Chicago Fringe & Buskers Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

Chicago Fringe & Buskers Festival 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

This showcase of international performance features clowns, monologuists, cabaret singers, stage magicians, dancers, and even a cantor. Performers from Chicago are augmented by artists from around the U.S.--New York to California and Minnesota to Hawaii--as well as from Russia, Brazil, and Canada. Produced, as it was last year, by John T. Mills and James Ellis, the Fringe Fest runs through June 23, with shows six days a week--as few as 3 on weeknights or as many as 21 on weekends. Most performances take place at the Organic Theater, 3319 N. Clark. (The listings below specify which of the Organic's three spaces each show is in: the South Hall or Lab Theater, both located in the second-floor Organic Greenhouse, or the main stage, whose entrance is on Buckingham just east of Clark.) Selected performances also take place at the Annoyance Theatre, 3747 N. Clark. The phone number for ticket orders is the Organic box offlce: 327-5588. Tickets range from $4 to $12 (including children's, seniors', and student discounts) depending on the show; prices for each show are listed below.

The Reader carries festival listings on a week-by-week basis; here's the schedule for June 20 through 23.

THURSDAY, JUNE 20

Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen

Stage combat specialists David Woolley and Douglas Mumaw perform "a comedy-swashbuckling extravaganza" featruing wordplay as well as- swordplay. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $6-$12.

Berlin to Babylon: The Songs of Kurt Weill and Friedrich Hollaender

See Critic's Choice. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $8-$10.

The Caterpillars

Chicago songwriter/comedians Stacy Patinkin and Debra Dowling perform their humorous music. Organic South I Hall, 7 PM. $8.

A Place of All Space

The Emergence Dance Theatre employs projected images as well as movement. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 PM. $6-$12.

The Magician

Magical Mystical Michael, who hails from Austin, Texas, performs "a montage of mirth, mystery, and magic." Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $9-$11.

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

Chicago's Gigantic Productions presents a comedy about two longtime friends and an eccentric passenger who travel from Illinois to California. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

Die Hanswurste, a group of Chicago improv-trained actors who posed as German clowns (tricking the occasional gullible reviewer if not most audiences) in their 1994 show Klown: Prick Us and We'll Burst, offers what Reader critic Jack Helbig calls "an evening of related comedy sketches expertly executed by a team who clearly understand how to entertain an audience and who enjoy performing together." Annoyance Theatre, 10 PM. $12.

Love, Art, and Catfish

Boston-based monologuist Bob Thomas talks about various subjects related to the title. Organic Lab Theater, 10 PM. $ 10.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

Brooklyn-based actor Maureen Brennan's one-woman show employs dance, mime, and monologue to dramatize Emile Zola's 1868 story of a woman who rebels against sexual convention. "Brennan adopts a lugubriously libidinal persona--half Vincent Price, half Norma Desmond--(as she) creeps through Zola's tale of adultery, murder, and bourgeois insurrection," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $11.

FRIDAY, JUNE 21

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

See listing for Thursday, June 20.

Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $12,

The Egghead: The Rot in the Cosmic Egg

"Lloyd Brant describes his one-person evening of 'metaphysical vaudeville' as 'Beckett dropping acid with the Marx Brothers on a trip through Purgatory.' Well, I can vouch for the purgatory part, having watched Brant go through the paces of his silly, shallow show, speaking long monologues in gibberish, performing a few minor magic tricks, and pulling...hapless audience members onto the stage for...childish jokes and humiliation," says Reader critic Jack Helbig. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $12.

The Queen of Bakersfield and Other Tales of Dust and Moonlight

Chicago's Dolphinback Theatre Company presents Greg Owens's collection of tales and songs about "'wrong side of the tracks' America." The show, performed by actor KellyAnn Corcoran, "makes us feel we're eavesdropping on half-true stories swapped over a campfire or shared by strangers in a diner late at night," said Reader critic Gabrielle S. Kaplan when she reviewed its original run earlier this year. Organic South Hall fall, 7 PM. $7.

Radio Is Dead

San Francisco's Pipedream Productions performs a spoof of 1940s radio mystery melodrama, presented as a live broadcast. Reader critic Jack Helbig calls the show "a flat satire." Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 . $10-$11.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $11.

Love, Art, and Catfish

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Annoyance Theatre, 9 PM. $10.

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

History Repeats Itself, an improv from Wheaton, presents nn what Reader critic Justin Hayford calls a "subsophmoric effort [that] attempts to eulogize America's lost freak shows." Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $5-$6.

Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic main stage, 10:30 PM. $6-$12.

Hostile Makeover

44th Floor Productions, a Chicago-based ensemble whose members studied at the Players Workshop of the Second City, perform a comedy feauturing improvisation and sketches. Organic Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $11.

SATURDAY, JUNE 22

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

The Cranks Theatre Company from Moscow calls itself "a group that believes in the healing power of clowning," and promises music, dance, juggling, and pantomime. Organic main stage, 11:30 AM. $12.

