Leah reviews 'The Memory Palace Live' 

For all its pomp and circumstance, the true magic of a Fringe Festival is often found in simplicity. In humanity. In the communal gathering of spirits experiencing the same thing, if only for an hour. Such is the case with “The Memory Palace Live,” which had the first of its two performances on Thursday evening at Kilbourn Hall in the Eastman School of Music.

“The Memory Palace” is a podcast about the past, and Los Angeles-based host Nate DiMeo is an archaeologist of sorts, a master storyteller and writer who transports his audience to a world that was, creating a wistful, poignant journey for his listeners. Attendees of “The Memory Palace Live” experience all of the podcast’s usual stories, accompanied by simple staging of DiMeo at a desk mic and later, a podium mic (“this is the part where I stand over here,” he jokes). A backdrop screen projects simple animations, vintage photos, and stop motion video to illustrate his nine vignettes. A brass quintet from the Eastman School of Music accompanies for a little while onstage, and the rest of DiMeo’s eloquent mood-setting music is played from recordings.

The opening bit is all about George Eastman, told in an eerie new way for Rochesterians. (In between, DiMeo mentions he’s had a white hot.) DiMeo has created several Rochester-focused pieces, including a free, on-site listening experience open to the public through Saturday at High Falls, and another that he’ll release in a future episode.

Thursday’s live recording did not have a sold out audience — a shame for all who missed a moving, mythical listening adventure with DiMeo. For a show that started more than a decade ago as a passion project and escalated to an international sensation and Peabody Award nominee, “The Memory Palace” is a sharp and relevant podcast for every human who has a history, and one of this year’s strongest Fringe offerings.

“The Memory Palace Live” will be performed again at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 21, at the Eastman School of Music: Kilbourn Hall. $28. Appropriate for 13 and over.
Pin It
.
Favorites

In This Guide...

  • Leah reviews 'Thank You Kiss Presents: Secret Handshakes'

    With scripted sketches, improv, video, plenty of pop music and, of course, a secret handshake, Thank You Kiss — comprised of Marc D’Amico, Megan Mack, John Forrest Thompson, and Beth Winslow — makes a hilarious return to the Blackfriars Theatre stage for the first time since 2017. “Secret Handshakes” begins with everyday situations at places from the office, to suburbia, the dentist office and a moving car, and twists them into unexpected and bizarre outcomes.

  • Adam reviews 'Muffin Theatre Presents: A Show With Cookies' and 'Which Bitch Did It?'

    With its straightforward title, the utterly delightful “Muffin Theatre Presents: A Show With Cookies” delivers exactly what it promises. The entire solo show follows Katherine Marino’s chipper hostess as she decides to bake some cookies.

  • Kathy reviews 'Josephine, a burlesque cabaret dream play'

    One of the things I love most about Fringe is I always learn something. Usually it’s a life lesson or a new way of looking at something, but Friday night, I learned all of that, as well as the life story of iconic performer Josephine Baker.

  • Kathy reviews 'Garth Fagan Dance: Up Close and Personal'

    Garth Fagan has been a fixture in the Rochester community for nearly 50 years for a reason — he has a distinct style that is instantly recognizable, but he is constantly coming up with fresh ways to present his style of dance.

  • David reviews 'Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra: Scheherazade .2'

    A symphony orchestra in a Fringe Festival? It sure makes sense when the orchestra gives an entire program of recent music by four American composers, all very much alive.

  • Frank reviews 'Charming Disaster: A Musical Tarot Reading'

    Brooklyn-based duo Charming Disaster was charming as hell, but the only thing disastrous I could see and hear was the two girls sitting behind me that wouldn’t shut up. That notwithstanding, the band put out a dark set of sense, of sensuality, and of grace. 

  • Adam reviews 'Brave Space' and 'Frogpig'

    Before entering the gymnasium venue of “Brave Space” at the School of the Arts, the audience is instructed to watch a short introductory video to let us know what to expect from the show we’re about to see. We’re told to prepare to get cozy with one another, and that audience members may be asked to assist the performers at certain points throughout the act.

  • Leah reviews 'Delirium'

    There’s something raw and vulnerable about telling a personal story. It’s the stuff of memoir, autobiography, of poetry and prose.

  • Leah reviews 'The 24-Hour Plays'

    Three producers, five writers, five directors, 14 actors, 24 hours. “The 24 Hour-Plays,” an ever-popular Fringe act, returned to Writers & Books on Monday night for two performances at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

  • Kathy reviews '21 Chump Street' and 'ExMen: Not About Superheroes'

    If you know what you’re doing, you don’t need a long time to convey emotion and a point.

  • Leah reviews 'Spooky Stories in the Stacks,' 'The Fighting Girl’s Guide to Politics,' and 'This Year’s Models'

    Rochester Fringe 2019, fringeCITY19

  • Kathy Reviews 'Rhythm Delivered,' 'Commotion Dance Theater,' 'Other People’s Shows,' and 'MargOH Channing is Hung'

    Most parents may shy away from bringing their kids to a performance of “Stomp.” But what if you removed some of the volume and injected some humor perfect for young audiences? You’d get “Rhythm Delivered.” The troupe of dancers and percussionists use their bodies, as well as miscellaneous objects (paint buckets, cardboard boxes, plastic tubes, and more) to make music, art, and straight-up fun.

