The Fourth Wall
Hybrid Arts Ensemble
Time Flies Like an Arrow... Fruit Flies Like a Banana!!
The Fourth Wall puts a vaudevillian twist on classical chamber music with their one-of-a-kind variety show, Fruit Flies Like a Banana. Chopin on hoverboards, Satie performed while hanging upside down, Joplin on plastic boomwhacker tubes, and tangos where the musicians are also the dancers! The audience chooses the order of over 20 pieces specially chosen for each show in this fast-paced hybrid arts experience that’s a fan favorite across North America. Interactive online performances of Fruit Flies Like a Banana: Virtual Style put everyone in a front-row seat, and all are invited to help create a show that leaps off the screen.
Few musical ensembles earn top marks for their "deft choreography," (The Wall Street Journal) but this is no ordinary ensemble. Part chamber music group, part theatre company, part modern dance troupe, part circus act, The Fourth Wall blends music, theatre, dance, and acrobatics into a new hybrid art form. This trio of musicians creates new interdisciplinary works and reinterprets classic repertoire to make music that leaps off the stage.
The Fourth Wall is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to create programming that engages everyone from elementary school children to classical performance connoisseurs through a new hybrid of the performing arts in which musicians are also actors, dancers, and acrobats. In a theater, breaking the fourth wall brings the world on stage directly into the audience; as an ensemble, The Fourth Wall breaks the barrier between serious art and serious fun.
Photo Credits: Alex Wohlhueter and Yvette Waters
>> Career Highlights
Featured on ABC’s The Gong Show
Grand Prize Winners Savvy Musician in Action Chamber Music Competition
Festival Awards and Accolades
-Best of Fest — Orlando Fringe 2020 (Fringe Today, Virtual Fringe)
-5 stars from the Winnipeg Free Press
-5 stars from CBC Manitoba
-Full Frontal Pass Pick of the Fringe — Cincinnati Fringe
-Patron's Pick, Audience Choice Award — Orlando Fringe
-Critics' Choice Award for "Best Family Show"
-Top-selling out of town show — Minnesota Fringe and IndyFringe
"I wanted to let you know we had a FANTASTIC experience today with The Fourth Wall! My audience absolutely loved the show, and it was well-attended by a wide age range. Greg, Hilary, and Neil have got to be some of the MOST talented and LEAST pretentious artists I have ever worked with. It was a delightful day, and I would say this is all-around one of the best groups I have presented in over 17 years of doing this."
- Wisconsin Lutheran College Fine Arts Programming
“Thank you so much for the awesome performance! I spoke to one of our patrons yesterday. He’s attended almost every Live! For $5 performance since it was established in 2005, and he said it was one of the best he’s seen!” - Opera House Arts, Stonington, Maine
“I just want to thank you once again for the brilliant show we saw last eve. Everyone in our group loved it, and for me personally, it was the most delightful show I have seen in a long, long time.” - Gigi Lambrecht, On Our Own
“ Serious music by seriously talented musicians in a show that doesn’t take itself seriously at all.” — CBC, MANITOBA :: WINNIPEG FRINGE 2016
“The trio is funny and engaging while remaining masterful in both movement and musicianship.” — STACY SIMS, CITYBEAT :: CINCINNATI FRINGE 2016
“Fruit Flies Like a Banana” is musical, mesmerizing and pure Fringe magic.” — MATTHEW J. PALM, ORLANDO SENTINEL :: ORLANDO FRINGE 2016
“My 11-year-old leaned over and said, ‘These people are really talented.’ She totally refused to see this show, but I dragged her. Afterwards, she couldn’t stop talking about it.” — DESDAMONA RACHELI, AUDIENCE REVIEW :: MINNESOTA FRINGE 2015
“Their musicianship would be impressive if they just stood still and stared at their music stands and their acrobatics would impress if they never saw an instrument, but together they make stage magic.” — CARL F. GAUZE, ARCHIKULTURE DIGEST :: ORLANDO FRINGE 2015
“Fruit Flies Like a Banana is a musical happy place. It’s full of joy and love and passion that never, ever takes itself seriously. If you think you don’t like classical music, go. If you think you do like classical music, seriously go. This is simply, Fringe at its best. Don’t miss it.” — ALLISON CARTER, INDYFRINGE TALK :: INDYFRINGE 2014
“Bottom line: If you don’t smile during this show, you have no soul.” — JUSTIN BRADY, MISSION INTRIGUE INDY :: INDYFRINGE 2013
>> Basic Set-Up Needs
30 feet wide x 20 feet deep with at least 12 feet overhead, though larger and/or taller is fine. Minimum stage space is 20 feet wide x 16 feet deep with 10 feet overhead, allowing for a full-length show with some repertoire adjustments to accommodate reduced stage size.
Stage surface must be smooth, flat, and free of protruding objects, obstructive cracks, holes, splinters, etc. Portable platform stages are acceptable, provided assembly is level and sturdy. Marley flooring is not required, but the stage must be appropriate for dance and for objects on wheels, such as a vibraphone and hoverboards.
Direct access into the house from the stage is requested, enabling performers to go back and forth from the stage to the house with ease during the show.
Optional lighting elements which can greatly enhance the performance include:
Warm and Cool Washes
Multicolored lights with manual bump or chase effect
Dimmable House Lights
[See attached plan for sample lighting guidelines.]
Ability to play recorded music pre- and post-show from tech booth. Wireless headset microphones or overhead chorus miking that covers the stage as deemed necessary by the venue.
Amplification is generally unnecessary in theaters under 300 seats. If the venue always uses microphones for speaking from the stage, The Fourth Wall will require either 3 headset microphones with wireless transmitters and receivers (one per performer) or overhead chorus miking of the stage.
During the show, all music is performed live on acoustic instruments (flute, bass trombone, percussion, and accordion).
We usually travel with our own equipment, but if backline is required, performances may use the following:
Vibraphone (3 octaves F-F with graduated bars similar to Musser M55 or Yamaha YV-3710)
Small drum set (kick with pedal; snare with stand; 1 rack tom with stand; hi-hats with stand, cymbals, and clutch; crash cymbal with stand; drum throne)
All other instruments (flutes, bass trombone, accordion, boomwhackers) will always be provided by The Fourth Wall.
>> Sample Introduction
Fruit Flies Like a Banana generally starts with a fade to black, then The Fourth Wall enters on hoverboards from the wings or some other hidden, off-stage space, so no introduction is necessary other than any land acknowledgement, donor thank yous, or other housekeeping that the venue likes to give before a show.
That said, here are a few words you could use to introduce the show:
“Not many musical groups get called out for their ‘deft choreography’ by The Wall Street Journal, but The Fourth Wall is far from your average music group. Get ready to be delighted, surprised, soothed, and wowed by their artistic antics. Please welcome, The Fourth Wall with Fruit Flies Like a Banana!”
>> Pricing Information
Pricing for each act varies depending on a number of factors including: location of the event; popularity of the date; routing for each act; type of event; single or multiple day performances; length of show, etc. To get a specific and accurate quote for your event please contact our office by completing the form below or calling (612) 361-6002. We respond very quickly to answer all our clients' questions.