Goat Island performs this series of ritualistic, choral, bleakly vaudevillian hauntings in its own relentless, physically taxing style. Originally staged in October 1996, How Dear to Me the Hour When Daylight Dies weaves together abstracted stories of wartime torture, death, and survival. Fans will recognize the group's Rorschach method of storytelling, created by a constantly shifting machinelike collage of prisoner-dancers and their historical alter egos: Amelia Earhart, the sideshow performer Mr. Memory, and Mike Walker, the Fattest Man in the World. Despite its uninspired ending, which may have improved with fine-tuning, this evocation of the ghosts of war has a horrible whimsy that's both compelling and, in the best tradition of the avant-garde, instructively grim. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010. Opens Thursday, February 6, 8 PM. Through February 9: Friday, 9 PM; Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 3 PM. $12. --Carol Burbank
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Nathan Mandell.