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Chicago Fringe and Buskers Festival

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Chicago Fringe and Buskers Festival

This showcase of international performance features clowns, monologuists, cabaret singers, stage magicians, dancers, and even a cantor. Performers from Chicago are augmented by artists from around the U.S.--New York to California and Minnesota to Hawaii--as well as from Russia, Brazil, and Canada. Produced, as it was last year, by John T. Mills and James Ellis, the Fringe Fest runs through June 23, with shows six days a week--as few as 3 on weeknights or as many as 21 on weekends. (The weekend of June 15 and 16 also features a free outdoor buskers festival on Buckingham and Clark from noon to 10 PM on Saturday and noon to 10 PM on Sunday.) Most performances take place at the Organic Theater, 3319 N. Clark. (The listings below specify which of the Organic's three spaces each show is in: the South Hall or Lab Theater, both located in the second-floor Organic Greenhouse, or the main stage, whose entrance is on Buckingham just east of Clark.) Selected performances also take place at the Annoyance Theatre, 3747 N. Clark. The phone number for ticket orders is the Organic box office: 327-5588. Tickets range from $4 to $12 (including children's, seniors', and student discounts) depending on the show; prices for each show are listed below. A "Fringe Passport" good for 25 performances costs $50.

The Reader carries festival listings on a week-by-week basis; here's the schedule for June 13 through 20.

THURSDAY, JUNE 13

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

Die Hanswurste, a group of Chicago improv-trained comedians who posed as German clowns (tricking the occasional gullible reviewer if not most audiences) in their 1994 show Klown: Prick Us and We'll Burst, offers a new two-person clown show in "a style of performance . . . that incorporates European clowning, German expressionism, dadaism, and American vaudeville." Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $12. (See review in Section One.)

Plastic Blues

Anne Westphal, a dancer-choreographer from Rio de Janeiro, performs a movement piece inspired by American blues and jazz singers. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $9.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

See review. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $11.

The Egghead: The Rot in the Cosmic Egg

See review. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $12.

Charlie's Good Time Gospel Hour

See review. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

The Lost Music of David Nowakowsky

Toronto-based cantor Ronald Garner performs unpublished music by a composer whose work was suppressed by both the Nazis and the Soviets. Annoyance Theatre, 9 PM. $11-$12.

The Bicycling Comedian

Tom Snyders has racked up more than 81,000 miles in 49 states, biking from gig to gig. In his one-man slide show with comic commentary he displays the offbeat marvels he's encountered on his travels. An "endearing performer, in all his goofy awkwardness, . . . Snyders is more than a comedian--he's an ethnographer documenting an absurd America lost to those of us whizzing by on the interstate," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. Organic Lab Theater, 10 PM. $7-$10.

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

See review. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $5-$6.

FRIDAY, JUNE 14

The Lost Music of David Nowakowsky

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $11-$12.

The Bicycling Comedian

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $7-$10.

Jo!

See review. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $8-$9.

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

The Cranks Theatre Company from Moscow calls itself "a group that believes in the healing power of clowning," and promises music, dance, juggling, and pantomime. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 PM. $12.

Berlin to Babylon: The Songs of Kurt Weill and Friedrich Hollaender

California-based cabaret singer Cameron Silver evokes the Weimar era with the aid of pianist Steven Applegate. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $8-$10.

The Caterpillars

Chicago songwriter/comedians Stacy Patinkin and Debra Dowling perform their humorous music. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

Love, Art, and Catfish

Boston-based monologuist Bob Thomas talks about various subjects related to the title. Organic Lab Theater, 10 PM. $10.

The Queen of Bakersfield and Other Tales of Dust and Moonlight

Chicago's Dolphinback Theatre Company presents Greg Owens's collection of tales and songs about "'wrong side of the tracks' America." The show, performed by actor KellyAnn Corcoran, "makes us feel we're eavesdropping on half-true stories swapped over a campfire or shared by strangers in a diner late at night," said Reader critic Gabrielle S. Kaplan when she reviewed its original run earlier this year. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $7.

Portrait of the Virgin Mary Feeding the Dinosaurs

Dolphinback Theatre's adults-only comedy features a collection of famous and notorious historical characters. Organic main stage, 10:30 PM. $6.

Hostile Makeover

44th Floor Productions, a Chicago-based ensemble whose members studied at the Players Workshop of the Second City, perform a comedy featuring improvisation and sketches. Organic Lab Theater, 11:30 PM. $11.

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

Chicago's Gigantic Productions presents a comedy about two longtime friends and an eccentric passenger who travel from Illinois to California. Organic South Hall, 11:30 PM. $8.

SATURDAY, JUNE 15

Klown: The Children's Show

Die Hanswurste performs a kids' show. Organic main stage, 11:30 AM. $5-$7. (See review in Section One.)