  • Frank reviews 'Pearl: Secrets of the Sea'

    The French company Plasticiens Volants  made up for Friday night's forced cancellation due to high winds with two spectacular shows on Saturday night. It was mighty cool, it was mondo epic and truly amazing how they brought these enormous inflatable sea creatures to life over the heads of thousands of mesmerized souls, as their jaws hit the Parcel 5 gravel in awe.

  • Adam reviews 'RIT School of Film & Animation Honors Show 2019,' 'Oz and Effect,' and '‘33 (a kabarett)'

    I always try to make a point of attending the annual Fringe program from RIT’s School of Film and Animation, which presents a host of films (34 this year) produced by the students of SOFA. The works are selected to represent every year of the school’s graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as every genre of film — so there’s bound to be something for everyone among the offerings.

  • Kathy reviews 'Flirting Like an American'

    Language is a funny thing. It's even funnier when Sufian Zhemukhov takes command of it to tell his story of coming to America from Russia and finding out slowly (and sometimes painfully) that the language of love is not international.

  • David reviews 'Dogfight: The Musical'

    Just to put it up front: “Dogfight” is a musical with a book by Peter Duchan and a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. I mention this because their names are mentioned nowhere on the program for OFC Productions’ Fringe Festival presentation.

  • Leah reviews 'The Eulogy'

    Seven minutes before his 7 p.m. curtain on Friday night, performer Michael Burgos was on the first floor of Writers & Books, nervously milling around the long line that had formed outside the stairway to the second floor theater. A house manager cleared her throat.

  • Adam reviews 'Colma!'

    The infamous Colma, California is a small town just south of San Francisco where, thanks to a significant chunk of the city’s land being devoted to an absurd number of cemeteries, the dead outnumber the living by a jaw-dropping 1,000 to 1. With roughly 1800 living residents, that’s a lot of stiffs.

  • David reviews 'Charlie and the Siberian Monkey Goddess'

    “Charlie and the Siberian Monkey Goddess” manages to be something you’ve seen before — the zany “Who’s the crazy one?” debate in a psychiatrist’s office — and something a bit different, in that the debate is between Charlie Chaplin (or an imposter) and someone who might be a doctor, or the goddess of the title, or possibly Princess Anastasia (all of whom affect a Boris-and-Natasha Russian accent). Don Nigro’s one-act play isn’t quite as brilliant as it thinks it is, but it is concise and consistently clever.

  • Kathy reviews 'Somewhere in Between' and 'God is a Scottish Drag Queen'

    After debuting at last year’s Fringe Festival, the Frazee Feet Dancers are back with a new work titled “Somewhere in Between.” Utilizing original written works, newly composed music and contemporary dance, the small but nimble group tells stories about love, life and acceptance. The written pieces, which are read by its author Reilly Hirst, serve as pacing interludes and introductions to each of the seven pieces, which are accompanied live by musician Greg Woodsbie.

  • Leah reviews 'BardBending: Fight Club Edition'

    With more than 500 shows running in 12 days of Fringe, most folks won’t be likely to choose Shakespeare first.

  • Leah reviews 'Black Matter'

    Candles flickered around the event space off the main dining room at Nox in Village Gate on Wednesday evening, adding to the ambiance of the large, Victorian-esque room. A server flitted around delivering drinks tableside, and a makeshift stage area set apart from tables and chairs was lit with red and blue lights, casting purple rays across the faces of three young black dancers who began the show with a moving interpretive dance set to music thick with bass drumming.

  • Frank reviews 'Cirque du Fringe: D'illusion'

    It takes quite a show to upstage a venue, but the folks behind "The Cirque du Fringe" spectacular each year consistently knock it’s capacity audience out. The show is loosely held together by your charming hosts Matt and Heidi Morgan, who wrangle this sideshow as much as they perform alongside attractions from around the globe.

  • Rochester Fringe 2019: CITY's Daily Fringe Blogs

    CITY Newspaper will offer extensive coverage of the 2019 Rochester Fringe Festival. Check back right here for daily blogs, with photos and reviews, during the fun of the festival (September 10-21) And let us know how your Fringe is going on social media with the hashtag #fringeCITY.

  • Frank reviews 'The Theater World of John W. Borek'

    Alt-theater impresario, fringe of The Fringe, and madman John Borek said adios to The MuCCC performance space on Tuesday night after reigning there for 10 years with contrarian and maniacal delight. The attendees in the joint expected this producer of some of the worst theater to pull off the unexpected and Borek didn’t disappoint; he did exactly the expected, which no one expected —- the fools.

  • Kathy reviews 'Something From Nothing (Marfa)'

    When you walk into your first Fringe show and you’re greeted by a tunnel of cast members cheering and offering you high fives, you might suspect you’re in for something a little different.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Readers also liked…

Browse Listings

Submit an event

Tweets @RocCityNews

© 2019 City Newspaper.

Website powered by Foundation.