FringeArts doesn't just provide a soapbox for some of Philadelphia's most experimental performance companies and artists. It also introduces audiences to challenging and vibrant theatre, art, and music from around the world—all with the intent of creating dialogues that bridge cultural boundaries. The center achieves this through year-round programming but its core program is the annual Fringe Festival. Every September, this two-week celebration takes over the city with a year's worth of work from contemporary performers and visual artists from Philadelphia, New York City, and around the world. With no creative or curatorial restrictions, performers are free to take over traditional theatres or entire parts of the city. Events might include whimsical stage plays, art installations, or roving performances that transform streets and other buildings into stages.
Making their first foray onto the indoor gridiron this season, AFL newbies the Pittsburgh Power begin the year by taking on sure-to-be-cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Soul in a game of fast-paced, potentially high-scoring arena action that pigskin fans inherently crave. Head coach Chris Siegfried has assembled a team led by quarterback Bernard Morris, who leads his associates using rushing and passing skills honed from a previous stint with the Jacksonville Sharks and an internship with the maitre d' of a busy restaurant. The Power's dance team, The Sparks, entertains the crowd between plays. All the action takes place at the newly built Consol Energy Center, which also serves as home to the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and a hangar for invisible dirigibles.
In 2001, Washington County faced a dilemma. A new baseball park was under construction just off I-70, but the field had no team to call it home. Rather than let unemployed mascots set up circus tents in the outfield, a group of local business owners purchased the Ohio-based Canton Crocodiles and moved the franchise to Pennsylvania. Months later, the Washington Wild Things inaugurated the new stadium with a dazzling bit of irony, losing their first-ever game against the very team that replaced the Crocodiles in Canton.
Nevertheless, the Wild Things finished the 2002 season in grand fashion, setting a league record for wins and claiming first place in the Frontier League's powerful East Division, and the team went on to make six straight playoff appearances from 2002–2007. Throughout its history, the Wild Things have featured a number of future and former big-leaguers, and its roster regularly includes Pittsburgh natives, who grew up practicing their swings with steel girders.
Ensconced on the banks of the idyllic French Creek for well over a century, the Riverside Inn & Dinner Theatre enchants starved show-goers with polished productions and hearty cuisine in an intimate 200-seat theater. Choose from an eclectic array of 12 performances that includes manic murder mysteries, toe-tapping musicals, and a cadre of gut-busting farces that may or may not include a posse of potty-mouthed pirates. Guffawing gullets choose between two or three of the night's delicious entrees and indulge in soup, salad, and tinny-voiced silverware reenactments of their favorite scenes. Satisfy secret desires to shout Olde English aphorisms by attending the Riverside's Medieval Feast, a raucous pageant of damsels, jesters, and jousters rife with hardy helpings of stone soup, stuffed chicken, and barbecued pork ribs.
Whenever Without A Cue Productions throws a party, someone is killed. But within 90 minutes, the culprit is always named.
Without A Cue's actors lead participants through murder mystery dinners, killing off willing victims and helping guests solve the murder. The dynamic cast slips into character easily, whether they're performing at Peddler's Village and Fisher's Tudor House or at a private in-home party. These can take place in a living room, out in a backyard, or in a crawlspace.
Before the event, guests receive a packet of information. As soon as they arrive to the party, they're greeted by cast members, who drop clues as the guests mingle. It's the party-goers' job to find them and then try to figure out whodunit.
Since 1978, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has delivered novel dramatic performances that break new ground with an eclectic mixture of opera and modern theater to entertain patrons of all ages. Working in conjunction with the August Wilson Center, the compelling production of The Gospel at Colonus uses a gospel choir and soloists to create a stirring, genre-bending musical hybrid about Sophocles' doomed king Oedipus. The story unfolds as the unfortunate hero unwittingly murders his father and weds his mother in a classic drama that has served as a hallmark of Western theater and the basis for countless romantic comedies. The Gospel at Colonus combines the hallowed art forms of ancient Greece with the moving melodies of African-American spirituals and features the soaring pipes of the Mt. Ararat Music Ministry.