EDDIE IZZARD to Play Rochester Fringe 2018

EDDIE IZZARD to Play Rochester Fringe 2018Organizers of the 2018 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival (September 12-22) are excited to announce that Eddie Izzard will be its 2018 comedy headliner on Friday, September 21 at 7 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, performing his hilarious and revealing show, Believe Me. Tickets start at $26 (fees included) and will go on sale this Thursday, June 14 at 10 a.m. at rochesterfringe.com and at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (phone: 585-274-3000, online: eastmantheatre.org, in person: 433 East Main Street).

Izzard is arguably one of today's top comedians. Over the course of a thirty-year career, Izzard has proved himself to be a creative chameleon, inhabiting stage, film, television screen, and the New York Times Best Seller list with an unbelievable fervor. Born in Yemen and raised in Northern Ireland, Wales, and England, he lost his mother at the age of six and that has affected the rest of his life. In his teens, he dropped out of university and took to the streets of London as part of a comedy act. When his partner went on vacation, Izzard kept busy by inventing a one-man escape act, and thus a solo career was ignited. As a stand-up comedian, Izzard has captivated audiences with his surreal, stream-of-consciousness comedy. As a self-proclaimed "action transvestite," Izzard broke a mold performing in makeup and heels, and has become as famous for his "total clothing" rights as he has for his art.

"Eddie Izzard is widely regarded as one of the best stand-up comedians of all time," says Fringe Producer Erica Fee. "We are thrilled to welcome him to Rochester!"

He has toured his Force Majeure show in more than forty countries worldwide and in four languages: English, French, German, and Spanish. With his brand of keenly intelligent humor that ranges from world history to historical politics, sexual politics, mad ancient kings, and chickens with guns, he has built an extraordinary fan base that transcends age, gender, and race.

Izzard released his first book, Believe Me, in July of 2017, recounting the dizzying rise he made from the streets of London to West End theaters, Wembley Arena, Madison Square Garden, and the Hollywood Bowl. A New York Times Best Seller, it was also chosen by Bill Gates as one of the "5 Amazing Books I Read This Year" (https://goo.gl/kXKzNM). Writing with the same candor and insight evident in his comedy, he reflects on a childhood marked by the loss of his mother, boarding school, and alternative sexuality, as well as a life in comedy, film, politics, running, and philanthropy. Honest and generous, Izzard's Believe Me is an inspired account of a very singular life thus far.

Following the book, Izzard brought his Eddie Izzard: Believe Me Tour to the U.S. in February and March of 2018. This funny and emotional show reveals the man behind the stand-up and includes all of the fascination with the ridiculous that fans expect from an Eddie Izzard performance. The Reviews Hub said: "Eddie Izzard has done something which would be a terrifying concept for many performers. He has stripped away the barriers and given a candid account of his life so far. The result is an expectantly funny yet emotionally charged evening." "Full of pathos, honesty and boomerang hippos, Believe Me is a wonderful show which gives a fascinating glimpse into what drives this remarkable man," reviewed the Manchester Evening News.

Izzard can currently be seen co-starring opposite Judi Dench as her son Bertie, the King-in- waiting, in the critically acclaimed 2017 film, Victoria and Abdul.

Rochester Fringe Festival connects and empowers artists, audiences, venues, educational institutions, and the community to celebrate, explore, and inspire creativity via an annual, multi-genre performing arts festival. The not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation was pioneered by several of Rochester's esteemed cultural institutions including Geva Theatre Center, the George Eastman House and Garth Fagan Dance; up-and-coming arts groups like PUSH Physical Theatre and Method Machine; and higher-education partners such as the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. From its five-day debut in 2012 to its 10-days in 2017 that attracted more than 78,000 attendees, the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival has become one of the fastest-growing and most-attended fringe festivals in the U.S. More than a third of the Fringe's 500 performances in 25+ downtown Rochester venues are free. Renowned among the world's 200+ fringe festivals for its large-scale, outdoor, free-to-the-public performances - including the U.S. premieres of France's Plasticiens Volants and Canada's Circus Orange - Rochester's Fringe was also the first fringe festival in North America to feature a Spiegeltent, which is now an annual attraction. From comedy to theatre, from music to dance, from visual art and film to spoken word, and from children's entertainment to multi-disciplinary collaborations, the festival's diversity also extends to venues that span the gamut from parked cars to grand theatres. Fringe's overarching mission is to make arts readily accessible to audiences, as well as to provide a platform for artists to share their ideas and develop their skills, while stimulating downtown Rochester both culturally and economically.

About KeyCorp: KeyCorp's roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $137.0 billion at March 31, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,200 branches and more than 1,500 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit https://www.key.com/. KeyBank is Member FDIC.

Photo credit Amanda Searle

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