Posted on

Award-Winning Mo-to-the-oncle Solo Show Comes to the Rochester Fringe Festival at Writers & Books

For Immediate Release:  August 12, 2017

Media Contact(s):  Melissa Cole,


Fringe, #rocfringe17


The award-winning solo comedy makes its Rochester debut

Rochester, New York – The New York City solo comedy Mo-to-the-oncle will appear as part of the 2017 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival (Thursday, September 14 – Saturday, September 23) on September 19-20 at 9 p.m.September 22 at 8 p.m. and September 23 at 6 p.m. at Writers & Books (740 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607). Tickets are $10 at, where more information is also available. Remaining tickets will be available at the door starting one hour before curtain. 

Mo-to-the-oncle follows the story of Detroit, Jr., a Bronx teenager who is forced to wear a monocle to school after his dad loses their vision insurance. “This isn’t one of your usual my-mother-always-hated-me solo shows,” says Melissa Cole, the show’s writer and star. Through detailed costume changes, Cole portrays eight different characters throughout the show. “Growing up, I always wanted to be on the sketch comedy All That on Nickelodeon, and in Mo-to-the-oncle, you’ll see me have my full All That moment.”

A Long Island native, Cole says she set the show in the Bronx “for effect” but maintains that the experience of having to wear something embarrassing to school at the hands of your parents is universal. “I once arrived at school in clear jelly sandals with white socks, and the other kids clowned me for the rest of the day. Whether it’s some ugly argyle sweater, braces or a monocle, we’ve all been there.”

Cole thought of the New York City borough and birthplace of rap as a natural springboard for the inclusion of rap music in the show. “I felt the use of rhyme was not only apropos but also necessary,” Cole said. “Plus, it’s high tide and Hamilton is the wave, so I’m surfing!”

For her performance in “Mo-to-the-oncle,” Cole won the Best Actress award at the 2017 Pittsburgh Fringe Festival—her very first fringe festival—earlier this year. In 2015, she was a finalist in the 2015 NBC & Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Diversity Scholarship Showcase, a showcase featuring up-and-coming comedians selected by talent executives from the Peacock Network.

More about Fringe: Since its debut in 2012, the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival has become one of the most successful fringe festivals in the U.S., attracting more than 68,000 attendees in 2016. This 10-day, multi-arts festival now boasts over 500 performances and events – more than a quarter of which are free – in 25+ venues in downtown Rochester, NY. Celebrating and inspiring creativity, the Fringe – which is partially curated by the non-profit festival and partially by festival venues – includes everything from theatre, music, comedy and dance, to children’s entertainment, spoken word, visual arts, film and much more. Please visit for a complete schedule, tickets and more information. 

Media please note:  High-resolution photos available at