Rhino in Winter
Offered as an adjunct to the annual summer Rhinoceros Theater Festival, this showcase of fringe entertainment features mostly new work by the Curious Theatre Branch, Theater for the Age of Gold, and other ensembles and individuals. "The fest is all about risk taking, form bending, and brain stoking. By definition it will produce disasters as well as triumphs--and few opportunities are more valuable to an artistic community than a safe place to fail," says Reader critic Justin Hayford.
The Rhino in Winter runs through March 15 at the Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln; for reservations and information, call 773-327-6666. Tickets are $10 per show or "pay what you can" for all theater events, and $5 ("no debate") for music events.
Festival offerings are listed on a week-by-week basis (audiences are advised to call the festival for updates); following is the schedule for February 26 through March 5.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26
"Do I Contradict Myself? Very Well, I Contradict Myself" and October in the Railroad Earth
The festival's "Thursday Beat Night" features two performance pieces. The first features Beau O'Reilly and John Starrs in poetry by Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman; the second is a new "monologue/aria" by Frank Melcori based on the travel writings of Jack Kerouac. 8 PM.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27
Fridge Strings: Nocturne w/ Fruit & Grandmother
Amanda Clower's one-woman show finds a late-night refrigeraider examining her relationships with her mother and grandmother. Jenny Magnus directs for Flying Girl. "[S]ometimes Clower gets stuck in her metaphors. . . . Mostly, however, this 40-minute late-night show works; Clower's sleep-talking rings true, and her shocks of recognition make [her character's] obsessions wakingly real," said Reader critic Lawrence Bommer when he reviewed the piece's original run. 8 PM.
Performance artist Lawrence Steger presents his solo work in progress inspired by what Reader critic Justin Hayford calls "the culturally ordained myth . . . of the murderous gay call boy exacting revenge on the men who may have infected him with HIV" epitomized by the Andrew Cunanan case. "Draft is a tricky orchestration of honest mistakes with intentional omissions, oversights, approximations, and deletions. For an hour Steger describes the highlights of and performs excerpts from the piece he purports to be doing, as though the real, fleshed-out Draft were being performed simultaneously in a parallel universe. . . . Draft may sound like an impossibly frustrating evening, but . . . Steger knows how to spin enchantment from enigma," says Hayford. 10 PM.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28
The Curious Theatre Branch presents Jenny Magnus and Amy Warren in Magnus's new play about "drunkenness and dreams, mimetics and idea infection, and innocence and experience." The play "epitomizes the kind of intelligent, demanding, mind-overhauling work the Rhino fests are famous for. Still struggling to emerge from the weight of overwriting, this is a play with a problem Magnus seems to have identified already: as the piece progresses, she strips it down to an essence, delivering a sobering punch," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. 8 PM.
The Problematic Cartoonist
Jeff Dorchen's new play, presented by Theater for the Age of Gold, concerns a man who becomes obsessed with a cartoon in a magazine in a doctor's waiting room. 10 PM.
SUNDAY, MARCH 1
Partners and Franky
These two plays, by Salem Collo-Julin and Sue Ann Jewers respectively, were written in a Curious School Writing Workshop. 2 PM.
The Hidden Chronicles and Rosie Polenzani
The festival's "Sundays at 7" series features "The Hidden Chronicles," a program of "art songs from the cabaret closet" by Beau O'Reilly and Michael Greenberg. Also featured is folk musician Rosie Polenzani. 7 PM.
MONDAY, MARCH 2
The Problematic Cartoonist
See listing for 10 PM Saturday, February 28. 8 PM.
TUESDAY, MARCH 3
Michael Zerang and Frederick Lonberg-Holm
The festival's "Tuesday Night Jazz" series features a program of duets. 8 PM.
THURSDAY, MARCH 5
October in the Railroad Earth
The festival's "Thursday Beat Night" features a new "monologue/aria" by Frank Melcori based on the travel writings of Jack Kerouac. 8 PM.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): The Problematic Cartoonist theater still by Tamara Staples.