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. Presenting outstanding short films from both graduate and undergraduate students of the RIT Film and Animation program, it's a long show, but absolutely worth it. Plus, since the films being screened are all shorts, you're not required to stay for the entire duration. I was only able to stay for the first half of last year's show, and I still managed to see some great films — one even made the shortlist for Oscar nominations. (Saturday, September 19, 11:30 a.m. The Little Theatre 1. Free. All ages.)
"Other Peoples' Shows"
"Unleashed! IMPROV Presents: Other Peoples' Shows" has one of the simplest — yet brilliant — ideas for an improv show I've heard. Flipping through the Fringe guide book, the group will perform their interpretations of the shows they find, based only on their titles and descriptions. Ingenious. (Saturday, September 19, 7 p.m. TheatreROCS Stage. $10. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.)
Shakespeare's plays are notoriously brutal, bloodthirsty affairs, but generally it takes some time to get to the good stuff. If you're on a tight schedule, but have a taste for the macabre, "ShakesBLOOD" will present the Bard's most gruesome scenes, squishing them all together into an orgy of blood, guts, and iambic pentameter. Even the audience isn't safe: the front rows have a designated splash zone for anyone unafraid to get a little dirty. (Saturday, September 19, 8 p.m.; Saturday, September 26, 8 p.m. Abilene. $10. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.)
"Quaternion Drifters, Riff Raft, and a Pod Calypso"
I'm going to be honest, I'm mostly interested in "Quaternion Drifters, Riff Raft, and a Pod Calypso: A Comedic Jazz Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut" because the description left me baffled, and I respect that in any type of art. Listed in the comedy section, the show — from jazz duo The Quaternion Drifters — is an interactive musical revue depicting the group's time aboard a show boat constructed from plastic refuse and debris, where they travel to the mysterious "Caribbean Trapezoid," and encounter a "tropical troupe of inquisitive dolphins." Huh. (Saturday, September 19, 8:30 p.m. The Little Theatre 1. Free. All ages.)
"Cinderella - Just What I Needed"
There have been innumerable retellings of the story of Cinderella, but I can't immediately recall any 1980's-style musical adaptations performed by a singing mime. "Cinderella - Just What I Needed" — from the mind of Jimyn the Singing Mime — promises exactly that. I'm not entirely sure what a singing mime is exactly, but I'm willing to find out. (Thursday, September 24, 5 p.m.; Friday, September 25, 5 p.m. Java's Cafe. Free. All ages.)
"It's a Spaceship Now"
Sounding something along the lines of a live theater version of the quirky indie film "Safety Not Guaranteed," (only with a spaceship in place of a time machine), "It's a Spaceship Now" is a one man show created and performed by Stuart Wilson, about a man who hopes to turn his life around by building a spaceship out of a discarded nuclear missile. Teleport me to Mars, Rochester Fringe. (Thursday, September 24, 9 p.m.; Friday, September 25, 9 p.m.; Saturday, September 26, 4:30 p.m. TheatreROCS Stage. $10. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.)
Performed as a series of dramatic story readings, "Rochester Rewritten" takes a look at what our city might look like had its history veered from its known course. The show offers audiences a glimpse into the "alternative pasts, presents, and futures of the Flower City we know and love." Is that like Rochester fan fiction? Because I could totally get on board with that. (Thursday, September 17, 8 p.m. MuCCC. $10. Appropriate for ages 13 and older.)