Cat Tales: Thoughts From the Family Feline

This kids' show from Little Giant Productions relates the experiences and observations of one Veronica LeMew. Organic Lab Theater, 11:30 AM. $5-$7.

Serious Nonsense

Minneapolis comic Lloyd Brant performs a children's show. Organic South Hall, noon. $4-$6.

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic man stage, 1 PM. $12.

To Walk on Ice

Columbia College interdisciplinary arts student Lisa Feuer offers a movement-based multimedia piece about "a journey of self-discovery." Organic Lab Theater, 1 PM. $8.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

See review. Organic South Hall, 2:30 PM. $11.

Transfigurato

Anne Westphal presents a collection of short comic sketches employing puppetry, mime, and dance, set to a variety of Brazilian music. Organic Lab Theater, 2:30 PM. $5-$9.

Charlie's Good Time Gospel Hour

See review. Organic South Hall, 4 PM. $8.

The Egghead: The Rot in the Cosmic Egg

See review. Organic Lab Theater, 4 PM. $12.

Blink

See review. Annoyance Theatre, 5:30 PM. $6-$10.

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

See review. Organic South Hall, 5:30 PM. $5-$6.

Radio Is Dead

See review. Organic Lab Theater, 5:30 PM. $10-$11.

The Caterpillars

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $8.

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Annoyance Theatre, 7:30 PM. $12.

Berlin to Babylon: The Songs of Kurt Weill and Friedrich Hollaender

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $8-$10.

The Queen of Bakersfield and Other Tales of Dust and Moonlight

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $7.

The Magician

Magical Mystical Michael, who hails from Austin, Texas, performs "a montage of mirth, mystery, and magic." Organic Lab Theater, 9 PM. $9-$11.

Jo!

See review. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $8-$9.

Enter the Light

Marlin, a "master illusionist" from Maui, Hawaii, offers "a theatrical fantasia of light and color." Organic main stage, 10:30 PM. $9-$11.

The Bicycling Comedian

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Organic Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $7-$10.

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 11:30 PM. $8.

SUNDAY, JUNE 16

Klown: The Children's Show

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Annoyance Theatre, 11:30 AM. $5-$7.

Serious Nonsense

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 11:30 AM. $4-$6.

Enter the Light

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic main stage, noon. $9-$11.

A Place of All Space

The Emergence Dance Theatre employs projected images as well as movement. Annoyance Theatre, 1 PM. $6-$12.

Transfigurato

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 1 PM. $5-$9.

Blink

See review. Annoyance Theatre, 2:30 PM. $6-$10.

Cat Tales: Thoughts From the Family Feline

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 2:30 PM. $5-$7.

Enter the Light

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Annoyance Theatre, 4 PM. $9-$11.

Transfigurato

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 4 PM. $5-$9.

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 4 PM. $8.

Radio Is Dead

See review. Annoyance Theatre, 5:30 PM. $10-$11.

Blink

See review. Organic main stage, 5:30 PM. $6-$10.

The Magician

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 5:30 PM. $9-$11.

The Queen of Bakersfield and Other Tales of Dust and Moonlight

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 5:30 PM. $7.

The Bicycling Comedian

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $7-$10.

Jo!

See review. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $8-$9.

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Annoyance Theatre, 7:30 PM. $12.

To Walk on Ice

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $8.

The Caterpillars

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

MONDAY, JUNE 17

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Annoyance Theatre, 8 PM. $12.

Blink

See review. Organic main stage, 8 PM. $6-$10.

Radio Is Dead

See review. Organic Lab Theater, 8 PM. $10-$11.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

See listing for Friday, June 14. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $6-$12.

The Magician

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $9-$11.

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

See review. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $5-$6.

Charlie's Good Time Gospel Hour

See review. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

A Place of All Space

See listing for Sunday, June 16. Annoyance Theatre, 9 PM. $6-$12.

Plastic Blues

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Organic Lab Theater, 9 PM. $9.

THURSDAY, JUNE 20

Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen

Stage combat specialists David Woolley and Douglas Mumaw perform "a comedy-swashbuckling extravaganza" featuring wordplay as well as swordplay. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $6-$12.

Berlin to Babylon: The Songs of Kurt Weill and Friedrich Hollaender

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $8-$10.

The Caterpillars

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $8.

A Place of All Space

See listing for Sunday, June 16. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 PM. $6-$12.

The Magician

See listing for Saturday, June 15. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $9-$11.

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

See listing for Thursday, June 13. Annoyance Theatre, 10 PM. $12.

Love, Art, and Catfish

See listing for Friday, June 14. Organic Lab Theater, 10 PM. $10.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

See review. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $11.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jose Luiz.

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