Combining aspects of a flash mob, performance art, and
historical ghost walk, the wonderfully eerie "Spoon River Rochester"
adapts the text of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" with a cast of
over 150 actors (including Mayor Lovely Warren) delivering poems from the work,
each one an epitaph of a single resident of the titular, fictional small town. Dressed all in white and shades of gray, faces painted pale,
each holding a single candle, the performers are certainly striking to look at.
I only know a few words of Spanish, but I really enjoyed "Chocolate
("Chocolate, Almost Bitter"), a one-act written and directed by Candide
Carrasco and presented Saturday afternoon on the TheaterRocs
Stage at Xerox Auditorium. The play has no plot to speak of, it's just a
late-night conversation between a long-married couple, Isabel (Elena Nápoles Goldfeder) and Francisco
(Rubén Lorenzo Gómez).
Created and performed by Bronwyn Sims of Strong Coffee Stage
Company, "Moment of Impact" is a strange, multimedia, one-woman show
that explores how trauma experienced and tragedy witnessed can change the
trajectory of a life. Inspired by real events, the story is told through the
creative use of a sparse set, theater, dance, and aerial acrobatics.
Experiencing Garth Fagan Dance perform is a little bit
like coming home, especially when you live in Rochester where the cutting edge
contemporary dance company (now in its 44th year) also resides and works. Familiar dancers, familiar pieces, familiar Fagan -- both wise and jocular in
his comments and anecdotes.
The second social media-centric comedy show of my Fringe
Festival experience this year, "140 Characters or Less: A Twitter Comedy
Show" delivered the #funny. Hosted by comedian Dario Josef with a rotating
cast of local stand-ups, the show shares some DNA with Comedy Central's popular
"@midnight" program -- mixing Twitter-based humor with traditional stand-up
The final Fringe Festival performance of "Merged II"
was presented on Wednesday night at Geva'sNextstage. This deeply moving and visually stunning series
of performances was a fantastic celebration of the human body's capabilities to
strive and express and explore and persevere.
If you're not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, slip on
your flip-flops and catch one of the remaining performances of "The
Cougar and the Cabana Boy" at Xerox Auditorium. This original
musical by Dresden Engle and J. Daniel Lauritzson
features a very agreeable cast and a story as light and colorful as the beach
balls that get thrown around in one of the big numbers.
CITY Newspaper's second annual trivia night at the Rochester Fringe Festival featured 17 teams competing at 5 rounds of questions about Rochester, the Fringe, and weird-knowledge trivia. Questions ranged from disco-song-origins, to fill-in-the-blank limericks on notable Rochesterians, a visual round of local logos, and a test of knowledge on the history of the Erie Canal.