SEE THIS: Pig Iron’s I Promised Myself to Live Faster

pig iron I promised myself to live faster

Pig Iron Theatre Company has been at the avant-garde theater game for 20 years. For the first three-quarters of that run, the troupe could barely make a misstep, somehow producing theater that was both weird and experimental but also entertaining and crowd-pleasing. With its last two shows, however, they’ve run into trouble with theater- goers and critics, including Inquirer whiner Toby Zinman, who called them “rubbish” and “a waste,” respectively. So it’s good they’re going more, er, mainstream with their latest: I Promised Myself to Live Faster, an “intergalactic gay extravaganza featuring closeted extraterrestrials, high-stakes pursuits and nuns from outer space.”

But seriously, even Albert Einstein didn’t get the theory of relativity right until the eighth try, and with Pig Iron at the wheel, we’re happy to go along for the gay sci-fi ride, knowing full well that the destination is somewhere we’ve never been before. May 22nd to 31st, FringeArts, 140 North  Columbus Boulevard, Old City.

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WATCH: Gunnar Montana’s Resurrection Room

Philly dancer/choreographer/Instinct model (but we had him first!) Gunnar Montana has released his 2014 FringeArts hit Resurrection Room online. It’s a shame if you didn’t see it in person. The electric, at times unsettling performance was, in my opinion, Montana’s best work yet. It follows a young woman (played by dancer Stephi Lyniece) as she stumbles upon “a world with no rules, no life, no death.” Along the way she meets a series of characters, like robots, demon geishas and a mohawked, hot pink-bearded Montana doing one of the most deliciously twisted pieces of choreography I’ve ever seen. (That starts at around 29:20.)

While the video, made by Nicole Patriarca, doesn’t compare to seeing all this unfold directly in front of you, it’s a worthy next-best option. Check it out above. Revel in the sexy nightmares later.

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Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

Photo by Jauhien Sasnou

The Sincerity Project
December 4-13
FringeArts
Of all of the fledgling theater companies in Philadelphia right now, the ensemble-based and movement-oriented Team Sunshine Performance Corporation is the most promising. Its summer co-production of Henry IV: Your Prince and Mine and 100-person sword-bearing army in Clark Park drew rave reviews. Now they’re back with this years-in-development play about the growing pains faced by millennials. Look for an onstage choir, a little nudity, and a bunch of 20-somethings baring their souls and questioning what it means to get older. Well, a little bit older, anyway.

Great Expectations
December 1-14 
Arden Theatre Company
Matt Decker directs just six actors in the Dickens play that features 40 characters.

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Kickstarter Campaign Seeks to Bring The Bill Cosby Assault to Next Year’s FringeArts Festival

Screen shot 2014-12-01 at 3.34.55 PM

Unless you’ve been living under a conveniently placed rock, you’ve seen that people are coming out of the woodwork saying they were sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby. The accusations, which run the gamut from molestation to drug-aided rape, date back to 1965 and have been in and out of the news since 2005.

Due to the “he said, she said” nature of the women’s testimonies versus Cosby’s controversial non-response to new allegations, the jury is still out in the court of public opinion. Skeptics and supporters of the women remain firmly on either side, and still others are overwhelmed with questions.

A Philly Kickstarter campaign started by Victor Fiorillo (whose day job is senior reporter for Philadelphia magazine) hopes to lay all these opinions out on the table — or the stage, that is — and explore their consequences in a new play, The Bill Cosby Assault. Looking to debut during September’s 19th annual Fringe Festival, the play is currently in development and is hoping to reach its $10,000 goal by Sunday, December 21st.

Read more »

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Former Ambassador Joe Torsella and FringeArts’s Nick Stuccio on Friendship

Joe Torsella and Nick Stuccio on Long Beach Island, 1985.

Joe Torsella and Nick Stuccio on Long Beach Island, 1985.

PM: You guys have both had successful careers. Joe, you launched the Constitution Center and were recently an ambassador to the U.N. Nick, you founded FringeArts. And you’ve known each other since you went to high school together in northeastern Pennsylvania.

JOE: I actually am responsible for all of Nick’s success, by virtue of our high-school relationship. That seems bold, I know.

NICK: But it’s kinda true.

JOE: We met each other in early high school, I think in Mrs. Podesta’s … what was the class, geometry?

NICK: Geometry. We knew each other casually. But we became friends when Joe here decided to direct a play. Because Joe was going to be a famous theater director. Read more »

Adaptive Reuse Proves Difficult at La Peg

La Peg at FringeArts | Photo by Kevin Monko

La Peg at FringeArts | Photo by Kevin Monko

Rick Nichols checks in at La Peg, Peter Woolsey’s two month old French brasserie at the once-upon-a-time pump house that is now the home of FringeArts. Nichols finds that the transition from early 20th century high-pressure water station to present day restaurant has been difficult.

That its menu takes liberties with disciplined bistro classics doesn’t help matters. My bowl of Vietnamese beef-noodle pho consomme was cloyingly sweet. And while my wife was happy with her steak-frite, as was I with a small plate of roasted striped bass, my choucroute garnie – so wonderful when the sauerkraut is cooked long and slow enough to soak up the flavors of the sausage – tasted as if a bag of crunchy, coarse-cut kraut had been warmed up at the last minute, then layered with grilled sausage, entirely missing the point of the dish.

Reinventing pump house as eatery proves daunting [Philadelphia Inquirer]
La Peg [Foobooz]

The Sincerity Project, Candy Volcano and More Comprise FringeArts’ Edgy Fall Lineup

Candy Volcano | FringeArts

Candy Volcano | FringeArts

If you’re looking for cutting-edge live arts and experiences this fall, look no further than FringeArts. Its autumn lineup comes on the heels of a record-breaking 2014 Fringe Festival and includes performances at La Peg, the on-site restaurant and beer garden serving as a the cultural center of the Delaware waterfront.

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