WXXI AM News

Fringe Festival

Joel Verhoustrate / Fringe Festival

Organizers of this year’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival have announced the headliner for the annual free, outdoor show at what is called, “Friday & Saturday on the Fringe.”

That part of the festival, on September 13 and 14, will present the return of French street theater company Plasticiens Volants.

The Fringe Festival had the group in Rochester two years ago on Parcel 5, drawing about 10,000 each of two nights.

David Schiffhauer

The KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival is expanding again. Organizers have announced the 2019 festival will open on Tuesday, September 10 and run through September 21. That extends the multi-arts festival to 12 days.

This past year, the festival ran for 11 days, which was up from 10 days the year before.

Festival Producer Erica Fee said that,  “We are thrilled to announce that 2019 will see a dozen days and nights of Fringe, which will benefit shows, venues, our production team, and – above all – audiences.”

Jeff Spevak

Here’s what large-scale public events such as the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival tell us: The streets are not simply for cars.

Amanda Searle

The windows of the food trucks were battened down, and potted shrubs rolled across the Speigelgarden as torrents of rain whipped down Gibbs Street Friday at about 6:15 p.m. and through the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. Day 10 of the 11-day event. The first day of bad weather. The 40-foot wide Immersive Igloo had been deflated as a precautionary measure, the bands were in hiding. But inside Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, Eddie Izzard was coming out to play.

Fred SanFilipo / for WXXI News

It took 4½ decades for Garth Fagan Dance to get around to writing a piece about Frederick Douglass. But the wait is nearly over.

The nationally recognized Rochester contemporary dance ensemble is airing a few sections of the new work on the iconic Rochester abolitionist at this year’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. Along with right-hand man Norwood Pennewell’s new work in progress, “Distant Kin,” it’s clear that Garth Fagan Dance is not leaping on its laurels. 

Jeff Spevak

No historical figure or cultural celebrity is safe from the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.

Not the living: Cher, Tina Turner, Celine Dion, Liza Minnelli and Leontyne Price. Not the dead:

William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Josephine Baker, Oscar Wilde, Toulouse Lautrec, the drag queen Divine, the theologian and philosopher Teilhard de Charidin.

Jeff Spevak

On a day where millions of Americans were frantically Googling “Mario Kart,” Unleashed! Improv was reminding its audience on Day Seven of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival that walking in on your parents while they’re having sex is comedy gold.

Jeff Spevak

These KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival shows are like chasing lightning bugs across a hillside. For most of the shows, you get one, two, maybe three looks at them. And that’s it. They’re gone.

Jeff Spevak

EstroFest claims to be “an equal-opportunity offender.” What does that mean? And what does it mean when the young, extraordinarily talented young woman who writes and stars in a one-person musical comedy, Mo-to-the-oncle, rolls out character after character that seem rooted in stereotypes?

Jeff Spevak

Rochester’s PUSH Physical Theatre has established itself as one of the foundation acts of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. It is essential viewing each year: What amazing stories will it tell, through the simple act of moving one’s body?

On Saturday, Day Four of the 11-day festival, PUSH took its audience to laughs, tears, and to the stars. True comedy carries with it elements of poignancy and sadness. And something grander than the joke.

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