Neo-Futurists' Tenth Anniversary Benefit | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Neo-Futurists' Tenth Anniversary Benefit 

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Neo-Futurists' Tenth Anniversary Benefit

The beauty of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and the reason it's survived for so long, is that the show is designed to be a living entity, changing week by week. I'm not just talking about routine shifts in the cast or variations in the performance--every week new short plays are written and rotated in, and older, less successful ones are rotated out. The Neo-Futurists even have a weekly ritual--throwing a die before the Friday and Saturday night shows--that determines how many new plays, from 2 to 12, they must write for the next week. This willful, loving embrace of change is the most Futurist thing about the ensemble--which otherwise would be repelled, I think, by Filippo Marinetti's crypto- (and not so crypto-) fascism. The show I saw last weekend was every bit as inspired and entertaining as anything I saw in the early days of the Bush administration. No wonder it continues to attract so many novelty-loving young audience members and so many repeat viewers, some of whom have seen it hundreds of times. The Neo-Futurists celebrate their longevity with a benefit in keeping with their aesthetic of diversity and constant change: it features "30 Bands in 60 Minutes" (yup); performances by poet Marc Smith and Neo-Futurists past and present; a film written by Greg Kotis; and games, a raffle, food, drink, and "surprises." See listing for complete schedule. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 773-275-5255. Wednesday, September 16, 7 PM. $30-$100. --Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo byJ im Alexander Newberry.

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