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UPDATE: Check out our Flowing with Rogue podcast. Yay!
So, we're running about a week early.
But the Rogue — Fresno's eye-gouge to anyone who ever said we were boring and lame — is this magical moment when the city, the Tower District specifically, just feels like the hip, cool place we keep saying it is.
And that deserves some extra love. Plus, with 20 venues and 94 different performances, you're gonna need a week to prepare. No joke.
Lucky for us, Famous gets everything you need to know from the festival's hospitality coordinator (that means she's got the beer hook-ups for the performers), Renee Newlove.
First things first:
The Rogue is happening all the time and in the craziest places — like center ice at a Fresno Falcon's game, during its Rogue Night Feb. 26. The Falcons are playing the Phoenix RoadRunners and the Rogue will be in full force, even out on the ice performing during the first intermission.
This is actually a pretty good deal, even if don't like hockey. Ten bones gets you into the game, plus a $5 voucher to use at any Rogue show. Tickets are available at Ashtree Studios.
Rogue strategy tips:
Know this: With close to 100 performers, you can't see everything. And you probably wouldn't want to. So, know which shows are must-sees and when and where they are playing, Newlove says. You can try to track down a Rogue Map, which has all of the venue and performance information and schedules, but by now there are probably zero left and your best bet is to hit the Web site to start scheduling out your time.
If you plan right, you'll have 15 minutes to get from one venue to the next, so venue hopping is possible. But “seeing shows back to back to back is definitely the way to go, buying a Rogue Ready Pass (a fast track into shows) is the best way to go. And having the shows you want to see scheduled out is vital,” Newlove says.
If you don't go the first weekend, good luck trying to catch up, she says. “I'll be starting out the first weekend and running around quite a bit.”
Also, be sure to set your clock to Rogue time. That's the official time the festival uses to make sure the shows run smoothly. There will be clocks displayed outside every venue.
Your Rogue survival kit:
So, what do you need to get through the Rogue safely?
“A Rogue Map, a grid of the times and performances, water, tennis shoes, a Rogue Ready Pass, cash (in case you've spent your Rogue Ready Pass), a Rogue T-shirt, camera (not to take pictures during a performance, but for afterwards and before) and snacks,” Newlove says. “It's always good to be prepared for any type of weather, too. Short sleeves and a jacket works.”
Looking forward to: (Newlove's picks)
Mia Paschal's, “Along the Path of Larks and Swallows”
Lynn Ruth Miller's “Farewell to the Tooth Fairy”
Jayne Day's “Airplane Jane's Talking About...”
Liesl Garner's “Again You Will Take Up Your Tambourines”
Noel Williams' “Party of One”
Ryan Paulson's “Pentecostal Wisconsin”
Barry Smith's “American Squatter”
Don't you dare miss: (Famous' picks)
“The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”
Apparently, this is a classic expressionist silent film from 1920. It's spooky and German. The Rhoda Penmarks (members of the Nancies) provide a brand-new score.
“Sprawlzilla vs. Mainstreet in Kingsburg and Fresno”
We love Blake Jones. And operettas. And downtowns.
And we hate urban sprawl.
So, this should be good.
Plus, part of the entrance fee will be donated to Creative Fresno.
“Aw F#ck! I Pissed Myself”
Every year the Rogue has one show that should be seen on name alone. We choose this one.
“Shakespeare is an Idiot”
Think about it. You know they're right.