Rochester Fringe Festival, Day 3: ‘The Memory Palace,’ ‘Confessions of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl,’ and ‘The Empathy Project’ | Rochester Fringe Festival

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  • Images Supplied BY KEYBANK ROCHESTER FRINGE Pageant

“The Memory Palace”

In a transient ten minutes, Nate DiMeo pulls collectively a century and a 50 % of record, creating the relationship among Frederick Douglass and Daniel Prude — confirming the old adage, once all over again, that “past is prologue.”

DiMeo is the creator of the award-winning podcast “The Memory Palace.” At past year’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Pageant, he assembled a thoughtful, practically wistful biography of George Eastman.

He’s adopted up this year with two much more episodes of “The Memory Palace,” commissioned by Rochester Fringe. “High Falls” is a nicely detailed telling of famous 1800s Rochester daredevil Sam Patch DiMeo mischievously just can’t resist riffing off Patch’s Rhode Island birthplace, opening with a line drawn from a bawdy limerick: “There once was a person from Pawtucket…”

But “From a Parking Lot” is a distinct animal from Patch’s reluctant falls-diving bear. The parking large amount he references is the empty space – on a wisp of a downtown avenue named Corinthian Avenue – in which once stood an acoustic marvel termed Corinthian Corridor.

Named for the 4 columns that once dominated its architecture, Corinthian Corridor is the only non-sentient member of the Rochester Tunes Corridor of Fame, co-inducted alongside that era’s best opera singer, Jenny Lind, who executed in the venue.

Opening in 1849, DiMeo factors out that Corinthian Corridor was also “as significant to American mental assumed as any developing in The us.” Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Mark Twain spoke there. The famous pretend spiritualists of Western New York, the Fox Sisters, supposedly summoned ghosts inside of individuals partitions. Also, there ended up “men of renown, now unremembered,” DiMeo suggests. He has a poetic way with text.

Frederick Douglass was there as nicely, providing a single of his most-impassioned anti-slavery speeches. No plaque marks the spot of these historic times, and this historic developing. There is only a recently set up fiberglass, lifestyle-sizing statue of Douglass, seeking a little bit out of position alongside a lodge.

But DiMeo notes that record has not too long ago revisited this web site. Black Life Make a difference marches, and citizens protesting the dying of Daniel Prude at the fingers of Rochester police, have walked correct earlier the fiberglass Douglass, and the parking large amount in which Corinthian Corridor once stood. Wherever, “Protests towards police violence,” DiMeo suggests, “were fulfilled by much more police violence.”

Each “The Memory Palace” podcasts are available for free of charge at
— Jeff Spevak

“Confessions of a Manic Pixie Aspiration Girl”

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Anna Bennett in

  • Anna Bennett in “Confessions of a Manic Pixie Aspiration Girl.”

They are commonly portrayed as kitschy, doll-like women who like market pop tradition and have unique hobbies. Some converse a large amount, some not at all. And they are endlessly interesting to the guys who fall in love with them. Or, as the clearly show puts it, they are just “sad millennials who consider that remaining quirky is a individuality.” Fulfill Manic Pixie Aspiration Ladies, the postmodern, anti-getting old inventory character you love to despise.

This Rochester Fringe Pageant clearly show will come from a single-female powerhouse Anna Bennett, who plays 4 individual manic pixies in a guidance team: a geek, a quiet dancer, a entertaining-loving talker, and a subtle blonde. The stereotypes and tropes are out in entire drive – this is “500 Days of Summer” satisfies “Her” satisfies “Amelie.”

The full efficiency is offered by means of Zoom, and the “scene changes” (seriously, screen sharing) are mainly flawless, jumping from pre-recorded movie clips and stay segments with Bennett. She sings! She dances! She tells audience customers to place on trousers because there’s fourth wall conversation on this Zoom efficiency at 9 p.m. on a Wednesday!

This clearly show could’ve been — possibly should’ve been — 30 or 45 minutes at most. But rather it was padded out, not to the advertised seventy five minutes, but practically two entire hrs, with rambling monologues and even a ten-moment “walking tutorial” from the pink-haired manic pixie.

There’s an amazing sum of tunes, both stay and recorded, labored into the efficiency, even if the full matter will come off emotion like an indie film a school child wrote for his senior thesis and he solid his longtime crush in the major function.

