The 2021 Philadelphia Fringe Festival is now in full swing, and with so many shows to choose from in almost every artistic category, it can be hard to pick just what to experience. Luckily, each week throughout the duration of the festival, Metro will highlight standouts to make your viewing experience that much easier.
The Beardmobile Fall Love Tour
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret Company, along with a few partners, will be hitting the road with their Beardmobile once again for the 2021 Fringe Festival. Starting Sept. 17, audiences can catch the 15-foot box truck in different parts of the city with performers from the cabaret group entertaining alongside neon LED lighting, high-powered speakers, a 6-foot retractable stage and room for a three-piece band. According to the release, the 4-week Fall Love Tour will mount pop-up performances designed to be enjoyed at a distance all over Philadelphia.
Partners include Vox Populi and the moon baby, ILL DOOTS, William Way, dain saint, Wilma Portable Studio, and more. Returning to help steer the Beardmobile are hosts Anthony Martinez-Briggs aka US of ILL DOOTS, Sam Rise of Girls Rock Philly, and other award-winning performers such as Cookie Diorio, Jess Conda, Eric Jaffe, Brett Robinson, and Bearded Ladies Artistic Director, John Jarboe (she/her). The first show begins at FDR Park on Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. with other shows to follow on Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. on East Passyunk Ave., at the William Way LGBT Community Center at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 26, back to FDR Park again on Sept. 29 at 4 p.m., at Cherry Street Pier on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., at Bartram’s Garden North at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 9, and finally at Love City Brewing Company on Oct. 16 with the time TBD. Tickets for these performances are Pay What You Can.
707 Hazardous Moves
This theater show comes from New Paradise Laboratories and centers on a veteran experimentalist who returns to performance to expose his nine-year struggle to stage the poem that “bedeviled the 20th century.” The official description reads: “Whit MacLaughlin has been obsessed with Stéphane Mallarmé’s ‘A Throw of Dice Will Never Abolish Chance’ since he first read it in 2012. Subsequently, he traveled to France to sit at the feet of philosopher Quentin Meillassoux, invented a new team sport, mounted four related pieces with his company New Paradise Laboratories (one in Turkey), took a bullet, gave up theater, left the country for a third time, and finally, in quarantine with an OCD diagnosis, attempted seven successive versions of the work.”
This show details his complete defeat, and examines why he still hopes to un-fail his failure. Showtimes for this stage performance occur on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m., Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 18 at 3 and 8 p.m. at FringeArts.
Nichole Canuso Dance Company first premiered their critically-acclaimed work ‘Being/With:Home’ at the 2020 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and now, audiences can check out an all-new ‘Being/With’ to find new ways of connection. From now until Oct. 9, audiences can check out the intimate Philadelphia World Premiere of Canuso’s new production at South Philadelphia’s Trinity Church (2300 S 18th St.) and West Philadelphia’s Pearlstein Gallery (3401 Filbert St.)
Just like Canuso’s work in the past, this experience brings together two audience members digitally through a tender and deeply personal exchange across geographies. According to the release, ‘Being/With’ is an exploration of distance and proximity; absence and presence in a real and virtual environment that invites you to share stories and explore movement together in a guided artistic encounter. ‘Being/With’ is fueled and informed by Canuso’s parallel interests in immersive performance forms, interactive media and oral history interview practice. Anyone interested can look online to see when performances run.
AIR by Mariana Valencia
This solo dance performance features Valencia paying homage to artists of Mexican Descent, from “East LA collective Asco to Mexican pop culture icons Don Ramon, El Chavo and Maria Felix.” Audiences will see Valencia take on the role of a news anchor in this production presenting references as origin stories and creation myths while layering it into her own story.
The release states that ‘AIR’ is a nod to the generations of US mestiza and Latinx artists who exist in a hybridity of cultures—positioned in-between, learning how to belong and not belong to the one or the other. Valencia draws commonalities and kinships to this diaspora as they synthesize within her body of work and research as a Latina artist. She shows us we are all listening through osmosis. Showtimes for ‘Air’ will run Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 18 at 3 and 8 p.m. at the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake.
This piece of work from the Joyous Eddies House of Theater (Mark Lord and Catharine Slusar) is better described through its initial description: “A handful of audience members gather in an intimate space. A mouth speaks—she utters a torrent of words: as searing and searching a text as Samuel Beckett ever wrote. With scalding intensity, the play clamors to discover: who are we when we are our whole selves, when we speak and hear all of our voices in a moment—in their rages and echoes and mis-rememberings and deprecations and desires? It lasts for fifteen minutes. And forever.” In this particular production, Barrymore award-winner Catharine Slusar stars and Mark Lord directs. Showtimes for ‘Not I’ run from now until Oct. 3 at 908 Christian St.