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Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Rebecca Rafferty's picks

"Bee Eye," Wearable Technology Show, "Dragon's Lair" piqued City's visual critic's attention


There are some unknowns in human existence that might never be answered. But that doesn't mean we won't eternally ask questions about our purpose (or lack thereof), the nature of death, and the slippery slope of human cognition. Core Project Chicago's "The Dust" will explore these themes of death, fate, memory, and man through dance, poetry, experimental music, and visual art. The performance is recommended for all ages. (Sunday 9/23 5-6 p.m. at RAPA's East End Theatre. Tickets cost $8-$10. A free workshop for ages 14+ will take place Friday 9/21 7:45 p.m. For more information, visit rapatheatre.org.)

Ever wonder what would happen if two unlikely people from history met up? No time machine is required to rewrite history in the play, "Howard & Emily," because the title characters connect post-mortem. The shades of pseudo-morbid Emily Dickinson and arcane-obsessed Howard Philips (H.P.) Lovecraft share the stage, unaware of each other at first, their lines comprised of quotes from their writings and letters, before the two eventually fall in love to the sweet serenade of period music. Add one DoktorBronislaw Kielbasa-Funk, a Polish acolyte of Freud who has fallen into ill-repute, and whose life is severely altered by what he witnesses. Recommended for ages 15 and older.(Friday 9/21 8-9 p.m. and Saturday 9/22 4-5 p.m. at Writers & Books. Tickets cost $10.)

RIT's visual arts will be represented throughout Fringe at various locations, including Gallery r (100 College Ave.), where you can view Cat Ashworth's video installation, "Bee Eye." Visitors may enter the hexagon-shaped structure and be immersed in the sights and sounds of the honeybee, and explore the artist's perspective on the fragile and crucial honeybee-human relationship. While there, check out the showcase of works by RIT undergraduates and graduate students from RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, many of which are interactive and encourage audience participation. And at the Little Theatre Café (240 East Ave.), visitors can view a showcase of CIAS alum works in the fine arts, illustration, and photography. (All shows are free and take place throughout the Fringe Festival, and are recommended for all ages.)

Does your shirt just sit there on your back, keeping you warm and presentable, but otherwise bored? Should we expect a little bit more? I mean, this is the future, right? On Friday, The Little Theatre will host RIT's Wearable Technology Show, which will feature the convergence of aesthetics and technology in surprising and silly ways. Learn what flying birds, fireflies, invisibility, and blinking lights have to do with adornments. RIT student creators will be on hand to explain the technology and answer questions from the audience. (Friday 9/21 6-6:45 p.m. at Little 1. Admission is free.)

The title of Rochester Museum and Science Center's artsy presentation about the passage of time, "Lost in the Funhouse: Revolution," calls up images of tripping clumsily through cosmos and this confounding existence. I'm intrigued by the promise of projected planetarium star maps and videos, live computer music, field recordings, and spoken words, all combined to discuss how the shifting of seasons, solar and lunar cycles, and celestial mechanics affects us physically and psychologically. (Thursday 9/20 6-7 p.m., Saturday 9/22 8-9 p.m., Sunday 9/23 6-7 p.m. at RMSC's Strasenburgh Planetarium. Admission is $8, program is recommended for ages 5+.)

RIT is practically dominating the visual-arts aspect of the Fringe Festival, and on Saturday, members of the institute's community will take over the surface of a downtown church. RIT Professor of Digital Design Marla Schweppe and students will project "crazy, fairy tale graphics" (according to provided info) on the exterior of Christ Church (141 East Ave.) in an enigmatic and imaginative, temporary transformative project titled "Dragon's Lair."(Saturday 9/22 9-9:30 p.m. at Christ Church. Free to spectators of all ages.)

In This Guide...

  • Show time for Rochester Fringe

    As the Rochester Fringe Festival readies for curtain up, find out what it is, and what not to miss.
    It took dancers jumping off buildings for people to finally "get" the magnitude of the inaugural First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. "Another festival?" is a common refrain in Rochester.

  • Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Michael Lasser's picks

    "The Bicycle Men," "Gilgamesh," "Love at First Waltz," and other picks from City's theater critic
    One review of "The Bicycle Men" called it "a genial spoof." So is this going to be one of those things that's much funnier when you're having a fourth beer with friends and making up a musical at 3 in the morning?

  • Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Casey Carlsen's picks

    City's dance critic looks forward to "Astro Dance," PUSH Physical Theatre, Day of Dance, and more
    BIODANCE, a well-established, local contemporary group led by Missy Pfohl Smith, has two distinctly different shows in the festival. "Breakdown: Dance/Sound" is an experimental new work performed to the orchestral music of Sound ExChange.

  • Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Willie Clark's picks

    Patton Oswalt, The Great Chernesky, and Oliver Brown have got our music editor jazzed
    Big name comedian Patton Oswalt headlines the comedy portion of the Fringe Festival. Possibly best known for his roles in "The King of Queens" and the voice of Remy in "Ratatouille," Oswalt has also appeared everywhere from "The Fairly Odd Parents" to "Community" to "Grand Theft Auto."

  • Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Paloma Capanna's picks

    City's classical writer looks forward to the Harlem Gospel Choir, "Hide the Moon," and "Spirits Within"
    The Eastman School of Music students creating "Hide the Moon," an original adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "Salome," are billing the event by the emotions infatuation, loathing, fear, and lust. Who doesn't want an hour of high drama?

  • Best Bets at Rochester Fringe: Eric Rezsnyak's picks

    City's features editor looks forward to Bandaloop, "The Event," and "There's Always Time for a Cocktail"
    The headliner act that made everyone go "Ooooooooo!" at the press conference, Bandaloop will undoubtedly be the most eye-popping experience at the inaugural Fringe Festival. This world-renowned aerial dance troupe performs vertical routines while suspended from climbing ropes.

  • Rochester Fringe Festival Guide

    The Official Festival Guide