Cat Tales: Thoughts From the Family Feline

This kids' show from Little Giant Productions relates the experiences and observations of one Veronica LeMew. Organic Lab Theater, 11:30 AM. $5-$7.

Transfigurato

Anne Westphal presents a collection of short comic sketches employing puppetry, mime, and dance, set to a variety of Brazilian music. Organic South Hall, 11:30 AM. $5-$9.

Plastic Blues

Anne Westphal, a dancer choreographer from Rio de Janeiro, performs a movement piece inspired by American blues and jazz singers. Organic Lab 1 PM. $9.

Serious Nonsense

Minneapolis comic Lloyd Brant performs a children's show. Organic South Hall, 1 PM. $4-$6.

Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic main stage, 1:30 PM. $6-$12.

Berlin to Babylon: The Songs of Kurt Weill and Friedrich Hollaender

See Critic's Choice, Organic Lab Theater, 2:30 PM. $8-$10.

Jo!

Josephine Baker, the black American singer who became a sensation in 1920s Paris, is the subject of Chicago actor-dancer Michelle Banks's one-woman show, which Reader critic Justin Hayford calls "an excuse to belt out a few spirituals and beat even fewer dance steps into the ground." Organic South Hall, 2:30 PM. $8-$9.

The Caterpillars

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic South Hall, 4 PM. $8.

Portrait of the Virgin Mary Feeding the Dinosaurs

Dolphinback Theatre's adults-only comedy features a collection of famous and notorious historical characters Organic Lab Theater, 5 PM. $6.

MASS

This Chicago performance group, whose name means "Movement and Sonic Sculpture," integrates choreographed movement and new music played on standard and invented instruments. Annoyance Theatre, 5:30 PM. $8-$10.

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic South Hall, 5:30 PM. $8.

Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $6-$12.

Love, Art, and Catfish

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $10.

Charlie's Good Time Gospel Hour

Gigantic Produtions, a local troupe, performs a look at the life and mind of Charles Manson "As...Manson the wanna-be folksinger gone horrifyingly to seed, Phil Gigante performs with such mercurial explosiveness that he's nothing short of riveting--for a while. By startring the show at 100 mph and keeping the pedal to the floor for about an hour and a half, he wore me to a frazzle long before we reached the finish line," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $8.

MASS

See listing for earlier today. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 PM. $8-$10.

The Egghead: The Rot in the Cosmic Egg

See listing for Friday, June 21. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $12.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $11.

The Magician

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic Lab Theater, 10 PM. $9-$11.

The Queen Of Bakersfield and Other Tales of Dust and Moonlight

See listing for Friday, June 21. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $7.

A Place of All Space

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic main stage, 10:30 PM. $6-$12.

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

See listing for Friday, June 21 . Organic, South Hall, 11:30 PM. $5-$6.

SUNDAY, JUNE 23

Klown: The Children's Show

Die Hanswurste perfoms an expurgated version of its clown show Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire (see listing for Thursday, June 20) that is "sophisticated enough to keep parents laughing even as it pleases children," says Reader critic Jack Helbig. Annoyance Theatre, 11:30 AM. $5-$7.

Cat Tales: Thoughts From the Family Feline

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Organic Lab Theater, 11:30 AM. $5-$7.

Dirk & Guido: The Swordsmen

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic stage, noon. $6-$12.

Serious Nonsense

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Organic South Hall, noon. $4-$6.

MASS

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Annoyance Theatre, 1 PM. $8-$10.

To Walk on Ice

Columbia College interdisciplinary arts student Lisa Feuer offers a movement-based multimedia piece about "a journey of self-discovery." Organic Lab Theater, 1 PM. $8.

Transfigurato

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Organic South Hall, 1:30 PM. $5-$9.

Enter the Light

Marlin, a "master illusionist" from Maui, Hawaii, offers "a theatrical fantasia of light and color." Organic main stage, 2:30 PM. $9-$11.

Love, Art, and Catfish

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic Lab Theater, 2:30 PM. $10.

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Annoyance Theatre, 4 PM. $12.

Plastic Blues

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Organic Lab Theater, 4 PM. $9.

A Place of All Space

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic main stage, 5:30 PM. $6-$12.

The Egghead: The Rot in the Cosmic Egg

See listing for Friday, June 21. Organic Lab Theater, 5:30 PM. $12.

The Caterpillars

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic South Hall, 5:30 PM. $8.

MASS

See listing for Saturday, June 22, Annoyance Theatre, 6 PM. $8-$10.

The Magician

See listing for Thursday, June 20. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $9-$11.

Jo!

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $8-$9.

Radio Is Dead

See listing for Friday, June 21. Annoyance Theatre, 7:30 PM. $10-$11.

Portrait of the Virgin Mary Feeding the Dinosaurs

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $6.

Charge's Good Time Gospel Hour

See listing for Saturday, June 22. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Riff iO Theater, The Mission Theater
June 08
Performing Arts
Bus Stop Athenaeum Theatre
July 19

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories