If you've gotten your hands on a copy of this year's Fringe Festival program guide, you know there's no shortage of incredible performances to attend during this year's festival, Sept. 5 through Sept. 21. (And if you haven't — here you go.) Aside from the presented performances — including six world premieres — and free, late-night programming at FringeArts and La Peg, the festival highlights other creative corners of the city with their neighborhood festival shows.
Let us give you the details on just a few of them.
Based on everyday conflicts, Aleksandra Berczynski aims to answer life's existential questions (you know, whether to act or not to act, to stay or to move on) in her mono-drama "Closure," playing in Old City's PII Gallery (242 Race St.) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 4, Saturday, Sept. 6 and Wednesday, Sept. 10.
Representing South Philly Fringe, "The WaitStaff Sh*ts the Bed," a brand-new, one-hour performance explores proper bagel purchasing etiquette, side effects of listening to rock and roll on vinyl, and more at L'etage (624 S. 6th St.). The show opens on Friday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. and continues on Saturday, Sept. 6, Wednesday, Sept. 10, Friday, Sept. 12, Saturday, Sept. 13, Wednesday, Sept. 17, Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.
The traditional art experience is challenged at Da Vinci Art Alliance (704 Catharine St.) for artist Krie Alden's interactive exhibit "Untitled: What You See or What Do You See." Officially opening at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, Alden describes her work based on each individual's perception and thus creates new pieces. The gallery's open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through the end of September.
See Hamlet like you've never seen him before — solo. Melissa Dunphy stars as the man of the hour during "iHamlet," as she portrays the Shakespeare character, and only him during a Center City Fringe production at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre (2111 Sansom St.). The show opens Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. and runs from Tuesday, Sept. 9 through Saturday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.
Do dinner and a show at London Grill (2301 Fairmount Ave.) on Monday, Sept. 8 (or Wednesday, Sept. 10, Thursday, Sept. 11, Monday, Sept. 15, Wednesday, Sept. 17 or Thursday, Sept. 18) at 7 p.m. for "The Last Five Years," a musical told through a couple's point of view: the woman's story is told in reverse, the man's in chronological order. The Fairmount restaurant will be serving a Fringe Festival menu throughout the festival. Keep your ticket — you'll get 15% off your bill.
The same deal applies to Paris Wine Bar (2303 Fairmount Ave.) on Tuesday, Sept. 9, Wednesday, Sept. 10, Tuesday, Sept. 16 and Thursday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m. for "It Was All Downhill After Fleetwood Mac." Performance artist Brian Shapiro tells the narrative of his music industry attorney father, who worked for Fleetwood Mac.
The Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Ave.) isn't just for the dead. Starting Friday, Sept. 12, "The Way of All Flesh (Show): A Graveyard Cabaret" opens at 8 p.m. for a musical soiree through the cemetery as three lost souls voyage between life and the afterlife. Come early though: Complementary cocktails will be served starting at 7:15 p.m. Other show dates are Saturday, Sept. 13, Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 20. (Rain dates are scheduled for Sundays, Sept. 14 and 21.)
Northern Liberties Fringe brings "Resurrection Room," a slightly anarchical world with no rules, no life, no death, where a woman finds herself encountering everything from geishas to hostels. It all goes down at the Latvian Society (531 N. 7th St.) starting Friday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. The show continues on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. and runs at both 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. from Thursday, Sept. 18 through Sunday, Sept. 21.
Circus-theater comes to life at Philadelphia Soundstages (1600 N. 5th St.) during Tangle Movement Arts' interdisciplinary performance "Loop." A story of human relationships is told through dance, theater and acrobatics at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 through Saturday, Sept. 20 (and also at 3 p.m. on Saturday) as a part of Kensington Fringe.
Of course there are many, many more performances, exhibits and shows in each neighborhood — Center City, Old City, Fairmount, South Philly, Kensington, Northern Liberties, West Philly, Northwest Philly and Suburban (New Jersey, Newton, Far Northeast, Rosemont and Wallingford) — and we suggest checking out as many as possible.