Chicago Fringe and Buskers Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

Chicago Fringe and Buskers Festival 

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This three-week showcase 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. (The weekends of June 8 and 9 and 15 and 16 also feature a free outdoor buskers festival on Buckingham and Clark from noon to 10 PM on Staurday and noon to 10 PM on Sunday.) 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. (A "Fringe Passport" good for 25 performances costs $50.)

The Reader carries festival listings on a week-by-week basis; here's the schedule for June 6 through 13.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6

Blink

This trio of jugglers hails from Brunswick, Maine. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $6-$10.

Radio Is Dead

San Francisco's Pipedream Productions performs a spoof of 1940s radio drama, presented as a live broadcast. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $10-$11.

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. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $8-$9.

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. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 PM. $12.

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 tale of a woman who rebels against sexual convention. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $7.

The Egghead, Rot in the Cosmic Egg

"Metaphysical vaudevillian" Lloyd Brant, who hails from Minneapolis, describes his one-man show as "Beckett dropping acid with the Marx Brothers on a trip through Purgatory." Organic Lab Theater, 9 PM. $12.

Charlie's Good Time Gospel Hour

Gigantic Productions, a local troupe, performs a look at the life and mind of Charles Manson. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $8.

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

California-based cabaret singer Cameron Silver evokes the Weimar era with the aid of pianist Steven Applegate. Organic Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $8-$10.

FRIDAY, JUNE 7

Enter the Light

Marlin, a "master illusionist" from Maui, Hawaii, offers "a theatrical fantasia of light and color." Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $9-$11.

Love, Art, and Catfish

Boston-based monologuist Bob Thomas about various subjects related to the title. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $ 10.

The Caterpillars

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

The Lost Music of David Nowakowsky

Toronto-based cantor Ronald Garner performs unpublished music by a composer whose work was suppressed by both the Nazis and the Soviets. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 PM. $12.

Plastic Blues

Anne Westphal, a dancer-choreographer from Rio de Janeiro, performs a movement piece inspired by American blues and jazz singers. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $9.

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 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 Kaplan when she reviewed its original run earlier this year. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $7.

The Magician

Magical Mystical Michael, who hails from Austin, Texas, performs "a montage of mirth, mystery, and magic." Organic Lab Theater, 10 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, 10 PM. $8.

Blink

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

The Bicycling Comedian

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

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

History Repeats Itself, an improv troupe from Wheaton, presents, an interactive, adults-only comedy show whose scenarios are set in various historical eras. Organic South Hall, 11:30 PM. $6.

SATURDAY, JUNE 8

Klown: The Children's Show

Die Hanswurste, a group of Chicago improv-trained comedians 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, return with a kids' show. main stage, 11:30 AM. $5-$7.

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 Lab Theater, 1 PM. $5-$9.

Enter the Light

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic main stage, 1:30 PM. $9-$11.

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

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic Lab Theater, 2:30 PM. $8-$10.

The Queen of Bakersfield and Other Tales of Dust and Moonlight

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic South Hall, 2:30 PM. $7.

The Magician

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic Lab Theater, 4 PM. $9-$11.

The Caterpillars

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic South Hall, 4 PM. $13.

Plastic Blues

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic Lab Theater, 5:30 PM. $9.

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic South Hall, 5:30 PM. $8.

Blink

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $6-$10.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $ 11.

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, 7:30 PM. $6.

Emergence Dance Theatre

This multimedia troupe focuses on the interactions of projected images with live movement. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 . $6-$12.

Jo!

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8-$9.

Hostile Makeover

44th Floor Productions, a Chicago-based ensemble whose members studied at the Players Workshop of the Second City, perform a comedy featuring improvisation and sketches. Organic Lab Theater, 9:30 PM. $ $11.

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $5-$6.

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

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

Love, Art, and Catfish

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic Lab Theater, 9:30 PM. $10.

Charlie's Good Time Gospel Hour

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic South Hall, 11:30 PM. $8.

SUNDAY. JUNE 9

Transfigurato

See listing for Saturday, June 8. Organic Lab Theater, 11:30 AM. $5-$9.

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Annoyance Theatre, noon. $6-$12.

Enter the Light

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic main stage, noon. $9-$11.

Serious Nonsense

Minneapolis "metaphysical vaudevillian" Lloyd Brant performs a children's show. Organic Lab Theater, 1 PM. $4-$6.

The Lost Music of David Nowakowsky

See listing for Friday, June 7. Annoyance Theatre, 2:30 PM. $11-$12.

The Magician

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic Lab Theater, 2:30 PM. $9-$11.

Cat Tales: Thoughts From the Family Feline

See listing for Saturday, June 8. Organic South Hall, 2:30 PM. $5-$7.

Emergence Dance Theatre

See listing for Saturday, June 8. Annoyance Theatre, 4 PM. $6-$12.

Radio Is Dead

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic Lab Theater, 4 PM. $10-$11.

Jo!

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic South Hall, 4 PM. $8-$9.

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Annoyance Theatre, 5:30 PM. $6-$ 12.

The Lost Music of David Nowakowsky

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic main stage, 5:30 PM. $11-$12.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

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

The Bicycling Comedian

See Critic's Choice. Organic Lab Theater, 6 PM. $8-$10.

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $5-$6.

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

Chicago's Die Hanswurste comedy troupe offers a clown show in "the European tradition." Annoyance Theatre, 7:30 PM. $12.

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

See listing for Thursday June 6. Organic Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $7-$10,

Frank Talk About Matters Big and Small

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic South Hall, 8:30 PM. $8.

The Egghead, Rot in the Cosmic Egg

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic Lab Theater, 9 PM. $12.

MONDAY, JUNE 10

I Killed My Sorrow, or Solo for a Mad Piano

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Annoyance Theatre, 8 PM, $6-$12.

Enter the Light

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic main stage, 8 PM. $9-$11.

Portrait of the Virgin Mary Feeding the Dinosaurs

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

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12

Emergence Dance Theatre

See listing for Saturday, June 8. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM $6-$12. 12.

Hostile Makeover

See listing for Saturday, June 8. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $11.

Enter the Light

See listing for Friday, June 7. Annoyance Theatre, 8:30 PM $9-$11.

The Bicycling Comedian

See Critic's Choice. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $7-$10.

Plastic Blues

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic Lab Theater, 10 PM. $9.

THURSDAY, JUNE 13

Hats on Fire/Shoes on Fire

See listing for Sunday, June 9. Annoyance Theatre, 7 PM. $12.

Plastic Blues

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic Lab Theater, 7 PM. $9.

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic South Hall, 7 PM. $11.

The Egghead, Rot in the Cosmic Egg

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic Lab Theater, 8:30 PM. $12.

Charlie's Good Time Gospel Hour

See listing for Thursday, June 6. Organic South Hal 1 8:30 PM. $8.

The Lost Music of David Nowakowsky

See listing for Friday, June 7. Annoyance Theatre, 9 PM. $11-$12.

The Bicycling Comedian

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

The P. D. Mortis Grand Pandemonium Night Carnival

See listing for Friday, June 7. Organic South Hall, 10 PM. $5-$6.

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