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2015 Fringe Festival Headliners 

Grounded Aerial

To call Grounded Aerial just a dance performance is akin to referring to a Lamborghini as just "a car," or Mount Everest as "big." It may certainly be technically accurate, but at the same time, those descriptions barely scratch the surface. Featuring performers formerly of STOMP, Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, Pilobolus, De La Guarda, and Momix, Grounded Aerial, quite literally, brings dance to new heights. The group's performances blend precise dance movements with intense contortionist acts and precarious aerial moves, all grounded together by a strong plot line. With more than 30 years of experience, the troupe has performed on NBC's "I Can Do That" and during Microsoft's Worldwide Vista and Office Logo launch. For this show, Grounded Aerial will perform on the side of the 21-story HSBC building as well as on the "Tribute to Man" metal framework.

Grounded Aerial will perform on Friday, September 18, as part of Friday on the Fringe at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square. Friday on the Fringe begins at 5 p.m.; Grounded Aerial will perform at 8 p.m. The show is free for all ages.

Remote Rochester

Created by site-specific theater company Rimini Protokoll, Remote Rochester is a pedestrian-based live-art journey that aims to engender discovery of the city, of the self, and of reality in a completely unique way. During each "performance," 50 participants will begin at a specified starting point, put on headphones, and follow the recorded directions along a secret path around Rochester, interacting with the environment as they go. Part of the "Remote X" project, Remote Rochester is Rimini Protokoll's second installment in the United States — other "Remote X" projects have taken place in Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam, Paris, and New York.

Remote Rochester has various start times each day of the Fringe Festival. For specifics, visit Groups should gather at the Spiegelgarden 15 minutes prior to the start time. $28. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.

The Cristal Palace Spiegeltent

After a two-year-run with The Magic Crystal Spiegeltent, the Rochester Fringe Festival is making a little upgrade. This year's Spiegeltent performances will be hosted in The Cristal Palace, a tent that has stood the test of time. Built in 1947, The Cristal Palace is filled with mahogany and stained glass, and casts a red-brown tint throughout that will set the atmosphere for the Fringe’s shows.

Along with performances of "Cabinet of Wonders" and "Princess Wendy's Late Nite Tease Room," and a set from comedian Jamie Lissow, the Spiegeltent will again host the ever-popular Silent Disco. As the name implies, the dance floor of the Aurora, will remain quiet during the Silent Disco, while dancers use headphones to groove to the music. A two-channel system will allow people to pick between competing live DJs. Silent Disco takes place September 18, 19, 25, and 26, at 11 p.m. and is appropriate for ages 18 and older. Tickets are $10. A mid-day iteration of the Silent Disco, the Brown Bag Disco, will be offered on Friday, September 25, complete with a free bagged lunch with the $9 entrance fee.

For more information on all of the events taking place in the Spiegeltent and the adjoining Spiegelgarden, visit

Jamie Lissow

After opening for Patton Oswalt and Jay Pharoah at past Rochester Fringe Festivals, Jamie Lissow is finally getting his own hour-long headliner set at the Fringe. A Rochester native and Brother Wease's former sidekick, Lissow has appeared on "The Late Show," and has a half-hour special on Comedy Central. He's been featured at The Montreal Comedy Festival, The Great American Comedy Festival, appeared on Fox News's "Redeye" more than 50 times (proudly maintaining "no political opinions" throughout), and recently finished co-writing and starring in an upcoming sitcom, "Real Rob," with Rob Schneider. Opening for Lissow will be Brian Herberger, the winner of Buffalo's Funniest Person Contest.

Jamie Lissow will perform on Saturday, September 19, at 9:30 p.m. in the Spiegeltent. $18. Appropriate for ages 16 and older.

Matt and Heidi Morgan

Performers Matt and Heidi Morgan, hosts of the show "Absinthe" at the Las Vegas Spiegelworld, will bring their anarchic style to the Rochester Fringe Festival with a new variety show, "Cabinet of Wonders." The show will make its world-premiere during this year's Fringe. It's difficult to say what to actually expect from "Cabinet of Wonders." Draped in mystery, the short-list of performances will include comedy, contortionists, acrobatics, aerial performances, feats of strength, and a one-legged tap dancer.

Matt and Heidi Morgan will also host "Princess Wendy's Late Nite Tease Room," an adult comedy and burlesque romp about a down-and-out professional birthday party entertainer.

"Cabinet of Wonders" has various show times in the Spiegeltent each day of the festival. For specifics, visit $33-$36. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.

"Princess Wendy's Late Nite Tease Room" will take place Thursday, September 24, through Saturday, September 26, in the Spiegeltent. 9:30 p.m. each night. $18. Appropriate for ages 18 and older.

"Upside Downton"

See interview with Luke Kempner on page XX

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to correct the name of this year's spiegeltent.

In This Guide...

    Rochester Fringe Festival 2015: Preview

    Rochester Fringe Festival 2015: Preview
    Rochester Fringe Festival 2015: Preview

    Inside the fringe

    Rochester has embraced its fringe side. Now in its fourth year, the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival has grown to be one of the largest multi-arts festivals in New York State, and one of the best-attended fringe festivals in the nation.

    Downton downsized

    With its multitude of characters and intricate plot lines, Downton Abbey can sometimes be difficult to follow. But when Luke Kempner takes the appropriately august Kilbourn Hall stage to perform "Upside Downton," you will only have to focus on one man.

    CRITICS PICKS: Adam Lubitow

    2015 RIT Student Honors Show Don't be intimidated by the five-hour chunk of time the 2015 RIT Student Honors Show takes up on the Fringe schedule.

    CRITICS PICKS: Casey Carlson

    BIODANCE Missy Pfohl Smith's Rochester-based company BIODANCE returns for its fourth season at Fringe with "BIO/DANCE & Social Justice," a program that examines a diversity of inequality and justice in today's world.

    CRITICS PICKS: Daniel J. Kushner

    Daniel J. Kushner Matt Witten, percussion — "Himmels-Tür"

    CRITICS PICKS: Rebecca Rafferty

    Rebecca Rafferty "Conscience"

    CRITICS PICKS: Frank DeBlase

    1916 Like its Rochester brethren, The Sisters of Murphy and the much-missed Flour City Knuckleheads,1916 proudly celebrates its Irish with a raised fist and a raised pint.


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