The Poetry Cabaret at the Altamont is sure to be scintillating
This year's schedule for the Asheville Fringe Festival is, well, amazing. The festival, happening this coming weekend (Thursday-Sunday) at various venues across town, showcases the most cutting-edge performance artists in Asheville and beyond.Tickets are still on sale, and you can purchase full-on Freak Passes (very reasonably priced at around $60, and with some awesome perks) or pay for entry into individual performances.
There's so much going on that you might be missing some of the gems on the schedule. But fear not! Our team of dedicated Fringe Festival organizers and Asheville Grit reporters has come to your rescue, and we've found 5 (well, 6!) events that you should prioritize, but that might be flying just under your radar.
Ergo Sum @ BeBe Theatre
This moving piece, created by Mexican arts collective Odori Desu Arte Contemporaneo and performed by dancer and artst Roger Pech Sansores, has been performed in Merida, Mexico and Santiago de Cuba. This year's Fringe Festival marks the first occasion it will be performed in the United States. "Odori Desu," Japanese for "We are dance," is the creation of a group of dancers committed to putting forth "a vision of the world and society through dance and other artistic disciplines." This work is no exception. It's a stunning interrogation of identity after a diagnosis of illness (in this case, HIV) interpreted through movement. Shows Friday, 1/22 from 9-10 pm and Sunday, 1/24 from 6-7 pm.
Do You Know Me? @ Mothlight
Writer Mina Samuels brings her award-winning play to the Fringe Festival on Friday, 1/22 and Saturday, 1/23 from 7-8 pm. The story of a woman who is determined not to let the loss of her short-term memory affect delivering her daughter to school, it examines how our memories make us who we are, and asks whether the core of our being is still accessible without them. Mina Samuels is another visiting Fringe performer who is the author of Run Like a Girl, The Queen of Cups, and The Think Big Manifesto. Do You Know Me? won in the Best Drama category at the 2015 United Solo Theatre Festival. That, kids, is a Big Deal.
Mothertongue @ Magnetic 375
This is one that the Grit is particularly excited about. Local playwright and long-term Fringe artist Julian Vorus is bringing his wonderfully bizarre, "dank dark comedy" Mothertongue to the Fringe stages twice, on Thursday, 1/21 and Saturday, 1/23 from 9-10:30. The play gives us a glimpse into the strange lives of a family still coping with the death of their patriarch. Insects and other animals may also be involved. Read Grit's interview with Vorus here.
Sliver of the Devil & Collateral Damage: The Fringe Fierce Show @ Toy Boat
With a name like "Fringe Fierce," how could you possibly miss this show? I, for one, am very excited to figure out exactly why these performances were given these special designations. With this, you get two performances in one. Collateral Damage is a multimedia performance that explores themes of trauma and femininity, while Sliver of the Devil follows two characters attempting a hellish ritual. Shows happening Friday, 1/22 from 9-10, Sunday, 1/24 from 6-7.
The Poetry Cabaret @ Altamont
Poetry! Burlesque! Poetry + Burlesque! Live music. "Themes of Bacchanalia and erotic expression ... cultural diversity and social justice." It's the Poetry Cabaret! See the full line-up on the event page. Shows Thursday, 1/21 and Saturday, 1/23 from 9-10.
...and one to grow on
Ruts! The Oregon Trail Experience @ Altamont
We are over the moon about Ruts!, the midi musical mashup story that puts real settlers on the Oregon Trail into the computer game that influenced generations of children. If you haven't read our interview with Ruts! creator Deborah Harbin and composer Paul Obarowski, check it out. And have no fear--even if you've never played the game, it's going to be hilarious with this team behind it. If you're a fan of American history, Manifest Destiny, the 80's and 90's, video games, music, or cholera, you will love this show.