The Fringe Festival meets Labor Day Weekend. Robin Bloom shares her picks.
2015 Fringe Festival
FringeArts’ 2015 Fringe Festival kicks off Thursday, September 3 through 19, celebrating its 19th year with 17 days of more than 1000 cutting-edge and original dance, theater, music, visual and interdisciplinary works by artists from the United States, international, and local arts scene. In addition to the festival’s annual selection of “Curated” Fringe performances, also featured are independently produced shows at various locations around the Philadelphia region, including the FringeArts headquarters on the Delaware River waterfront.
Returning this year is the late-night festival bar programming at La Peg, curated by Philadelphia DJ and composer King Britt and choreographer/live visual artist Kate Watson-Wallace, creating a “mini music-based festival” within the festival. Featured performers include poet/musician/performer Saul Williams, rapper and songwriter Spank Rock, and Florida-born producer/singer Helado Negro, with Martha Graham Cracker closing out the festival on September 19.
A Doll’s House
FringeArts teams up with Jo Strømgren Kompani, one of the best known independent performing arts groups in Scandinavia, for several artistically daring and boundary-pushing original performances. World-renowned choreographer, theater director, and playwright Jo Strømgren returns to FringeArts with the world premiere of A Doll’s House, September 4-6, recreating Henrik Ibsen’s classic and most famous play about trust and kinship, debt and lies, envy and love, set in a metaphorical tiny, cramped house and featuring a cast of Philadelphia and New York actors, FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard at Race Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Josh McIlvain, courtesy of FringeArts.
Strømgren’s The Border weaves theater and dance, humor and sensuality together to tell a complicated love story that explores the challenge inherent in connecting to another human being. A man and a woman, each lacking in social grace and neither understanding the other’s language, share an office in the northernmost diplomatic outpost of the world and become emotionally addicted to each other, September 9-12, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard at Race Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of FringeArts.
The Underground Railroad Game
Go from a modern-day middle school lecture to pre-Civil War times with the world premiere of The Underground Railroad Game, a provocative and funny work about race relations in America by co-creators and performers Jenn Kidwell and Scott Sheppard, September 2-12. Moving through comical and tragic scenarios, the show confronts thorny issues of race and the perverse narratives created to soften history. Segments include a romantic comedy with hipster racists, an irreverent take on the politics of the “n-word,” the sexual allure of the Civil War, and more, Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 North American Street, Old City Philadelphia. Produced in association with Lightning Rod Special. Show contains brief nudity. Photo by Tamara Rodriguez Reichberg, courtesy of FringeArts.
Swamp is On
Pig Iron Theatre Company teams up with Dr. Dog for a unique theater collaboration inspired by Dr. Dog’s music. Swamp is On, the Dr. Dog Pop Detachment & The Pig Iron Psychedelic Signals Auxiliary, a performance-experiment that will tune in to rare frequencies and decode transmissions from the Psychedelic Swamp. Intrigued? Bring your old cassette tapes to permanently get them decoded and to unlock the secrets of the Swamp. Followed by a live concert by Dr. Dog, September 9-12 (doors open at 7:15pm with Experiment and Transmission at 8pm), Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg, courtesy of FringeArts.
Under Her Skin
Jeanine McCain brings her first evening-length work to the Fringe Festival with Under Her Skin, a multi-media dance theatre piece exploring a visceral connection to stories of the past through movement, September 4-5. Choreographed by McCain, Assistant Professor of Dance at Ursinus College, the show begins with a video installation, followed by a short dance art film that leads into a live dance performance with a dozen dancers set to an original score by Garrett Hope, Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine Street, Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of FringeArts.
Glass Movement with Glass Routes
Glass Routes expands the possibilities of art in unexpected places with a 1967 GMC fire rescue truck turned mobile glass blowing studio, exploring the idea of creation and destruction with blown glass art performances on the streets of Philadelphia with live music accompaniment, September 3-7, the Clay Studio, 137 North Second Street, Old City Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of FringeArts.
