Taking its name from the Tower Building at the intersection of North, Damen, and Milwaukee--commonly called the Coyote Building because it once housed the Coyote Gallery--this multimedia arts event includes a sizable theater and performance component (coordinated by Wm. Bullion, director of Sliced Bread Productions, with Stephanie Beu) that lays claim to being Chicago's only entirely free theatrical festival. Running September 9 through 12, Around the Coyote features plays and performance pieces by 22 different companies, teams, and solo artists (most but not all human) at four different venues: the Eclipse Theatre Company, 2074 N. Leavitt; Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, second floor, 1632 N. Milwaukee; Urbus Orbis, 1934 W. North; and Chicago Filmmakers (in its new space in the Chopin Theatre building), 1543 W. Division. Admission to all shows is free; for more information, call the Coyote hotline at 342-6777 or check at one of the several information booths scattered around the four-square-mile festival walk. Here's the schedule for opening day; next week's paper will have a complete festival listing.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
The Eclipse Theatre Company's program of one-acts includes All Lines Down, by Robert Mohler; A Long Walk to Forever, by Jeff Lazarus; and Out the Window, by Neal Bell. Eclipse Theatre, 7 PM.
Two Days of Living Hell
With Sally Jessy Raphael
In 1988, Chicago performers Tani Freiwald, Brigid Murphy, and Wes Bailey appeared on Geraldo Rivera's and Sally Jessy Raphael's TV talk shows to impersonate sexual surrogates, sex-hating housewives, male virgins, and the like. Now Sliced Bread Productions offers its ensemble-developed account of the hoax under Bailey's direction; this free preview anticipates the show's opening on September 17. Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 8 PM.
The Transient Theatre revives its spring production of Thomas J. Wawzenek's play--written entirely as monologues for its various characters--about a group of fundamentalist Christians. Reader critic Maura Troester calls the play a "thoughtful, entertaining . . . analysis of religious zealotry." Chicago Filmmakers, 8 PM.
The Public Trust Theatre Co. makes its debut with Steven Jeffries's adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel of social protest. Urbus Orbis, 8 PM.