Saturday, August 25, 2012

Live Arts Festival: 2012

Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe
Time for our annual pilgrimage to the Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe. We'd planned to go over the Labor Day weekend but that's not an option this year — the festival opens on the 7th. So we'll spend Catherine's birthday seeing shows this year—one of them, right as birthday begins!

Friday, September 7
Nicole Canuso Dance—we saw her company perform in collaboration with a musical group at HERE a few years ago and really enjoyed her inventive choreography. This piece performs at the American Philosophical Society and was commissioned by them. A great way to kick off the weekend.

Charlotte Ford: BANG
Charlotte Ford: Bang—From the description, this will be a series of monologues and vignettes about gender and sexuality in which the actors play multiple characters: one of them will recite from "The Canterbury Tales in the original Old English, yet has mad tap skills." How can this miss? This collaboration with Lee Etzold and Sarah Sanford sounds fantastic; I'm really looking forward to it.

Saturday, September 8
New Paradise Laboratories: 27—I admire the abilities of Whit MacLaughlin and the actors he brings to his projects: New Paradise Laboratories work is always intelligent, engaging, disciplined physical performances that I don't see often enough. Apparently, this one is about immature slacker zombies: you don't see that often enough, either. I'm there.

SnakeEatTail: WAMB—Sometimes, a description in the festival guide just grabs you. "WAMB is an interdisciplinary performance and art installation that combines aerial acrobatics with live narration and original music." I don't see how it can miss.

Bruce Walsh: Chomsky vs. Buckley, 1969—Catherine and I caught his show, Northern Liberty, in 2005 and were impressed: we didn't think it was 100% successful, but the stuff that worked for us was truly excellent. This time, we're going to his apartment for the Noam Chomsky/William F. Buckley debate; intellectual, to be sure but before you start rolling your eyes, bear in mind: they're serving hors d'oeuvres....

Applied Mechanics: Some Other Mettle—We've never seen this company before, the show starts at midnight and the description in the festival guide is intriguing but a little vague. However, when we went to their website, we really liked what we saw there. Okay, sure: why not?

Sunday, September 9
Pig Iron Theater Company: Zero Cost House
Pig Iron Theater Company: Zero Cost House—It's almost not a Live Arts Festival for us without a Pig Iron show: they're one of our favorite companies working today. And I saw Toshiki Okada’s Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech in the Under the Radar festival this past January: a strange little triptych of playlets that was oddly engaging (unfortunately, even though Catherine didn't get to see that show, it's not playing in the Live Arts Festival when we're there—I think she'd like it even more than I did). I can't even imagine the production these very different groups will create.... but I'm looking forward to seeing it!

Sylvain Émard Danse: Le Grand Continental—Catherine got to see our friend, Katy, in a version of this at the Seaport this summer but I missed it. I won't get to see Katy, but it's free and I think it will fun to see here.

Shows that we'll miss but wish we could see: Untitled Feminist Show by Young Jean Lee (Catherine saw it this spring here in NYC and really liked it); Red-Eye to Havre de Grace (we saw Geoff Sobelle in the original production in 2005 and it was fantastic); This Town is a Mystery by Headlong Dance (we always enjoy their productions and this one sounds especially intriguing but it seemed to us that we'd really need a car to make it work.... and the ability to make a covered dish) and Elevator Repair Service's Arguendo (I'm sure we'll see it in NYC but it would have been fun to see it here, too). I'm sure there are others, too, but those are the big stand outs.

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