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1990 Off Off Loop Theater Festival

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Returning, after two years' hiatus, under the auspices of producer Doug Bragan's Douglas Theater Corp., this third not-so-annual event features 16 non-Equity companies in as many one-act plays, organized in programs of four. The selections range from experimental drama to camp melodrama to medieval farce to musical comedy to good ol' American naturalism. "One might select one of the four packages because of a particular play included in it," says a press release. "In addition to that play, three others are presented, showcasing other companies whose work one will be pleased to discover." One had better be pleased, since tickets to single plays are not available at this point (though a waiting list is being kept at the box office). At the Theatre Building, through April 15. Saturdays, 2 and 7 PM; Sundays, 1 and 6 PM. $14-$19 per four-play program; "marathon tickets," good for one whole day (two programs), $27. Prices apply to advance sales; tickets purchased day of performance cost an additional $3. The schedule is as follows:

SAVAGE IN LIMBO; THERE'S A RIGHT AND A WRONG WAY TO LOVE SOMEONE; I, BOBECK; VOLOKOLAMSK HIGHWAY First: Inn Town Players' performs John Patrick Shanley's comedy set in a New York singles dive. Second: Rimini Butler's drama about a teenager and his abusive mother was seen at last year's Chicago Young Playwrights Festival at Pegasus Players. Third: The Prop Theatre stages Dan Sutherland's comedy about a clown trying to put his sullen teenager through a snobbish private school (world premiere). Fourth: German playwright Heiner Muller's experimental "proletarian tragedy" for "an age of counterrevolution," subtitled "The Road of the Tanks", is performed by the Chicago Actors Ensemble, which staged Muller's Hamletmachine at the 1987 Off-Off Loop Theatre Festival. March 31, 2 PM; April 7 and 14, 7 PM.

OF ALL THE WIDE TORSOS IN ALL THE WILD GLEN; RECALLING THE REUNION; 5 VERY LIVE; PATHELIN First: The Collection performs Paul Peditto's comedy about an overweight playwright's journet into the world of liposuction. Second: Bailiwick Repertory sponsors Tim Ness's drama about a father and son digging for shared memories in a mental hospital (world premiere). Third: BDI Theatre stages David VanMatre's satire on television news and sports (world premiere). Fourth: The Chicago Medieval Players perform this anonymous 15th-century comedy about a shyster lawyer, a crooked merchant, and a sly shepherd. March 31, 7 PM; April 7 and 14, 2 PM.

OLD WIVES TALES; THE DRUNKARD; WHY THE LORD CAME TO SAND MOUNTAIN; OTTO First: Famous Door Theatre Company's sexual slapstick comedy is directed by fight Michael Sokoloff (world premiere). Second: Musical Repertorie Theatre offers the first act of its current production (see regular theater listings). Third: God--a black female--drops in on an Appalachian family in Romulus Linney's comedy, performed by Zebra Crossing. Fourth: Sean O'Meara and Michael Monaco's comedy about "friendship, disease, landscaping, and cannibalism" is presented by Quando Productions. April 1, 1 PM; April 8 and 15, 6 PM.

SPRING DANCE; WAITING FOR BUDDHAT; GAS MASK 101; LADIES First: Cactus Theatre remounts its recent production of Horton Foote's study of life in a southwestern mental hospital. Second: Hell is the waiting room of a casting agency in Dan Kobayashi's "lighthearted nightmare" with a supernatural theme, performed by Mina Sama-No (world premiere). Third: Arlene Cook's play, presented by Mary-Arrchie Theatre, is a coming-of-age story about college guys in 1970. Fourth: Different Drummer performs a revue of songs--"some not often performed in polite company"--by Cole Porter. April 1, 6 PM; April, 8 and 15, 1 PM.

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