Fringe Festival is just around the corner, and this year it has a home base. Many of the “presented” shows — the ones visiting from around the world — will be performed at FringeArts’ new theater at Race and Columbus.
The venue’s restaurant, La Peg, where free late-night Fringe performances will take place, opens tonight — but it’s not just for pre- and post-show bites, says chef/proprietor Peter Woolsey. “We plan on it attracting everybody; it’s a full-service restaurant in one of the most fantastic spaces Philadelphia has to offer,” Woolsey says, citing 45-foot-tall ceilings and omnipresent views of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
La Peg’s large outdoor space will open Sept. 5, coinciding with the Fringe Fest kick off. Tickets for the shows, running between Sept. 5 and 22, are available at FringeArts.com, at the FringeArts theater box office or at the performance venue, if different. Here are four to get tickets for before they sell out.
‘What ILearned About Outer Space’
This collaboration between FringeArts, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the Curtis Institute of Music plays during the opening weekend of the festival in the new theater. Three experimental choreographers just met the ballet dancers and Curtis musicians who’ll be performing their works; let’s see how quickly they can master the show.
‘The Four Seasons Restaurant’
Abstract Expressionist artist Mark Rothko bailed on a series of site-specific paintings for New York’s Four Seasons restaurant in the late 1950s, which most of us would probably just see as bad manners. But Romeo Castellucci saw a play. Castellucci brings his Italian company, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, back to Philly for “The Four Seasons Restaurant,” Sept. 11-13 at the 23rd Street Armory (22 S. 23rd St.).
It’s risky to cast a show with real people – i.e., non-actors — but German artist collective Rimini Protokoll has figured out the formula with “100% Philadelphia,” running Sept. 19-21 at Temple Performing Arts Center on North Broad. One hundred Philly citizens, cast according to the city’s 2010 census data for age, gender, race, class and more, take the stage. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish.
‘In the Pony Palace/Football’
“High school football gets genderf—ed by an all-female cast” goes the tagline of this show from New York’s Half Straddle. The female actors — as players, coaches, cheerleaders and marching band members — go through the typical up-and-down high school football season you’d expect, except there’s not a penis in sight. Performances are Sept. 17-19 at Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 N. American St.)