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Verbatim Verboten Deluxe

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Most people who lose their theater after a police sting put their tail between their legs. Michael Martin, of the Great Beast Theater, is throwing a party. Having been kicked out of Wicker Park's Inner Town Pub, he's now holing up at the National Pastime with his two-day invasion-of-privacy cabaret, Verbatim Verboten Deluxe. The original Verbatim Verboten was a regular affair for Great Beast, with local talent reading unethically acquired real transcripts of bugged phone conversations, sealed testimony, private diaries. This weekend will be a "greatest hits" marathon, with a different lineup each night. Among the highlights are Richard Cotovsky reading John Lennon's taped reminiscence of an incestuous moment with his mother, Marj Halperin and Terri Hemmert as Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, Ian Belknap and Lusia Strus as Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman bickering via cell phone, Achy Obejas as the extortion-happy Miriam Santos, Edward Thomas-Herrera and David Kodeski as potty-mouthed Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis trying to record a radio commercial, and Vicki Quade as a paranoid Richard Nixon hell-bent on winning the Vietnam war. If that's not enough, Martin will also be serving food and drink--which is what makes the evening "deluxe." National Pastime Theater, 4139 N. Broadway, 312-409-1887. July 30 and 31: Monday-Tuesday, 7 PM (preceded by cocktails and silent auction at 6 PM). $15.

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