BRAT Productions’ “The Lid”
BRAT Productions‘ rock and roll based theater joins the Fringe Festival with a world premiere of the satirical theatrical rock opera The Lid, September 4-6. A man who lives a simple boring life discovers a lid in a meadow, which may offer a chance to break away from the drudgery. What will he do? Find out in a story told through 14 original British invasion songs, written by emerging artist Pat Finnerty, with Producing Artistic Director Jess Conda and performing artist Ali Wadsworth as his back-up singers, Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia. After party set by Black Landlord on Friday, September 4. Photo by Thom Lessner.
Philadelphia Artists’ Collective’s “The Captive”
Philadelphia Artists’ Collective takes on French playwright Édouard Bourdet’s The Captive (La Prisonniere) with a Philadelphia premiere, adapted and directed by Dan Hodge. The controversial 1926 play about the daughter of a domineering diplomat who carries a dark secret that could ruin her life was originally censored and its actors jailed. The forbidden love story that tackles issues of sex, domesticity and class manners is set in the Physick House, 321 S. 4th Street, the historic Federal townhouse in Society Hill, built in 1786. The site specific work provides an immersive theatrical experience that carries through the picture of the polite society of the time. Cast includes Rachel Brodeur, Chase Byrd, Ben Mahan, Felicia Leicht, John Lopes, Alex Boyle, Michelle Pauls, and Joel Guerrero, through September 20. Photo by Ashley LaBonde and Wide Eyed Studios.
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium’s “Exit the King”
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, known for interpreting classic absurdist works, presents Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King, now through September 20, as part of Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Fringe. The ensemble cast, led by Robb Hutter, tells the story of a megalomaniacal ruler whose incompetence has left his country in near ruin. The third in the Romanian playwright’s “Berenger Cycle,” preceded by Rhinocéros (performed by IRC last year). The rarely-produced drama is directed by Tina Brock at the Walnut Street Theatre’s Independence Studio on 3, Walnut Street, Philadelphia. Photo by Johanna Austin @ AustinArt.
Labor Day Weekend Fun
Made in America Festival
The Made in America Festival hits Philadelphia this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 5-6, with major musical acts including Beyoncé, The Weeknd, J. Cole, Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, Nick Jonas, De La Soul, and many more with performances on the Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Also, the Made in America Skate Park will feature performers on both days.
Labor Day Weekend in Wildwood
Enjoy Labor Day Weekend Fireworks on the beach at Pine Avenue, Friday, September 4, 10pm, visible from almost anywhere in the Wildwoods. Beatlemania performs on Saturday, September 5, 8pm at Lou Booth Amphitheatre, 2nd and Ocean Avenues, North Wildwood. Rain or shine. The Wildwood Block Party and Music Festival is Sunday, September 6, Noon-11pm, with food, crafts, and continuous live music including Jeremiah Hunter Band, Tonna Sacca & Denise Clemente, Joe Montello, The Comets and Georgie Young, and a special appearance by Chubby Checker, scheduled to celebrate 55 years of “The Twist” first being introduced to the world in Wildwood at the Rainbow Club, Fox Park, on Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues, Wildwood, NJ. Free.
The 108th Arden Fair, “Music in the Grove,” offers live music with Badmobile, John Lee Band, Luna Fugate, Buffalo Chip and the Heard, the Diamond State Concert Band, and more, plus hand-made crafts by over 120 vendors, children’s activities, antiques market, food, dancing, plant sale and much more, Saturday, September 5, 10am-6pm, 2126 The Highway Arden, DE. Free admission, parking, and shuttle busses. Rain date Sunday, September 6. Photo courtesy of the Arden Club.
