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City's classical writer looks forward to the Harlem Gospel Choir, "Hide the Moon," and "Spirits Within"

Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Paloma Capanna's picks 

City's classical writer looks forward to the Harlem Gospel Choir, "Hide the Moon," and "Spirits Within"

The Eastman School of Music students creating "Hide the Moon," an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "Salome," are billing the event by the emotions infatuation, loathing, fear, and lust. Who doesn't want an hour of high drama? The student group, led by Andrew Pramuk, are infusing drama, music, movement, and original arrangements to tell the Biblical tale of Salome requesting the head of John the Baptist on a platter for her dance of the seven veils. There will be actors as musicians and musicians as actors in a show that Pramuk describes on Kickstarter as "theater like a rock concert." (Wednesday 9/19 8:30-9:30 p.m., Saturday 9/22 10:30-11:30 p.m. at RAPA's East End Theatre. Admission is free.)

Raise your parasols to the skies as the voices of the Harlem Gospel Choir descend upon the Fringe Festival and lead you home to that place of "Hallelujah!" After 26 years of touring the world, performing for presidents and royalty, and alongside legendary musicians from Sonny Bono to Josh Groban, who hasn't heard of this group? Its 65 members range in age from 17 to 70, touring in a simple configuration of nine singers, keyboard, and drums. Come out to sway to songs like "Oh Happy Day" or dance in the aisles to songs like "When the Saints Come Marching In." Rochester gospel sensations The Campbell Brothers open. (Friday 9/21 8 p.m. at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Tickets cost $10-$40.)

Not performing in Fringe? You can still participate. Multimedia artist and ESM student Peter Ferry brings a solo percussion performance to the festival, including his work "Nostalgia Project." The musical piece was written especially for Ferry by ESM graduate Matt Evans. You can go to nostalgia.cias.rit.eduto listen to a bit of the work and then submit a photo of your own that evokes feelings of nostalgia. Evans previously performed with ESM's new music group OSSIA, and was awarded a 2012-13 post-graduate fellowship to work with Bang on a Can. He also works with So Percussion, Nexus, and Ensemble Signal. (Thursday 9/20 6-7 p.m., Saturday 9/22 1-2 p.m. at Hatch Recital Hall, ESM. Tickets cost $5.)

Improvisation upon the church organ is not a new thing. But, for Fringe, here comes a triple-improv of church organ, dance, and images. Set in historic Christ Church, "Spirits Within" will involve Stephen Kennedy on the organ, dancers from FuturPointe, and multimedia displays projected onto the dancers from RIT Professor Marla Schweppe and 3D-digital-design students. Kennedy is director of music and organist at Christ Church and is an instructor of sacred music at ESM. FuturPointe fuses Caribbean, African, Latin, Reggae, and urban dance. Schweppe uses her theatrical background to create a virtual stage, animatronics, and more. (Thursday 9/20 9:30 p.m., Friday 9/21 8 & 9 p.m., Saturday 9/22 8 p.m. at Christ Church. Tickets cost $10.)

In a one-hour, specially edited version of Shakespeare's classic "Richard III," the Rochester Community Players will present the tragedy of a wickedly ruthless king, including battle scenes, murder, and mayhem. Rochester Community Players has an 88-year history of performance, including numerous Shakespeare productions, many staged outdoors at the Highland Bowl. (Friday 9/21 9-10 p.m., Sunday 9/23 2-3 p.m. at TheatreROCS at Xerox Auditorium. Tickets cost $5-$15.)

Esther Rogers has written and will direct "Death of (An) Artist" as a multi-disciplinary work that involves improvisation. Actors, musicians, and dancers will use elements from a script with interactive improvisation to ask "Who killed Artist?" while exploring the boundaries of each one's individual art forms. Rogers is trained as a classical cellist and teaches at the Rochester Contemporary School of Music. With questioning the boundaries of one's discipline being en vogue, this work seems perfectly suited for Fringe. (Friday 9/21 8-9 p.m., Sunday 9/23 8-9 p.m. at RAPA's East End Theatre. Tickets cost $10-$12. Free workshop Friday 9/21 9:15-10 p.m. for ages 12+)

In This Guide...

    Show time for Rochester Fringe

    As the Rochester Fringe Festival readies for curtain up, find out what it is, and what not to miss.
    It took dancers jumping off buildings for people to finally "get" the magnitude of the inaugural First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. "Another festival?" is a common refrain in Rochester.

    Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Michael Lasser's picks

    "The Bicycle Men," "Gilgamesh," "Love at First Waltz," and other picks from City's theater critic
    One review of "The Bicycle Men" called it "a genial spoof." So is this going to be one of those things that's much funnier when you're having a fourth beer with friends and making up a musical at 3 in the morning?

    Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Rebecca Rafferty's picks

    "Bee Eye," Wearable Technology Show, "Dragon's Lair" piqued City's visual critic's attention
    There are some unknowns in human existence that might never be answered. But that doesn't mean we won't eternally ask questions about our purpose (or lack thereof), the nature of death, and the slippery slope of human cognition.

    Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Casey Carlsen's picks

    City's dance critic looks forward to "Astro Dance," PUSH Physical Theatre, Day of Dance, and more
    BIODANCE, a well-established, local contemporary group led by Missy Pfohl Smith, has two distinctly different shows in the festival. "Breakdown: Dance/Sound" is an experimental new work performed to the orchestral music of Sound ExChange.

    Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Willie Clark's picks

    Patton Oswalt, The Great Chernesky, and Oliver Brown have got our music editor jazzed
    Big name comedian Patton Oswalt headlines the comedy portion of the Fringe Festival. Possibly best known for his roles in "The King of Queens" and the voice of Remy in "Ratatouille," Oswalt has also appeared everywhere from "The Fairly Odd Parents" to "Community" to "Grand Theft Auto."

    Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Eric Rezsnyak's picks

    City's features editor looks forward to Bandaloop, "The Event," and "There's Always Time for a Cocktail"
    The headliner act that made everyone go "Ooooooooo!" at the press conference, Bandaloop will undoubtedly be the most eye-popping experience at the inaugural Fringe Festival. This world-renowned aerial dance troupe performs vertical routines while suspended from climbing ropes.

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