Estrogen Fest | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Now in its second year, this Aardvark theater company festival has expanded to include dance, performance art, and music as well as short plays. The result is a kaleidoscopic vision of womanhood spread over two evenings--called "Light Days" and "Heavy Flow." I haven't seen the offerings in "Heavy Flow," but not all of the "Light Days" fare is successful. Asimina Chremos's improvised dance, "Because I Feel Like It," is self-indulgent, and the opening "invocation," directed by Ann Filmer, warms up the show's 13 performers but does little to illustrate Diane di Prima's words. Among the best of the eclectic offerings on the "Light Days" bill are Abby Sher's comic, insightful "Blink," examining what it means to be a Jewish woman, and Cindy Brandle's "Twisted Sisters," in which three dancers add coquettish poses to their high-energy movement. Brett Neveu's "Static Nice by Helen C. Yeer" and Robert Shaffron's "Cake"--two entertaining short plays featuring talented actresses--illuminate the differences between women at a book club and a bake-off respectively. A fitting finale is the monologue "Oogenesis," Joanie Schultz's ode to fertility and her own eggs, which presents its politics with subtle charm. "Light Days" runs May 22, "Heavy Flow" May 29. Second Unitarian Church of Chicago, 656 W. Barry, 773-489-0843. Through May 29: Tuesdays, 8 PM. $10-$12.

--Jenn Goddu

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

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