In it’s sixth year, the New Orleans Fringe Festival takes the spotlight. New Orleans has always been a theater city. Particularly street theater. Mainstream theater in New Orleans has experienced a resurgence in recent years with the re-opening of several venues such as the Joy Theater, The Saenger Theater, and of course, the historic Le Petite Theater de Vieux Carre. However, none of these venues can eclipse the fearless performances by Fringe artists. Well, certainly not this weekend.
The 2013 New Orleans Fringe Festival will host 76 performing groups at 40 different venues. From classic to avante garde, there is something for every fearless theater-goer. We’re going to focus on the freebies and leave it up to you to choose the shows that you will pay to see.
The freebies reflect the Fringe tag line “wild, weird, fresh original theater”. The festival kicks-off with their annual peep show, a two hour showcase of many of the performances happening November 20 – November 24. This year’s peep show will take place in the brand new Free For All Lounge in Architect Alley (behind Mardi Gras Zone on Royal and Port Street).
The Free For All Lounge replaces the tent on Press Street from previous years. It sounds like this will be a very happening scene over the five-day event. Additionally, there will also be a box office where you can get your $3.00 festival button and purchase performance tickets starting at $8.00 per show (multi-show and all access passes also available). Food and beverages will be available, as well as the hub so performers and audience members can meet and mingle.
In addition to the Free For All Lounge, Fringe hosts a free afterparty each night at a different locations (listed in order: Lost Love Lounge, Shadowbox Theater, Hi-Ho Lounge, Art Klub, Siberia). The Friday night party at Hi-Ho Lounge features Rory Danger and The Danger Dangers.
Saturday and Sunday afternoons are loaded with free Fringe fun. Family Fringe has expanded to two days with plenty of activities in the yard of the Marigny Opera House. Storytelling, kid’s improv, dance, magic and lemonade will fill the performance stage. Hands-on activities include “Makers” from all over the City involving you in tinker toys, robots, magic, bead weaving and more.
The annual Fringe Good Children’s parade is a part of Family Fringe. The parade rolls down St. Claude starting at 2:00 PM from Poland Street. It makes a left on St. Ferdinand to go through Architect Alley then back to St. Claude and ends at St. Roch. Fringe is promoting the parade with HotSpots on St. Claude beginning at 1:00 PM. HotSpots are located between France and Mazant, Pauline and Alvar, Congress and Gallier, Piety and Louisa, and lastly Montegut and Press Street with a Fringe Favorite the Busker’s Happy Hour on the St. Claude neutral ground.
Fringe’s featured Spoken Word event will be at the Old Ironworks at 612 Piety Street. As promised, it’s FREE. Saturday at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM is your opportunity to hear the best of New Orleans’ poets and spoken word artists.
Lastly, is YAT 3, New Orleans Fringe Festival’s third annual Yard Art Tour. This is a wonderful way to get out and about in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods (where most Fringe venues are located). Walk or bike to view over thirty public art pieces. There is a cluster of a dozen or so art pieces within a few blocks of the Free For All Lounge in Architect Alley.
Fringe has put a fun spin on the tour. Each official YAT3 location has a collectible card available. Bring your cards back to the box office for a prize. Prizes include free beer, t-shirts, and more. Somewhere around the fringe, you will find an intersection clue to find the “Smokin Fish” art piece. Find this for an extra special award.
Be fearless, live on the edge, get out and about to New Orleans Fringe Festival.
Every thing lovely,
Out and About is a weekly blog by Leslie Compton of Every Thing Lovely, a special event and creative consulting team, and is sponsored by Key to NOLA Properties, a full service real estate brokerage firm specializing in furnished rental properties in New Orleans, Key to NOLA Properties and Every Thing Lovely have joined forces to provide a full array of services for travelers’ ( and locals’) personal and professional needs while in the Crescent City.