click to enlarge eddie-izzard---force-majeuer-color-4---photo-credit---amanda-searle.jpg

Eddie Izzard

Hopefully you didn't sleep on getting tickets, because London comedian Eddie Izzard's performance is sold out. Izzard has performed standup comedy around the world, is known as an actor on stage and screen, and is involved in both politics and charity. And, of course, he normalized identifying as a (self-described) "straight transvestite" in performances such as "Definite Article" (1995) and "Dressed to Kill" (1998). His current touring performance, "Believe Me," brings together all these elements of Izzard's life in what is sure to be a side-splitting and memorable performance.

Eddie Izzard performs his show "Believe Me," in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m. Tickets originally ranged in price from $27 to $79, but have sold out. The show is ages 18 and over. Learn more about Eddie Izzard at eddieizzard.com

Friday and Saturday on the Fringe

The already established pubic performing arts center, Parcel 5, comes alive once again with Friday and Saturday on the Fringe. Celebrate downtown, performance, art, food, and everything great about Fringe and Rochester with four evenings of free entertainment. Live music is scheduled for both weekends.

The first weekend of Friday and Saturday on the Fringe takes place at Parcel 5, located at 285 East Main Street, on Friday, September 14, and Saturday, September 15, from 5 to 11 p.m. The events are free, open to the public, and family-friendly.

Friday, September 14, features Crooked North (5 p.m.), La Muralla (6 p.m.), and Vanishing Sun (7 p.m.). Saturday, September 15, starts with Chris Eves and the New Normal (5 p.m.), EightFingers (6 p.m.), and Cold Fronts (7 p.m.). Both Friday and Saturday evenings finish with Massaoke, the British large-scale karaoke singalong headed by a live band, from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. (See our interview with Massaoke on page XX for more details).

The second Friday and Saturday on the Fringe moves to the corner of Main and Gibbs Streets, and brings music to the main stage as well as the streets. Friday features The Uptown Groove (5 p.m.), The Yellow Jackets, Vocal Point, and Proof of Purchase (6 p.m.), Girl Named Genny (7 p.m.), Gold Koa (8:10 p.m.) and Roses & Revolutions (9:30 p.m.).

Fringe Street Beat, a competition of hip hop and all street dance styles, returns this year on Saturday, September 22, with preliminaries at noon and finals at 3 p.m. Saturday is also Family Day, and will feature Chalk Art, a Pedestrian Drive-In for kids, and pumpkin-carving, as well as ticketed events like Disco Kids (from $6), and a Cirque du Fringe matinee (from $30). Free musical performances include Embers (5 p.m.), Seth Faergolzia's Multibird (6 p.m.), Rebecca and the Soul Shakers (7 p.m.), The Saplings (8:10 p.m.) and 1916 (9:30 p.m.)

The second weekend of Friday and Saturday on the Fringe happens on Gibbs Street between Main Street and East Avenue on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22. Be sure to arrive early for seating or standing room. The outdoor performances are all free and open to the public.

click to enlarge kids-disco-2017_john-schlia-6.jpg

The Cristal Palace Spiegeltent

The corner of Gibbs and Main Streets is renamed One Fringe Place for the duration of Fringe, and will once again be home to the popular The Cristal Palace Spiegeltent. The tent of mirrors and glass transforms this corner of downtown with a colorful, eclectic space filled with equally wondrous events performances.

Disco Kids, a pop music-fueled dance party for Rochester's youngest generation, takes place on Saturday, September 15, at 12:30 p.m.; and Saturday, September 22, at 11 a.m. Tickets are $6. And yes, the Spiegeltent bar will have mimosas and coffee for accompanying adults to purchase.

The adult dance party, Silent Disco, sells out every year, so get your tickets early (starting at $12). Put on some headphones and dance away to the music of your choice, while the rest of the attendees do the same. The 18-and-over party happens on Fridays and Saturdays, September 14, 15, 21, and 22, at 11 p.m.

Fringe Afternoon Tea is a less raucous, but also quick to sell out, Spiegeltent event. Visitors can enjoy a cuppa in proper china with scones and sandwiches. Sunday, September 16, at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., for participants ages 13 and up. Tickets are $39.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Fringe performers themselves are the subject of "Other People's Shows," an improvisational comedy performance from Unleashed! Improv. In this show, performers interpret what other Fringe events are like based only on their titles and descriptions. For ages 18 and up. Friday and Saturday, September 14 and 15, at 9:15 p.m. Tickets start at $21.

Booze and swords go together, right? They do in "Shotspeare," an 80-minute adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet" that's fueled as much by alcohol as it is by comedy and creativity. This one is for mature audiences only, Wednesday through Saturday, September 19 through 22, at 9:15 p.m. Tickets start at $21.

click to enlarge cirque-umbrella_-close_cred-erich-camping-_2_.jpg

Cirque du Fringe: Sideshow

The popular Cirque du Fringe returns with a new performance, "Sideshow," which will happen daily throughout Fringe in the Cristal Palace Spiegeltent. Inspired by the American circus, Sideshow mixes carnival midway nostalgia with modern humor and performances.

