Lip | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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LIP, at the Neo-Futurarium. Lisa Buscani's performance career--from Neo-Futurist to slam poetry champ to Big Goddess to nun (in the New York edition of Late Nite Catechism)--has given her an enviable web of connections. For her local homecoming she's curating a festival of monologues at the Neo-Futurarium. In her own piece, Idiot, Buscani focuses on disturbing snapshots of women being abused in public spaces--and the uncertainty and rage she feels about confronting the abusers.

The lineup changes weekly, but on opening night it featured lives at a turning point, from Jenny Magnus's alternately funny and bleak look at new parenting, Cant, to Nicole Garneau's tribute to an actor she befriended while working in Russia--a man whose last name roughly translates as "loser." Dave Awl, another former Neo-Futurist, delivered a fanciful tale that intertwines growing despair at the state of geopolitics with his transformation into a superhero boasting psychic powers.

All the pieces are stripped to their essence; most of the performers use only a chair and a music stand. The result is an engaging, thought-provoking evening with no frills but plenty of heart and smarts.

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