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The Lucky Yates Show

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Lucky Yates has only two rules for the guests on his metatheatrical talk show: come ready to gab and leave the bullshit at the door. His three-year-old mondo-bizarro venture The Lucky Yates Show, a self-described "fun way to kill time between performances," has been wildly successful at Dad's Garage Theatre, the Atlanta company where Yates also designs puppets and helps run a children's-matinee program. The look he affects just screams mid-60s Vegas: thrift-store suits, pencil-thin John Waters mustache, severely parted hair shellacked with gobs of Brylcreem, a stogie that never leaves his right hand. With the aid of "spiritual adviser and constant companion" Mr. Magnificent--who sports a leopard-print fez--he deftly coaxes his guests into relating their personal histories by offering irrefutable proof himself that truth is always stranger than fiction. His two-night stand here marks the first time Dad's Garage will come to Chicago as part of its informal exchange program with the Neo-Futurists, and Yates is pulling out all the stops. On Friday he'll be joined by infamous genitalia sculptor Cynthia Plaster Caster, some of Chicago's "finest drag kings," and Noise Conspiracy, a Neil Diamond tribute band; Saturday his guests are NPR personality Jim Nayder (host of The Annoying Music Show), U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association president Bruce Kaufman, and acoustic punk band Even in Blackouts (fronted by Neo-Futurist John Pierson). "I poke fun at the excesses of the talk-show genre," says Yates. "But I'm genuinely interested in what the guests have to say. I'm not out there to have fun at anyone else's expense." Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 773-275-5255. August 8-9: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $5 "plus the roll of a single six-sided die" ($6-$10; free if you roll a six).

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