"Cirque du Fringe: Sideshow" will perform in the Cristal Palace Spiegeltent on Wednesday, September 12, and Thursday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m., Friday, September 14, through Saturday, September 22, with daily performances at 7 p.m., and matinee performances on Saturday, September 15 (2:30 p.m.), and Saturday, September 22 (1 p.m.). Tickets start at $30. Evening shows are appropriate for ages 13 and up. Matinee performances are appropriate for ages 5 and up.

click to enlarge spiegelgarden-01---photo-by-john-schlia.jpg


Head over to Fringe's backyard party at the Speigelgarden and relax with food, drink, art, performances, and movies during open hours. The Bushwhacked and Dashboard Dramas series have sold out, but there are still opportunities to enjoy some art in the garden. The Pedestrian Drive-In will feature popular movies on a big screen and headphones for all visitors. Adult beverages and food from a changing variety of food trucks will be available for purchase.

The Speigelgarden is located at One Fringe Place, at the corner of Gibbs and Main Streets, and will be open Wednesday, September 12, and Thursday, September 13, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, September 14, 5 to 11p.m.; Saturday, September 15, noon to 11 p.m.; Sunday, September 16, noon to 10 p.m.; Monday, September 17 through Thursday, September 20, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday, September 21, 5 to 11 p.m.; and Saturday, September 22, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The lounge and games in the Speigelgarden are free. Visit rochesterfringe.com for the daily lineup.

click to enlarge gospel-sunday---erich-camping.jpg

Gospel Sunday

Some of the best Rochester gospel music artists will be hosted again this year in Kilbourn Hall by Reverend Rickey Harvey of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. Zion Hill Mass Choir will perform under the direction of Paul Boutté, along with others who will lift their voices and your soul with song. Returning for its sixth year, this free performance is usually standing room only, so arrive early.

Gospel Sunday will happen at Eastman School of Music's Kilbourn Hall on Sunday, September 16, at 2 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes before the performance begins.

click to enlarge artawake.jpg


The former Changing Scene Restaurant on the top floor of the First Federal Plaza is something of a Rochester legend. This year Fringe makes use of the venue with an all-day event hosted at the space by ArtAwake, the annual student-run art and music festival. Hundreds of artworks will be on display, with live musical entertainment throughout the event. The venue is family-friendly and free, and will feature a sunset cocktail party for 21 and over guests. Enjoy a sweeping view of Rochester while taking in local talent.

ArtAwake will take place from noon to midnight on Saturday, September 22, in the First Federal Plaza building. The event is free and open to the public.

In This Guide...

  • 2018 Fringe Festival Guide

    The seventh annual Rochester Fringe Festival kicks off Wednesday, September 12, and this year has expanded to a whopping 11 day stretch of more than 500 shows taking place in and around downtown Rochester.

  • Festival Info

    The seventh annual KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival will host more than 500 performances in and around downtown Rochester. The Fringe’s official website is rochesterfringe.com, where you can find a full schedule of events, purchase tickets, and get the latest information. The Fringe also has a handy app available on Google Play and Apple App Stores.

  • Rock 'n' roll singalong

    Massaoke is kind of like that cover band you always wish you had started.

  • Critic's picks: Adam

    "Mo-to-the-oncle," "Totally Rad! An 80's Pop Adventure," "A Jazz Musician Walks into a Comics Shop," and more.

  • Critic's picks: Amanda

    Storychick Rochester Storybooth, "Josephine, a burlesque cabaret dream play," Light Painting Experience, and more.

  • Critic's picks: David

    "Carrie: The Musical," Phil Shakespeare and The Lord Chamberlain's Other Men present "The Tempest," "The Violet Hour," and more.

  • Critic's picks: Leah

    "Love and Information," "Fielder's Choice," and "The Spyglass Seven."

  • Critic's picks: James

    "Art Lobotomy: Peering Into The Creative Psyche," Ask Us Anything Booth, and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Artists.

  • Critic's picks: Daniel

    The Immersive Igloo, "The Year's Models," Eastman Percussion Ensemble: "Steve Reich's 'Drumming,' " and more.

  • Critic's picks: Kathy

    Bushwhacked Backyard show series, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," "Lost in the Shuffle," and more.

Purple Rain

Purple Rain @ Little Theatre

A Little tradition in purple returns. Don your best purple and come...
Cumming Nature Center: Frost Town Trail Fest

Cumming Nature Center: Frost Town Trail Fest @ Cumming Nature Center

Explore some of the best terrain that the Bristol Hills has to...
Outdoor Expo

Outdoor Expo @ Mendon Ponds Park Beach Area

Want to be outdoorsy, but don’t know where to start? Come to...

View all of today's events »

Website powered by Foundation     |     © 2023 CITY Magazine