John Coltrane Jazz Tribute and Festival
Art Sanctuary celebrates the legendary saxophonist and composer with a John Coltrane Jazz Tribute and Festival, Sunday, September 6, 12pm-6pm, near the Church of the Advocate on Diamond Street in North Philadelphia (between 18th and 19th Streets). Lineup includes Maysa, V. Shayne Frederick, Bootsie Barnes, Juan “Cuco” Castellanos and the AfroCuban Jazz Ensemble, Nasir Dickerson and Duane Eubanks. Also, family activities and more! Free, rain or shine.
Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light at Winterthur
Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library offers a glimpse into the shifting material culture of elegance and refinement with Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light, opening Saturday, September 5. Featuring some of the most iconic and celebrated works by artist Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 – 1933). Items include windows such as Grape Vine and Lemon Tree with Trellis and Well by the Fence, with 99 objects in all – five large windows, 19 lamps of various shapes and sizes, and 75 pieces of opalescent flat glass from the Tiffany Studios workshop, chosen for their “masterful rendering of nature in flowers or landscape scenes and for the subtle use of light and shading in decorative geometric patterns.” Part of a year of programming celebrating color with related programs and events through January 3. The collection was organized by The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York City. Also on display, Tiffany: The Color of Luxury, a look at the Tiffany name in American culture, featuring approximately 100 objects and graphics illustrating the relationship between the Tiffany companies and the rise of modern luxury retailing in America. Pictured: New York Frederick Wilson (1858-1932), designer Salve Regina window for chapel at Stony Wold Sanatorium, Lake Kushaqua, New York, after 1910 Leaded glass 29 ½ x 28 in. N.86.W.6 The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, Queens, NY.
Chaddsford Winery’s Labor Day Weekend Festival
Chaddsford Winery hosts a Labor Day Weekend Festival with wine-tastings and concerts. Artists include Alex & Shiloh, Shades of Silver, Hake & Jarema, and MK&COL. Hours are Saturday, September 5, 11am-8pm, Sunday, September 6, 11am-6pm, and Monday, September 7, 11am-6pm on Baltimore Pike in Chadds Ford, PA.
Philadelphia’s Tri-State Labor Parade & AFL-CIO Family Festival
Philadelphia’s 28th Tri-State Labor Parade and AFL-CIO Family Festival is this Monday, September 7. The parade begins at 9:15am at Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 Union Hall, Columbus Boulevard and Washington Avenue to Market Street, to Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, with music, crafts, children’s activities, food and more from 11am-2pm.
Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral
The small beach town of Bethany Beach, Delaware celebrates the end of the summer season with the 30th annual Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral. Bid farewell to summer and celebrate the approaching fall season as the town parades a casket and mannequin representing “Summer of 2015” down the boardwalk. Accompanying the mock procession are three Dixieland Jazz bands. Festivities begin on Labor Day, September 7, around 5:30 p.m. at the North End of the Bethany Beach Boardwalk. Free.
Philadelphia Sculptors invited artists to create “Pope” inspired pieces in anticipation of the visit of Pope Francis. Pope Up offers contemporary approaches to religion and its meanings and interpretations with an exhibition of traditional, funny, and offbeat 2D and 3D works by Stephanie Kirk, Holly Smith, Kathleen Vaccaro, Clifford Bailey, Ellen Benson, Neil Benson, Jacintha Clark, Joan Menapace, Lisa Nanni, Andrew Purvis, Lou Serna, Georgette Veeder and more. Free and open to the public September 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, and 26 with a reception Sunday, September 20, noon-5pm, Globe Dye Works, 4500 Worth Street, Philadelphia. Part of this year’s upcoming Fringe Festival. Check out the store with POPEular products like a Pope tote, Pope-ourri, soap, and more! Pictured: Flying Nun by Simone Spicer. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Sculptors.
Many of Philadelphia’s renowned and historic arts and culture organizations host special events to mark the inaugural visit of Pope Francis. Check out the Pope in Philly Entertainment Guide for more information.
Each week, the Entertainment Guide spotlights interesting local arts offerings happening now, including music, dance, theater, museums, special exhibitions and other arts events from across the region.
To submit an event to be considered, email Robin Bloom at email@example.com.