Fillet of Solo Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

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Fillet of Solo Festival

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Live Bait Theater's showcase of one-person performances features old and new work by a slew of fringe artists, among them Stephanie Shaw, Lotti Pharriss, David Kodeski, Mark Gagne, Judith Harding, Karin McKie, Susan McLaughlin Karp, and Kristin Garrison. The festival climaxes with a salute to the late James Grigsby, whose solo show Terminal Madness was Live Bait's first production in 1988.

The seventh annual Fillet of Solo Festival runs through August 25 at Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark; performances take place in the theater's main-stage and Bucket spaces. Tickets are $10 per show; a festival pass to all shows costs $30, and a pass to the two "Live Bait Bucket Solo Sampler" shows is $15. Call 773-871-1212 for reservations (tickets are also available on-line at; check for more information.

Following is the schedule for August 1 through 8; a complete schedule is on-line at


Live Bait Bucket Solo Sampler #1: Seeking and Hiding

David Kodeski hosts an evening of short solo performances (ten minutes max) by Karin McKie, Kristin Garrison, Michael Lehrer, Susan McLaughlin Karp, and Stephanie Shaw. Bucket, 7:30 PM.



Stephanie Shaw's performance piece draws on her experiences as a mother, using the story of Sleeping Beauty as a starting point. The show "is a tour de force display of literary acumen and theatrical chops. Always speaking in a personal voice, Shaw is never simply personal; interweaving her shrewdly constructed fables and fantasies, she places her individual dilemma within a larger cultural and political context," said Reader critic Justin Hayford when he reviewed the work as part of the Neo-Futurists' "Neo Mondo Solo 2000" series. Main stage, 7 PM.

Live Bait Bucket Solo Sampler #2: Image, Bodies and Risk

Edward Thomas-Herrera hosts a program of short solo performances (ten minutes max) by Jamie Black, Diane Dorsey, Mark Gagne, Judith Harding, Carrie Kaufman, and Ron Kelly. Bucket, 7:30 PM.


Susan McLaughlin Karp shares the experience of her first pregnancy and her baby's stillbirth. Stephanie Shaw directs. "Karp casts herself as an ordinary woman caught up in extraordinary circumstances [in this] surreal montage. . . . Like the poetry of Wallace Stevens, Karp's piece is moving because she seems removed from the emotions she describes, . . . evoking them with precise, rich details. . . . Still is astonishing, avoiding every bathetic snare while effortlessly capturing the nuances of an agonizing experience. As distressing as Karp's material may be, it's exhilarating to watch a performer recover her life so artfully," said Reader critic Justin Hayford when he reviewed the piece at last year's Fillet of Solo Festival. Main stage, 8:30 PM.

Tastes Like Chicken

Jonathan Pereira's comic monologue addresses "race, prejudice, youth, and advertising." Bucket, 11 PM.



See listing for Friday, August 2. Main stage, 7 PM.


See listing for Friday, August 2. Main stage, 8:30 PM.

Are You There, God? It's Me, Kristin

Kristin Garrison performs her piece about being a teenager in the 1970s. Bucket, 8:30 PM.

My Dirty Little Secret

Marianna Runge's performance, directed by Don Regal, offers "confessions

of a young woman discovering that nothing in life is predictable." Bucket, 11 PM.


Live Bait Bucket Solo Sampler #1: Seeking and Hiding

See listing for Thursday, August 1; Susan McLaughlin Karp does not appear at this performance. Bucket, 7:30 PM.

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

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