Faux/Real, formerly Fringe Fest, kicks off Wednesday with a sprawling, two-week event
The Faux/Real New Orleans Festival of the Arts
What: Formerly known as the New Orleans Fringe Festival, the eclectic event features theater, comedy, performance art, dance, burlesque, circus arts, puppetry and (new this year) culinary arts and literature.
Where: In scattered venues mostly in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods.
When: Wednesday (Nov. 4) through Nov. 22.
Opening gala: The fest begins with a party at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 925 Camp St. from 7 to 11 p.m. on Wednesday, where fans may mix with the performers, with music by Bremner and the Bootleggers, and a special show by "the spectacular, transgressive" Prancing Elite Step Troupe, Tickets are $75.
More information:Visit the Faux/Real website or the box office at The New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., open Monday through Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 2 to 10 p.m.
'Once Upon a Dream' is among the offerings at Faux/Real. The festival of theater, dance, opera, performance art, food and cocktails runs Nov 4 to Nov. 22, 2015 at venues around the city, with many events in the St. Claude Arts District.
Doug MacCash, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The Faux/Real New Orleans Festival of the Arts (formerly the New Orleans Fringe Festival), which opens Wednesday (Nov. 4) and continues through Nov. 22, is an experimental performance extravaganza. It features roughly 130 plays, comedy routines, dance events, burlesque, circus and aerialist acts, and puppet shows in small theaters, bar rooms, art galleries and other spaces mostly in the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods.
New this year: Avant-garde culinary events and events that focus on poetry and prose readings. Some Faux/Real productions are intended just for adults, some are suitable for families, and there also are a few child-oriented events in the lineup.
Faux/Real's executive producer Ben Mintz said he realizes the variety of possibilities can be bewildering, especially because much of the entertainment doesn't fit neatly into one genre or another.
He recommends two basic ticket shopping strategies.
Audience members can visit the website,FauxRealNola.com, or ticket office at the Healing Center 2372 St. Claude Ave., in Marigny, peruse the show descriptions and research online reviews and what-not, before making an informed advance selection.
Or, they can "just sort of roll the dice and see if you can just walk into something," Mintz said.
Popular plays sold out quickly in past years, with overflow audience members hastily searching for available seats at other sites. But this year, things may be different, because the Faux/Real Fest is three times longer than the former Fringe Fest.
Prices for individual shows range from $5 to $25, with VIP passes that provide access to all festival events available at $450. Like Fringe Fest, Faux/Real will provide custom lapel buttons to mark ticket holders.
Asked to provide a few potential Faux/Real Fest best bets, executive producer Ben Mintz offered these wide-ranging suggestions.
"Looking at a Broad," a solo performance by New Orleans dancer/poet Rebecca Mwase that "explores the multiple oppressions, expectations and constructions of race, gender and sexuality that bind black women's bodies." Performed at the Theatre at St. Claude, 2240 St Claude Ave., Fridays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m., through Nov. 22. Tickets $15, $12 seniors and students.
"Inverse Universe," a contemporary circus act by the Crescent City Aerial Arts and Future Kids Society "performed from floor to air on hoops, chains, fabrics, and trapezes." At the Old Ironworks, 612 Piety St. at 8 p.m. on Nov. 21. Tickets $15, $10 for kids.
"A History of Comedy," a parody of the late Carl Sagan's 1980 television series 'Cosmos,' by comedian Bob Murrell that will trace humor from the cave man era to Shakespeare to Vaudeville to standup comedy. At Mag's, 940 Elysian Fields Ave., at 7 p.m., Nov. 13, 14, 20, and 21. Tickets $5.
"Feed Your Senses," an avant-garde pop-up restaurant dinner party in which the cuisine and cocktails are tailored to blend with custom music and artworks, featuring chefs Amarys Herndon, Jordan Herndon, and Octavio Ycaza. At Michalopoulos Studio, 527 Elysian Fields Ave., on Nov. 11 from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets: $50 (with three drinks), $70 with open bar.
"The destruction of Dusty Blue," a dance, theater, sideshow, art performance, with an old west theme, by Nari Thomasetti featuring Matt Bell and His Orchestra. At The Church, 2525 Burgundy St., at 8 p.m., Nov. 12 to 15 and 19 to 22. Tickets $10.