New FringeArts Venue Books First Shows

Hopefully the building will be ready.

The 2013 Philadelphia FringeArts Festival (previously known as the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe) kicks off one month from today, and tickets are on sale now. Unfortunately, the new FringeArts building — a year-round performing arts venue that was scheduled to open in time for the fest — won’t be open until October.

The building may be delayed, but the starting lineup of shows for the new FringeArts venue is nothing short of impressive. Below, the first FringeArts bookings. Note that exact dates for most of the events have not been locked in.

Elephant Room
October 2013

“Magicians” Dennis Diamond, Louie Magic and Daryl Hannah (two of whom you may recognize as the guys behind plays like All Wear Bowlers and Machines, Machines, Machines…) star in their own magic show of sorts. When I first saw this piece when it was mounted at the 2011 Live Arts fest, I was entertained but not enthralled, as I noted in this review. But during a recent run at The Box in New York, it was clear that the team had worked out the kinks, taking Elephant Room to the next level.

November 4 to 7
When the Opera Philadelphia spokesman was trying to describe Svadba to me, he kept invoking Tony and Tina’s Wedding, which had me a little worried. But never fear, this opera, a co-presentation of Opera Philadelphia and FringeArts, is only like Tony and Tina’s Wedding in that there’s a wedding and a wedding reception, and the audience members are wedding guests. The West Philadelphia Orchestra will provide reception music, so be prepared to do your best gypsy dance.

17 Border Crossings
November 2013
Actor, director and one-man theater company Thaddeus Phillips, who wowed Live Arts Festival audiences last year with his El Conquistador, returns to the Philadelphia stage with this play based on his far flung travels. Expect some level of theatrical genius. Phillips (a sometimes Philadelphia resident) is always good for that.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will
December 2013

Pig Iron Theatre Company revisits its 2011 Live Arts Festival hit. If you’re bored with the Bard, this wild re-imagining of the classic Shakespeare tale will set you straight. From my review of the 2011 show: “They’ve taken the Bard’s funniest comedy, thrown in their unique brand of kook and a live, roaming Balkan band, and created something wonderful and fresh.”