Arts & Life

Arts and culture

Screenshot from KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

The words of Black Lives Matter has shared the stage with many of the shows at the ninth annual KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. People should be allowed to live freely, rather than be players in a larger game, dancer Jason Nious said in the first edition of FringeTalk. “We should be allowed to just exist. And still matter.” 

Twenty-four hours later, in a similar FringeTalk forum for comics, former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and writer Tim Meadows said, “This country is in a weird place, people don’t trust each other, people are afraid of each other.”

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

This is the season for slapstick, the motorcycle globe of death and slurred soliloquies. The KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival unveils one of its marquee shows, “Cirque du Fringe: Quarantini,” previewed here along with its Shakespearean sideshow, “Shotspeare.” Plus, we have reviews of “Milkdrunk,” “The Nightmare” and “A Spy in the House of Men.”

You’ll find the complete schedule and ticket information at rochesterfringe.com.

Quarantinis and Shakespearean shots in the summer of coronavirus

provided photo

Imagine being quarantined for weeks inside a small (by Rochester standards) New York City apartment by yourself.

Well, there are a couple of cats, too.

"I went out last night to see a friend," said Lori Hamilton, "and they were, like, 'You did not tell us you were going out. It was not on the schedule.' "

The comedian has so many characters and skits bouncing around in her imagination, it's easy to see how she survived the COVID-19 solitude.

Fringe Day Three: Memories, confessions and empathy

Sep 17, 2020
Emily Berl

It’s Day Three of the ninth KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival continues online, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

You’ll find the Fringe schedule and ticket information at rochesterfringe.com.

The ghosts of Memory Palace

In a brief 10 minutes, Nate DiMeo pulls together a century and a half of history, making the connection between Frederick Douglass and Daniel Prude. And confirming the old adage, once again, that “past is prologue.”

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Of the more than 170 shows in this year's KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, several are related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

One of them is a production from ROC Freedom Riders.

The group was formed in June, after the May 25 death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

That was before the public knew about an incident -- one that would be compared to Floyd's death -- that had happened in Rochester months earlier. In March, police officers restrained Daniel Prude; he died a week later from the injuries he suffered.

Fringe Festival Day Two: Dancing as fast as they can

Sep 16, 2020
Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

It’s Day Two of the ninth KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. And due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s entirely online. 

Of the arts, dance has been hit hard. All of that heavy breathing and tossing of fellow dancers. COVID-19 and social distancing forced Garth Fagan Dance to bring an early end to this season, which was to be a celebration of Fagan’s 50th year in the Rochester area.

But Rochester’s BIODANCE has embraced the virtual performance. There was no other choice. Read on for more on that, as well as a look at a few shows from Day One of Rochester Fringe.

Fringe Festival Day One: Big ideas, memories and whiskey

Sep 15, 2020
Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

It’s opening day of the ninth KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. But after eight years of growth -- more than 100,000 people attended last year’s event -- the coronavirus pandemic dictates that this one will be presented entirely online. 

Coming up over the next two days are shows with smart people fretting over the future, lost legends and film critics who drink too much. Or maybe not enough. 

You’ll find the Fringe schedule and ticket information at rochesterfringe.com.

HomeStage: Sally Louise

Sep 14, 2020

Sally Louise originally moved to Rochester to study at the Eastman School of Music, but as the spring term wound down and the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up, she decided it was time for a change.

The classically trained soprano is now a full time singer/songwriter, and her single "Bodily Exile" is now available on digital platforms.

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

One year ago, the giant fantasy undersea visions of Plasticiens Volants’ French inflatables bobbed and weaved in the crisp fall air over the heads of thousands of people on Rochester’s Parcel 5. London’s Massaoke karaoke singalong of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” echoed off the sides of downtown buildings. 

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Big-name comedians, mainly at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, have been a major part of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival though its first eight years. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, that kind of show is not in the plans this year when the event opens next week.