City of Fools: Chicago's Clown Theater Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

City of Fools: Chicago's Clown Theater Festival 

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Send in the clowns--but keep the kids away. This three-week festival of clowning features adult-oriented shows by local and visiting artists, along with a late-night cabaret, a "clown jam," and workshops. Running through April 15 and featuring two to three shows a night, it's the first edition of what organizers hope will be an annual event. All performances take place at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Admission is $10 per show (except where noted otherwise below); a four-admission pass costs $30. For more information call 312-697-0723.

Following is the performance schedule for April 5 through 12. In addition to these shows, noted clown teacher Sue Morrison will lead a three-day course in "Bouffon" Friday through Sunday, April 6 through 8, from noon to 4 PM each day. Call the festival to register for the course, which costs $150.

THURSDAY, APRIL 5

If You Don't Have Arms, You Cannot Surrender

The Theatre Corps' play, which employs both improvisation and scripted text, finds two leaders of a failed revolution facing life sentences. Blake Montgomery directs a cast that includes Rachel Klem and Kelley Ogden. 7 PM.

Knot My Best Moments

Canadian solo artist Erin Bouvy explores "the comic territory of self-doubt." Sue Morrison directs. 9 PM.

Blah Blah Blah

Anthony Courser and Noel Williams offer the world premiere of their show about two clowns encountering their "others." 11 PM.

FRIDAY, APRIL 6

If You Don't Have Arms, You Cannot Surrender

See listing for Thursday, April 5. 7 PM.

Clowns in the Vagina

The all-male quartet Asylum 137 (Anthony Courser, Voki Kalfayan, Shaw Nigro, and Jonathan Taylor) present an improvised performance under Sue Morrison's direction. 9 PM.

Late Night Cabaret

This evening of short clown turns features local and visiting artists and guest emcees. 11 PM.

SATURDAY, APRIL 7

500 Clown Macbeth

Shakespeare's "Scottish play" is performed by three clowns--over and over again--in this performance by Molly Brennan, Paul Kalina, and festival organizer Adrian Danzig, known collectively as F. 7 PM.

Clowns in the Vagina

See listing for Friday, April 6. 9 PM.

Late Night Cabaret

See listing for Friday, April 6. 11 PM.

SUNDAY, APRIL 8

Does This Mean Anything to You?

Anne Goldman and Alice-Gray Lewis's clown show focuses on two female clowns, Gerkle and Zetta. The piece is "a strikingly casual, sophisticated, unpretentious combination of vaudeville, physical performance, and character-intensive acting. . . . Goldman and Lewis's rapport [is] deep, their sense of when to break the fourth wall impeccable, and their bits . . . ravishingly well executed. Like Andy Kaufman and Ernie Kovacs, they understand that decontextualized pathos is a surer route to humor than strung-together gags," said Reader critic Brian Nemtusak when he reviewed the show last year. 7 PM.

500 Clown Macbeth

See listing for Saturday, April 7. 9 PM.

MONDAY, APRIL 9

Does This Mean Anything to You?

See listing for Sunday, April 8. 7 PM.

Clowns in the Vagina

See listing for Friday, April 6. 9 PM.

THURSDAY, APRIL 12

500 Clown Macbeth

See listing for Saturday, April 7. 7 PM.

Blah Blah Blah

See listing for Thursday, April 5. 9 PM.

Clowns in the Vagina

See listing for Friday, April 6. 11 PM.

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Agenda Teaser

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