Opening day of the 2018 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival included several sold-out shows such as Dashboard Dramas V, Bushwhacked Backyard Bonfire, Carrie: The Musical and Bushwhacked Backyard Bathtub.
Some shows have sold out for Thursday, including both performances of Dashboard Dramas V and Bushwhacked Backyard BBQ. For a complete list of shows and ticket prices, check the festival website at rochesterfringe.com. Tickets are available on a show-by-show basis at rochesterfringe.com or call (585) 957-9837, or purchase at any of the venues that are hosting a show.
More: Rochester Fringe Festival: Where to park, find food and more
Here are three best bets for Thursday, Sept. 13:
Jonathan Burns is (Extra) Ordinary, 6 and 9 p.m., School of the Arts: Club SOTA. Get your laughs in with Jonathan Burns, an entertainer who also including juggling, stand-up comedy, contortion and sideshow stunts into his performances. The Johnstown, Pennsylvania native has performed in 9 countries, at 400 college campuses across the United States and on The Jay Leno Show and the Late Show with David Letterman. In addition to Thursday night’s shows he’ll perform four more times at Rochester Fringe. Tickets start at $12.
Tango Experience, 7 p.m., Memorial Art Gallery. This show by the Rochester City Ballet is a rare Fringe one-and-done live performance. If you want to see the group preview its new tango-based ballet in the intimate Memorial Art Gallery ballroom, this is your only chance. Audience members will be invited to join the professional dancers for an Argentine-tango lesson, with a chance to take a turn around the ballroom. A partner is not required, but a ticket is; they start at $15.
Josephine, a burlesque cabaret dream play, 9 p.m., School of the Arts: Allen Main Stage Theatre. Hot off a limited, off-Broadway run, this powerful musical combines cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of entertainer Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar. The show has won Best of Fest at several Fringe festivals, including Indianapolis (2017) and San Diego (2016). There are three other performances during the Rochester Fringe. Tickets start at $18.
Canceled: The 9:30 p.m. performance of Bitter B*tch Cabaret at School of the Arts: Ensemble Theatre has been canceled.
The 2018 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival brings more than 500 fun shows and events that feature a mix of visual and performing artists at venues in downtown Rochester. The vaudeville-style revue Cirque du Frinige has become the centerpiece of Rochester Fringe. The festival was founded in 2012 by Erica Fee, a Rochester native and 1999 University of Rochester alumna. About 30,000 people attended the first festival. Last year’s crowds topped 78,000, according to festival organizers.
While the uninitiated may be tempted to think of the opening day of the 2018 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival like a Fringe lite, but that would be a mistake.
The popular Cirque du Fringe show has sold out for Wednesday, Sept. 12. Not only that show, Dashboard Dramas V, Bushwhacked Backyard Bonfire, Carrie: The Musical and Bushwhacked Backyard Bathtub also sold out for opening day. The 11-day visual and performing arts festival has a deep list of shows to choose from. Go to rochesterfringe.com for a full list. We’ll bring you a list of daily best bets and updates.
Here are three best bets for Wednesday:
Art Lobotomy, 9 p.m., Writers & Books, ages 18 and up. Pittsburgh songwriter Liss Victory and comedian Liz Tripoli will invite a fellow Rochester Fringe performer to join them on stage to present a piece of their art to be critiqued by the audience. This multi-disciplinary show will be different each of the three times it’s performed during the festival. Who will guest star on stage opening night? You have to attend to find out. Tickets start at $10.
BardBending: A Same-Sex Shakespeare Sampler, 7 p.m., The Avyarium. The Avyarium is a brand new space for Rochester Fringe making its debut tomorrow as host to WallByrd Theatre Co.’s BardBending. This Rochester based theatre company twists gender norms in this modern mash-up of William Shakespeare’s greatest hits. The show will be performed two more times during the festival if you miss opening night. Tickets start at $10.
Black Panther, 7:30 p.m., Spiegelgarden. Free pedestrian-drive hits at the Spiegelgarden are a favorite at the Rochester Fringe. Catch the 2018 blockbuster Black Panther (PG-13) starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Martin Freeman at the Spiegelgarden – a gorgeous place at night during the festival. This is a free, non-ticketed event but guests are encouraged to arrive early.
What’s up with Cirque du Fringe
(Opening night show sold out)
Cirque du Fringe: Side Show, 7:30 p.m., Spiegeltent. Running throughout the festival, the vaudeville-style revue is the centerpiece of the Rochester Fringe. The show combines comedy, life music and acrobatics. Alas, if you didn’t get tickets, there are plenty more Cirque du Fringe performances scheduled throughout the festival that still have tickets available. Tickets start at $34 (adult).
Caurie Putnam is a community columnist and a freelance writer.