INTERVIEW: Mark McCloughan and Jaime Maseda of No Face Performance Group

Abbot Adam

They dress up as nuns at midnight, fall asleep, wake up every half-hour, and improvise.

That may sound really strange, and, heck, it sort of is, but it’s just a regular part of the creative process for Mark McCloughan and Jaime Maseda. The pair make up No Face Performance Group, and they’re exploring a series of acts that were inspired by artwork they discovered in The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The second in the series, titled Abbot Adam: None, comes to FringeArts this week. Both McCloughan and Maseda chatted with me about their work, their very interesting nighttime improvisation, and what audiences can expect from one of their shows. Read more »

Born Fat : When Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

April Woodall, star of "Born Fat."

April Woodall, star of “Born Fat.”

There are some people that are so absurdly complex, so full of drama (of the literal kind), that you could easily see their lives as a stage play with a built-in human tragedy that Tennessee Williams or Eugene O’Neill would have died to have created.

That’s the case with one Ms. Elizabeth Petruccione. Chances are, the common person doesn’t know Ms. Petruccione, who, at the age of 62, launched her own rather zany health venture, “Losing Weight With Elizabeth.” Yes, there’s even a YouTube channel where you can watch Ms. Petruccione talk about food and dieting:

But underneath all of that life and zeal is a story about loss, and not just of physical weight: A series of awful marriages, a terrible and abusive childhood, and, perhaps most tragic, the death of a 20-year-old son who was killed when he was struck by lighting while riding a motorcycle (he survived a near fatal car accident when he was 16). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read more »

Belgian Dancer Pieter Ampe Gets Naked with Portuguese Co-Creator Guilherme Garrido at the FringeArts Festival

Still Standing

The FringeArts Festival has made a name for itself by taking audience members out of their comfort zone. Some may not know if they’re up for a two-man show with nudity that gives you scenes of male intimacy, friendship, and raw aggression. But, you may be surprised to see how audiences react to this show that’s toured extensively through Europe and parts of the U.S. FringeArts producing director Nick Stuccio describes the pair as “very smart, courageous, contemporary artists. But they’re also beer-drinking, bearded guys” who are “playful as hell in this physical romp. It’s tasteful and fun, even with the ball-tugging. No one will be bored.” We talked with Belgian artist and dancer Pieter Ampe by phone from his home in Brussels about Still Standing You, the 45-minute dance performance piece made with Portuguese artist and dancer Guilherme Garrido. Pieter, 33, and Gui, 32, perform Wednesday through Friday at the Painted Bride.

What was the process to create this piece? Gui and I met at a big festival a couple of years before we made the work and took a liking to each other. Both of us are playful and have high energy. Gui invited a group of us to meet him in Portugal where he lived to do some work. I arrived at his house with a lot of friends and we had fun. I took my next holiday from school in Porto to work on something with him. I knew it would be about celebrating our friendship, but we didn’t know where it was going. At a residency in France, we forced ourselves to stay in the studio and find what we wanted to make together. It took awhile. I was trying to be more intellectual than I am. The moment we stopped trying so hard, things started working. Read more »

PHOTOS: Queer Fringe Sneak Peek Party at Tabu

Last night, a selection of the FringeArts Festival‘s most intriguing queer and LGBT artists presented samples from their shows at a big old gay party via Tabu. Besides featured performances from Growing Into My Beard, Zanna Don’t!, and Me First, other queer favorites attended the evening of entertainment, followed by karaoke and socializing. Don’t forget to check out all of our LGBTQ FringeArts Festival coverage here.



Faces of the Fringe

The 19th annual Fringe Festival kicks off tonight and will run through September 19th with over 100 performances from international theater troupes and local art-scene movers and shakers alike. If that sounds a little overwhelming, you’re totally right. We take a stab at making your Fringe decision-making a little easier with a guide to the “curated shows” (the folks—many from outside Philly—who are getting paid to perform) and the “independents” (intrepid Philly artists who sign up to take part on their own dime.) Check out those guides here and here, respectively.

First, though, get to know some of our favorite local players at this year’s festival, and find out where you can see them performing over the next few weeks. Be sure to get your tickets fast. We’re not the only ones who love them.



9 Must-See Independent Shows at the Fringe Festival

Cast of Renegade Company's Damned Dirty Apes!

Cast of Renegade Company’s Damned Dirty Apes!.

As usual, there’s way too much to see at this year’s 19th iteration of the Fringe Festival, with 143 different events split between the “curated” shows, a.k.a. the performers who are invited and paid for by the festival, and the “independents,” a.k.a. the come-one-come-alls, which include everything from a comedy hypnosis show to stuff you should actually see. Today, we’re focusing on the latter to bring you our 9 must-see independent shows. (Click the show titles for ticket links.)

Read more »

10 Must-See Curated Shows at the 2015 Fringe Festival

The Cast of A Doll's House. | Photo by Josh Mcilvain

The Cast of A Doll’s House. | Photo by Josh Mcilvain

As usual, there’s way too much to see at this year’s 19th iteration of the Fringe Festival, with 143 different events split between the “curated” shows, a.k.a. the performers who are invited and paid for by the festival, and the “independents,” a.k.a. the come-one-come-alls, which include everything from a comedy hypnosis show (ugh) to stuff you should actually see. Today, we’re focusing on the curated shows to bring you our 10 must-sees. (Click the shows’ title for ticket links.)

Read more »

25 Gay Things to Do in Philly This September

Madonna is headed to the City of Brotherly Love this month. Photo via Shutterstock.

Madonna is headed to the City of Brotherly Love this month. Photo via Shutterstock.

The Pope who? There’s a lot more going on in Philadelphia this September besides a visit from the Vatican. We rounded up 25 LGBT events, shows, and minglers that will keep you busy during back to school season.

Faced with Discrimination Photobooth: Equality Pennsylvania is teaming up with the William Way Community Center for this free event where guests can take a picture and describe why discrimination is a problem that isn’t just theoretical. Thursday, September 3rd, 11 am, free, William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce Street

Sharon Needles: The RuPaul icon “with the look of a cover model and the soul of a shoe” will be at Kung Fu Necktie for a one-nigh only show, featuring the Haus of Ham and The Homophones. Thursday, September 3rd, 7 pm, $20-50, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 North Front Street

FringeArts Festival 2015: There’s so many queer performances at this year’s FringeArts Fest that we’d be here all day if we listed all of them: everything from You Are the Hero to Not For Profit to Growing Into My Beard. In short, there’s something for everyone. Opens Thursday, September 3rd, various times, prices, and locations
Read more »

Queer at FringeArts Fest: Not For Profit

The Wilma Theatre Lobby

The Wilma Theatre Lobby

Each day this week, G Philly will be highlighting a different LGBTQ-themed show that is featured at this year’s FringeArts Festival. Get to know the artists who are bringing their works to the festival, and learn about what makes their productions unique.

The lobby of Broad Street’s Wilma Theatre (265 South Broad Street) will be transformed into an immersive theater experience as theatrical troupe Ferdinand presents an interesting take on what it means to be a performing artist during this year’s FringeArts Festival. Read more »

Queer at FringeArts Fest: The Captive

The Captive

Each day this week, G Philly will be highlighting a different LGBTQ-themed show that is featured at this year’s FringeArts Festival. Get to know the artists who are bringing their works to the festival, and learn about what makes their productions unique.

It’s a play that was considered such a scandal during a 1926 premiere that the entire cast was arrested for indecency. Now, the Philadelphia Artists’ Collective is bringing The Captive to this year’s FringeArts Festival via the Physick House at 321 South 4th Street. Read more »

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