“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.