French street theater company Plasticiens Volants will perform at the 2019 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival for a second time at 8 p.m. on Sept. 13-14 with “Pearl: Secrets of the Sea.”
Using giant inflatable puppets, Plasticiens Volants’ performances will start with a 15-minute promenade as sea creatures “swim” down Chestnut and Main streets. At Parcel 5, a story involving a sea serpent, octopus and pearl will unfold for audiences of all ages.
Plasticiens Volants made its U.S. debut at the 2017 Fringe Festival with “Big Bang.”
More than 150 of the 570-plus performances and events are free. These include Massaoke on Sept. 20 and “Massaoke: Night at the Musicals” on Sept. 21 on the new Chestnut Street stage.
The Spiegelgarden, a pop-up, outdoor lounge at the corner of East Main and Gibbs streets, will feature the Theatre Bar, food trucks, box office, Kids Day activities on Sept. 21, “Pedestrian Drive-In,” the annual ImageOut: The Rochester LGBT Film & Video Festival and ASL Film Night’s “Hear What I’m Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary.” A new partnership with Rochester’s Puerto Rican Festival will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15 with “Residente” and themed food trucks.
Other free Fringe events include an all-styles dance battle, “Fringe Street Beat,” on Sept. 21 and “Gospel Sunday” on Sept. 15. All venue-curated performances and events at The Little, RIT City Space and Java’s Cafe are free and family-friendly.
Fringe’s 2019 comedy headliner is Mike Birbiglia in “An Evening with Mike Birbiglia” on Sept. 20 in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. “The Memory Palace Live” will run Sept. 19-20 in Kilbourn Hall.
New in the Spiegeltent this year is a comedy/variety show created by Matt and Heidi Morgan. “Cirque du Fringe: D’illusion” features illusionist Rod Raven and his eccentric assistant, Heidi, along with a cast of top international cirque artists. The Morgans also will present a new “Shotspeare” show, a remake of “Othello.”
“Silent Disco” will return for four weekend performances, along with a daytime “Disco Kids.”
In the Spiegelgarden, Kerry Young and Abby DuVuyst will present “Bushwhacked British Bake Off” and its sister show, “Bushwhacked Boozy British Bake Off.”
A new Fringe partnership with Gateways Music Festival resulted in “A Celebration of the Life of Paul J. Burgett Through Music” at Eastman School’s Hatch Recital Hall on Sept. 14. Also new to Fringe this year is the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2019-20 season opener, “Scheherazade .2.”
Most Fringe performances and events are booked by the venues. Fringe welcomes two new venues this year: Nox Cocktail Lounge and Joseph Avenue Arts & Culture Alliance. As the Alliance’s site is being renovated, the organization will use the Avenue D Rec Center Gymnasium and Lincoln Library Community Room. The Fringe’s other venues are The Avyarium, Blackfriars Theatre, Eastman School of Music, Garth Fagan Dance, George Eastman Museum, Geva Theatre Center, Java’s Cafe, Central Library of Rochester, The Little, The Lyric Theatre, Multi-use Community Cultural Center, RIT City Space, RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium, School of the Arts and Writers & Books.
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