When: Fridays. Continues through Feb. 15 2013
Director Rick Paul did a great service for the Chicago theater community at last year’s Rhinofest, resurrecting the late, lamented Sweetback Productions (Scarrie! The Musical, The Birds) for the purpose of staging a pair of what turned out to be well-received one-acts. This year he’s working his magic again. Hot Water is a campy adaptation of Cornell Woolrich’s singularly incomprehensible 1935 short story—a noir murder mystery about a jaded movie starlet and her hard-boiled bodyguard. Mantuary is a cagey one-act by New Orleans playwright RJ Tsarov, in which tightly wound Lise flees her oppressive marriage by living in a cave that may actually be her spare bedroom. Both shows are stylishly designed, economically staged, and extravagantly acted. At 25 minutes apiece, they could be improved only by being expanded to full length. —Justin Hayford.