Arts & Life

Arts and culture

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.

HomeStage: Duo Purla

Sep 2, 2020

Shannon Reilly and Tom Torrisi are Duo Purla, and they miss performing live. They've done virtual performance, and they're doing another one...here on HomeStage. This song is a collaboration with Buffalo-based composer Edgar Girtain.


A piano previously owned, played, and signed by Grammy-winning musician Alicia Keys is making its way to its new home at The Avenue Blackbox Theatre on Joseph Avenue.

Fellow musician and Rochester native Andy Nahas successfully bid on the cerulean blue Boston 126E upright piano, designed by Steinway & Sons, at an auction to benefit the charity MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund, which received $35,000 in the sale, to go toward lessening the pandemic’s financial toll on individuals in the music industry.

If this were any other year, New Yorkers would be chowing down on sausage sandwiches and pizza frites, while strolling through the Midway of the New York State Fair in Syracuse. But for the first time since World War II, the fair, like many others across the country, has been canceled, due to COVID 19.

Geva Theatre Center announced its 2020-21 season in March, although Artistic Director Mark Cuddy added the caveat that those plans could be challenged by the coronavirus pandemic.

That caveat landed this week, as Geva released plans for its “Reimagined” upcoming season, with four audio shows by Black writers and directors starting in October.