Rhinoceros Theater Festival
This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago's fringe began as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest; now it's produced by the Curious Theatre Branch. Taking its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali's use of the term "rhinocerontic" (it means real big), the Rhino Fest, now in its 11th year, features shows by such local notables as Theater for the Age of Gold, the Billy Goat Experiment, Blair Thomas, Antonio Sacre (now based in LA, but returning for the festival), John Musial, Michael K. Meyers, and Theater Oobleck in addition to the Curious folks.
The Rhinoceros Theater Festival runs through October 14 at the Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln. Admission to all shows is $10 or "pay what you can"; for information and reservations, call 773-327-6666.
Following is the schedule for October 5 through 12, based on information available Monday.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5
Theater for the Age of Gold presents Jeff Dorchen and Jeff Kowalkowski's musical version of Katherine Dunn's book about a family of circus freaks. "[The] play all too faithfully presents a version of the world that's rank, pointless, and repulsive. [The] question remains whether investing so much talent and creativity in this source constitutes an innovation or a mistake. At the very least, fans of the book . . . will want to see Geek Love. You may argue about it, but you can't dismiss it," says Reader critic Kelly Kleiman. 8 PM.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6
See listing for Thursday, October 5. 8 PM.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
Michael Martin's portrait of a group of cigarette addicts puffing away on the loading dock of an office building is presented by the Great Beast Theater. 8 PM.
Curl up with pianist Michael Greenberg's musical ensemble, which promises a program of "art songs and power pop." 10 PM.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
See listing for Saturday, October 7. 3 PM.
New Work Reading Salon
The Curious Theatre Branch presents a program of monologues and performance by Jenny Magnus, Anne Van der Vort, and Dolores Wilber. 7 PM.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 9
See listing for Saturday, October 7. 8 PM.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Ian Belknap, in the role of Mephistopheles, hosts a program of monologues about the seven deadly sins. The performance is part of a weekly series in which the tempting vices are portrayed by a rotating ensemble that includes Jenny Magnus, Bryn Magnus, Lusia Strus, Susan Messing, Matt Kaye, Rose Abdoo, and others. 8 PM.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11
Old Car? New Car?
This panel discussion focuses on the subject of how writers develop new plays for short- and long-term success. This program is free. 8 PM.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12
Carving Wood and Midwest Parking
The first play on this double bill is a comedy by Nicole Kupper about a woman obsessed with Ping-Pong and her relationship with her daughter and the daughter's fiance; the second, presented by Cougar Cougar Productions, is a comedy by writer-director Mike Hansel. 8 PM.