>>THE HOT SEAT
Artists' reception: Sun., Sept. 12, noon-7pm. Free. Through Sept. 26. South Street Renaissance Gallery, 427 South St., second fl. 215.925.0193
This art collective finds all its materials in one place: the garbage. But their beautiful creations are far from trashy--they're a commentary on the wastefulness of our society.
Fri., Sept. 10-Sun., Sept. 12, 8pm. $5-$10. High Wire Gallery, 1315 Cherry St. 215.829.1255. www.livearts-fringe.org
Sex Acts will definitely please an emotionally mature crowd. In just about 90 minutes, Atlanta-based writer/ producer Kim Brundidge and Philly director Carol Mitchell-Leon introduce theatergoers to the main character, Pearl, and her quest to find the answers to why men and women "mate." Pearl seeks guidance from more traditional sources of advice and knowledge like her mother, elders and teachers, while television, religion, music and even the courts play their own part in making up Pearl's mind. By the end of the play, the woman at the center of it all has experienced everything from the joys of a new relationship to serial monogamy to marriage and divorce. Indeed, while its title might lead some to think this is one of the raunchier Fringe events, Sex Acts is about far more then the sex itself. (Ain� Ardron-Doley)
The Rosenbach Company: A Tragicomedy
Fri., Sept. 10 and Sun., Sept. 12, 8pm; Sat., Sept. 11, 2pm and 8pm. $15. Adrienne, 2030 Sansom St. 215.413.1318. www.livearts-fringe.org
If you've never been to the Rosenbach Museum and Library, you should know it's one of the city's jewels, a treasure trove of priceless literature and art collected by Rosenbach brothers Abraham and Philip. Over the years the brothers purchased masterpieces for their house on Delancey Street ranging from James Joyce's manuscript of Ulysses to John Tenniel's original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. Bringing their story to life for the Philly Fringe, composer Mark Mulcahy and award-winning cartoonist Ben Katchor (see Art, p. 45) have created The Rosenbach Company: A Tragicomedy, a concert/ musical that follows the brothers from childhood to the establishment of their business and its eventual dissolution. Mixing projected animated images with live actors, singers and musicians, the show explores such issues as the obsessive nature of collecting, the relationship between cultural and commercial pursuits and the men's historical significance as the owners of some of the world's greatest literary treasures. (J. Cooper Robb)
"Trials and Turbulence"
Opening reception: Fri., Sept. 10, 6-8pm. Free. Through Dec. 12. Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St. 215.898.5911. www.icaphila.org
Pep�n Osorio has a big vision and an even bigger heart. The official artist in residence of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services is an activist whose installations shock with their unromanticized verisimilitude of nontraditional art subjects like poverty and crime. The shock of the real is part of Osorio's strategy to awaken viewers to stories that don't make the evening news--another troubled child sent to foster care, a mother alone and confused. He focuses on the slow drip-drip-drip of daily unsolvable problems. Face to Face, one part of Osorio's "Trials and Turbulence" exhibit opening Friday at the ICA, appeared previously at New York's Ronald Feldman Gallery, where I saw it in 2002. That installation was an almost exact replica of part of the DHS environment, down to the office cubicles and the austere intake room. Osorio also added a cage to the middle of the room. The cage, filled with DHS clients' household possessions, overwhelmed the office like a mountain of woe. Osorio's poetic realism is a must-see. (Roberta Fallon)
Calendar: Sept. 2-9