Irene Moon | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Irene Moon 

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Irene Moon, a grad student at the University of Kentucky's entomology department, relishes the thought of science as an intrusion on and explanation for instinct, compulsion, and life's most intimate moments. Her "lectographies" attempt to educate the audience on the beauty of the insect world, incorporating film, handouts, slides, pop quizzes, PowerPoint presentations, and dance moves (both geriatric and epileptic) in cut-and-paste sound collages. Sometimes she shows off preserved specimens; during one performance, she brought out a collection of dead moths she'd dressed in homemade clothing. Words like "gastropod" and "aperture" pepper her lyrics, which she usually half-assedly speak-sings over cheesy organ, electronic glitches, noises from children's toys, "classy" piano shit you'd hear in Nordstrom's, forced hysterical laughter, cat yowling, train whistles, doorbells, truck horns, incessant cowbells, and snippets of schmaltzy grandpa music. Dressed in a fake Chanel Jackie O suit, pillbox hat, and gloves, Moon has the monotonous control of a tour guide, a quaalude aficionado, or a certified lunatic during a convincing bout of denial. "Live From Other Worlds, Radio National Australia" reveals her take on human romance: Moon juxtaposes samples of a sensitive boy professing his love with cartoonishly loud snoring and gargling and an annoyed woman's exclamations of "Uh-uh!" and "Not good!" Her professional work reflects this lack of sentimentality: as an undergrad in Atlanta she was involved in a project raising the Brunner's mantid, a unique species of praying mantis the female of which doesn't tear the male's head off after copulation--only because the species consists entirely of females, who self-fertilize. Moon performs as part of the Uno-a-Go-Go festival's noise brunch. Sunday, October 6, noon, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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