“Confessions of a Manic Pixie Aspiration Girl” plays stay by means of Zoom on Thursday, September 17 at six:30 p.m. Friday, September 18 at eight:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 19 at 3:30 p.m. $ten. Suitable for 18 and above. — Leah Stacy

“The Empathy Undertaking – Portion 1 & 2”

My initially displays at the 2020 Rochester Fringe Pageant did not seem like they normally do. Commonly, I jaunt about the Spiegel Backyard garden, greeting mates with heat hugs. Commonly, I decide on up a food from a meals truck right before dashing off to a clearly show. Commonly, I sit shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers and mates in the Spiegeltent, at the Eastman Theatre, at the College of the Arts, and so forth. This is not a normal year.

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  • “The Empathy Undertaking” by The Interior Loop Theater Practical experience.

And that was aspect of the impetus for “The Empathy Undertaking: a new human experience.” The Outer Loop Theater Practical experience requested writers and artists to submit is effective about their encounters with the pandemic and our country’s reckoning with systemic racism. The two subjects manufactured a extensive variety of is effective – from monologues to poetry, original songs to dances.

Portion A single of the two-aspect experience focuses on tales in the time of COVID-19, the incredibly pandemic that has forced the 2020 Fringe Pageant solely on the internet. And substantially like how we are coping with the crisis, the tone varies from piece to piece. Some are humorous, like in “An Open Letter to the Gentleman with a Cart Total of Meat,” which chronicles the frustrations of a female above a different man’s selfish shopping pattern.

Other individuals are heartbreaking, like in “Helpless,” in which a mom agonizes above supporting her young adult son cope with the improvements in the globe because of COVID-19, unsure of how to support him struggle melancholy and whether or not to give him space or hold him shut. “The Virus” functions a techno tunes-backed voice monitor that describes the pandemic’s results on wellness, the overall economy, and the countrywide temper as a female dances in entrance of a tarp, addresses her fingers in glue, and plasters the tarp with information content and tweets about COVID-19. In “Prospettiva” (Italian for ‘perspective’) a female from the United States chats with her good friend in Europe about the issues they are going through.

Other items are much more uplifting, however still introspective. In “Heartbreak in the Time of COVID: Planted,” two artists from Push Bodily Theatre are crammed inside of a trunk, twisting and contorting as they fight above two props: a potted plant and a watering can. Soon, they’ve used masking tape to divvy up the previously cramped space in 50 %. But with no a phrase, by means of movement, the pair know that they cannot purpose with no a single a different – they will need a single a different, just like the plant requirements drinking water. It is a reflection of what several have felt in the course of the pandemic – feelings of remaining trapped, and the struggle to be about roommates continually.

Portion Two focuses on racism, discrimination, police brutality, and the deaths of black guys and girls at the fingers of police – a subject matter that has come to be even much more paramount in the earlier two weeks given that the community discovered about Daniel Prude’s dying. Given that the clearly show was recorded prior to Prude’s dying starting to be community knowledge, he isn’t talked about, but the artists do concentration on George Floyd’s dying. It is unattainable not to replace Floyd’s identify with Prude’s in some items.

“In Black and White” functions two actors – a black person and a white person – the similar age as George Floyd. As the white person lists all the similarities he has with Floyd, the black person reenacts Floyd’s closing minutes. “A Deeper Look” functions Buffalo filmmaker Isiah Gates in twin roles as a therapist and a patient. As the patient starts to describe the ache and concern he feels above Floyd’s dying, a stopwatch operates up coming to the therapist’s notepad. By the time the patient is completed conversing, the stopwatch stops at eight minutes and forty six seconds – the length of time that police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck.

“Privilege/Caged Bird” starts by showing a white female and a black person facet-by-facet. The two are actors. It displays the female clicking on roles to audition for, for a production of “Hairspray.” She promptly clicks 7 or 8 selections. Then it is the man’s turn. He has only two decisions: a supporting character or the ensemble. It displays the female remaining pulled above. She fixes her hair and make-up and calmly reaches for her driver’s license and smiles at the officer. Then the person is pulled above. He grips the steering wheel tightly. He cautiously rolls down his window. He puts his fingers up and bit by bit, terrified, reaches for his ID. The piece transitions to characteristic two dancers dressed in bird costumes, as a narrator reads from “I Know Why The Caged Fowl Sings.” It is spliced with photographs of black guys and girls who have been killed while in police custody. I’m ashamed by how several of them I do not acknowledge.

The clearly show finishes with a music, “Freedom Is,” superbly sung by Kate Odulukwe. The song’s sweeping melody is as moving as its concept: “Changes are what we want, improvements are what we will need, why must our families bleed, to keep us from remaining free of charge.” It is a poignant concept to conclusion on.

“The Empathy Project” is streaming on need throughout the festival. Tickets are $20. — Kathy Laluk

For the entire Rochester Fringe agenda and ticket details, take a look at