Michael Burgos. Photo: Jason Riedmiller

Multiple Northside venues
April 15, 16, 17
Various times

Where can you see a 21st-century mash-up of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, help compose a new musical and hear a funeral eulogy that will have you in stitches?

Courtesy Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.
Anna Bennett in her one-woman show, “Confessions of a Manic Pixie Girl.”
Anna Bennett in her one-woman show, “Confessions of a Manic Pixie Girl.”

All of this hilarity—and much more off-kilter comedy, theater and performance—is on the docket for the third annual Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.

Setting up shop this weekend at five distinct venues spanning the historic Northside, the three-day affair is packed with adventurous and exploratory performing artists, uncensored creative expression, experimental and unconventional theatre and actively engaged audiences.

This year’s diverse lineup features 19 national and local troupes and performers from Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia, as well as homegrown talents.

Chamber Stevens
Chamber Stevens

Not to miss is The Eulogy, a one-man show created by acclaimed writer and performer Michael Burgos, that blurs the line between script and spontaneity. Fresh on the heels of touring Australia—where it nabbed the Adelaide Fringe Festival’s best comedy award—the uproarious work showcases Burgos’ mastery of language, comedic timing, song and dance, while presenting an enlightening exploration of mortality. Burgos trained at NYC’s renowned Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and has toured with Bruce Springsteen. Catch it while it’s still a cult favorite.

Fringe-goers will also experience Shark Eat Muffin Theatre’s homage to Shakespeare’s oft-overlooked female characters, and the fascinating tale of Englishman J. Bruce Ismay, who chairman of the White Star Line during the Titanic disaster.

Courtesy Boom Concepts & Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.
Courtesy Boom Concepts & Pittsburgh Fringe Festival.

Additional highlights include a one-man show inspired by Shel Silverstein “more adult works,” a humorous puppet show about woodland animals and a surrealistic play created using the exquisite corpse process.

What would ensue if famed humorist David Sedaris got a Spice Girls tattoo? Find out when comedic storyteller David Montgomery shares tales about his tumultuous life during How the Queen got his Crown. And in Boom Concepts’ physical theater work, If I Die I’m a Legend: A Tale of Orsha, Hoodoo and #BlackLivesMatter, audiences will explore “street deities and their relationships to the lineage of diasporic people.”

Pittsburgh Fringe Festival
Pittsburgh Fringe Festival

This year’s Fringe venues—all within walking distance—include James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, St. Mary’s Lyceum, Max’s Allegheny Tavern, Young Men’s Republican Club and Allegheny City Historic Gallery.

New this year are the festival’s one-day and all-weekend passes. Go here to purchase tickets and passes.

Serving as Fringe’s main HQ will be Arnold’s Tea, located at 502 East Ohio St., where festival-goers can pick up tickets and maps, and chat with volunteers.

Looking for more events? Read our 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in April feature.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.