The original fringe festival celebrated street performers and similar artists who might not entertain in traditional venues.
Over the years, the movement has grown in many ways. What started as Philadelphia's Fringe Festival is now two, the Live Arts Festival and the Philly Fringe. Both run through September 17th in Center City but also several other Philly neighborhoods.
Shows will take place in the unusual places you expect but also in some of the city's fabled theaters, just not in traditional ways.
One of this year's featured performers is Elephant Room, a team of three comic magicians who'll have you amazed and laughing at the same time.
They appear on what seems to be a floating room atop the stage at Plays & Players Theatre, 1711 Delancey Place, between 17th, 18th, Spruce and Pine Streets. It's a small house with traditional seating.
Elephant Room, based in western New York state, has been booked throughout the festival for eleven shows. Tickets for all shows are available at the festival box office at the Prince Music Theatre, 1412 Chestnut Street in Center City.
You may also order by phone at 215-413-1318 or by clicking the "Tickets" link on the festival website. There, you'll also find a complete listing of performers, shows and venues. That's Live Arts Festival.
Each evening, performers from all events are invited to the Festival Bar and Social Club at RUBA Club Studios, 416 Green street, just above Spring Garden in Northern Liberties. Affiliated with the festival is Feastival.
Wednesday night, September 14, there's a ticketed party at Pier 9 on Penn's Landing. Former governor Ed Rendell is this year's special honoree.
There'll be live bands inside and outside the club, plus a live circus. Many of Philadelphia's top chefs will be cooking, including Michael Solomonov of Society Hill's Zahav, and 70 other eateries including Jose Garces, Audrey Claire Taichman and Stephen Starr's restaurants.
For information and tickets, see their website, Philly Feastival. You may also order Festival tickets by phone at 215-413-9006, extension 15.