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The Rhinoceros Theater Festival

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Founded as a component of the Bucktown Arts Fest (see separate listing in regular theater listings) but now independent of that event, this annual summer showcase of fringe theater, performance, and music has relocated farther north over the past few years. This year's edition, which runs through September 23, is housed at the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. Lincoln, and the Famous Door Theatre Company, Jane Addams Center Hull House, 3212 N. Broadway. Directed this year by Beau O'Reilly, the event takes its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali's use of the term "rhinocerontic" (it means real big); more than 20 companies and individual artists are featured, among them Famous Door, the Curious Theatre Branch, Retro Theatre, Theater Oobleck, Betty's Mouth, Ler Noot Fiesta, Studio 108, David Hauptschein, Terri Kapsalis, Frank Melcori, Julie Laffin, David Kodeski, Warren Leming's Cold Chicago Dance Theater, and Cleveland's New World Performance Laboratory.

Rhino Fest tickets cost $7 per program or $10 for any two programs, except for special events whose prices are noted in the listings. For reservations and information, call 327-6666 for shows at Lunar Cabaret or 409-3884 for shows at Famous Door.

The Reader lists festival schedules (which are subject to last-minute change) on a week-by-week basis; following is the schedule for August 22 through 29.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22

David Kodeski's True Life Tales: Doris

In this one-man show, Kodeski recounts the long life of a minister's wife, based on anecdotes he gleaned from interviews with the woman (who now lives in a local retirement home). Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM. (See review in Section One.)

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!

Todd Peterson plays multiple characters in his one-man play about "a gay man's struggle to become 'boss of his own world.' " Patrick New directs. Famous Door, 8 PM.

Chicago: City on the Make

Spoken-word performer Larry Jones and bassist Aki Schulz perform their adaptation of Nelson Algren's text. Lunar Cabaret, 9 PM. (See review in Section One.)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23

Kingerera Great

Peter Handler wrote this "absurdist hostage drama" about a "marginally-employed" young man who kidnaps a homeless person in order to have a playmate for the afternoon. Joe Dempsey directs a world premiere. Famous Door, 7 PM.

Hyperbolic Gangland

The Curious Theatre Branch presents Bryn Magnus's follow-up to his tribute to action movies, Illustrious Bloodspill. Staged by Jenny Magnus, this is described as a collection of "dreamscape examinations of pop-life violence and its real-live effects." Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM. (See review in Section One.)

The Increased Difficulty of Concentration

Maureen Ryan directs Vaclav Havel's comedy about "the spiritual and moral crisis in contemporary, technological society." Famous Door, 9 PM. (See review in Section One.)

Van's Peppy Syncopators

Violinist/performance artist Terri Kapsalis, guitarist John Corbett, and handmade-instrumentalist Hal Rammel celebrate the release of their new CD. Lunar Cabaret, 10 PM.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24

A Theory of Chaos

Warren Leming directs Cold Chicago Dance Theater in this theatrical study of the life and ideas of the German philosopher Walter Benjamin. Famous Door, 7 PM. (See review in Section One.)

Inner Life

Stories by Wisconsin writer Angela Woodward, from her collection The Book of Odeon, are brought to the stage by the Curious Theatre Branch. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

The Increased Difficulty of Concentration

See listing for Friday, August 23. Famous Door, 9 PM.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25

The Increased Difficulty of Concentration

See listing for Friday, August 23. Famous Door, 7 PM.

Inner Life

See listing for Saturday, August 24. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

MONDAY, AUGUST 26

Hyperbolic Gangland

See listing for Friday, August 23. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Grandmother in Four Acts, The Dusky Woman, and Excuse Me, What Are You?

This program features three solo performances. The first, by Donna Jay Fulks, concerns "the realization of death and the fact that I'm stuck in my stupid family," says the artist. In the second, Judith Greer performs her Connected Poems and new works. The third piece is a multimedia solo performance by director-writer Lisa Wax (created in collaboration with Achy Obejas and Kurt Heintz) that explores "how race and culture are constructed and perceived." Famous Door, 8 PM.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27

Ler Noot Fiesta

This "jazz-thrash duo," consisting of Mark Comiskey and Colm O'Reilly, headlines an evening of performance with guest artists from other fields. Tonight's show features Theater Oobleck's David Isaacson performing Homage: Godard; subsequent performances will feature Jenny Magnus and Diane Izzo. Lunar Cabaret, 9 PM.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21

Bobo's Revenge

This "circus-noir" play by Paul C. Foster, about a detective investigating the serial killings of clowns, explores themes of violence and laughter. It's offered by Faboo! Productions. "Bobo's Revenge, with an intricate plot and nearly two hours of dialogue dense with allusions, . . . is sometimes obscured by its slapdash clutter, but there's no denying the intelligence and compassion beneath the surface silliness," said Reader critic Mary Shen Barnidge when she reviewed the show's premiere earlier this year. Famous Door, 8 PM.

I Am a Fool

Studio 108 presents Mike Vieau in his adaptation of Sherwood Anderson's short story about a Depression-era horse trainer ruined by his own good intentions. Lunar Cabaret, 9 PM.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29

David Kodeski's True Life Tales: Doris

See listing for Thursday, August 22. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!

See listing for Thursday, August 22. Famous Door, 8 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo from The Increased Difficulty of Concentration.

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