
G-

I want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of you’re “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz

Photo courtesy of Gigi McGraw.

Where (Val) Lives

Posted September 4th, 2013

I want to hear about where you live for the blog, and for our Facebook page. Send me a photo of you’re “home,” whatever that may mean to you, at NickG[at]FringeArts[dot]com. Brief stories or poems about the photo or your memories of “home” are welcome!

Here’s a pic and commentary from reader Val Sowell:


HomeValSowell

I can’t actually
Live in a leaf’s wee droplet:
Still, to me it’s home.

So Percussion’s Where (we) Live runs September 12, 13, and 14 at the Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Old City. All shows 9:00 pm, $20-$29.

–Nicholas Gilewicz