Rhino in Winter | Festival | Chicago Reader

Rhino in Winter 

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Rhino in Winter

Offered as an adjunct to the annual summer Rhinoceros Theater Festival, this showcase of fringe entertainment features mostly new work by the Curious Theatre Branch, Theater for the Age of Gold, and other ensembles and individuals. "The fest is all about risk taking, form bending, and brain stoking. By definition it will produce disasters as well as triumphs--and few opportunities are more valuable to an artistic community than a safe place to fail," says Reader critic Justin Hayford.

The Rhino in Winter runs through March 15 at the Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln; for reservations and information, call 773-327-6666. Tickets are $10 or "pay what you can" for theater events, $5 ("no debate") for music events.

Festival offerings are listed on a week-by-week basis (audiences are advised to call the festival for updates); following is the schedule for March 5 through 12.

THURSDAY, MARCH 5

October in the Railroad Earth

The festival's "Thursday Beat Night" features a new "monologue/aria" by Frank Melcori based on the travel writings of Jack Kerouac. 8 PM.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6

Fridge Strings: Nocturne w/ Fruit & Grandmother

Amanda Clower's one-woman show finds a late-night refrigeraider examining her relationships with her mother and grandmother. Jenny Magnus directs for Flying Girl. "[S]ometimes Clower gets stuck in her metaphors. . . . Mostly, however, this 40-minute late-night show works; Clower's sleep-talking rings true, and her shocks of recognition make [her character's] obsessions wakingly real," said Reader critic Lawrence Bommer when he reviewed the piece's original run. 8 PM.

Man to Man

This program of two plays by Mark Guarino includes The Cool Down, about two baseball buddies--one straight and one gay--groping toward expressing a nonsexual intimacy, and When/What, about two lost people. "Despite serviceable performances, . . . Guarino's clipped, poetic lines are too contrived to shed much light on the characters" in The Cool Down, and When/What "is even more contrived and stilted. . . . Guarino seems to want to say something more about male intimacy in this second play, but given its cryptic dialogue, I can't fathom what it is," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. 10 PM.

SATURDAY, MARCH 7

The Strange

The Curious Theatre Branch presents Jenny Magnus and Amy Warren in Magnus's new play about "drunkenness and dreams, mimetics and idea infection, and innocence and experience." The play "epitomizes the kind of intelligent, demanding, mind-overhauling work the Rhino fests are famous for. Still struggling to emerge from the weight of overwriting, this is a play with a problem Magnus seems to have identified already: as the piece progresses, she strips it down to an essence, delivering a sobering punch," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. 8 PM.

Man to Man

See listing for Friday, March 6. 10 PM.

SUNDAY, MARCH 8

Partners and Franky

These two plays, by Salem Collo-Julin

and Sue Ann Jewers respectively, were written in a Curious School Writing Workshop. 2 PM.

The Hidden Chronicles and Ten Tongues

The festival's "Sundays at 7" series features "The Hidden Chronicles," a program of "art songs from the cabaret closet" by Beau O'Reilly and Michael Greenberg. Also featured is the poetry-percussion ensemble Ten Tongues. 7 PM.

MONDAY, MARCH 9

The Strange

See listing for Saturday, March 7. 8 PM.

TUESDAY, MARCH 10

Michael Zerang and Frederick Lonberg-Holm

The festival's "Tuesday Night Jazz" series features a program of duets. 8 PM.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11

Who's on 1st, Who's on 2nd? Working With Directors, Group Direction, and No Directors

The Curious Theatre Branch sponsors a panel discussion featuring Redmoon Theater's Jim Lasko, Theater Oobleck's Dave Buken, Dolphinback Theatre Company's KellyAnn Corcoran, and Raymond Bobgan of Cleveland's Theater Labyrinth. 8 PM.

THURSDAY, MARCH 12

October in the Railroad Earth

See listing for Thursday, March 5. 8 PM.

A Field Guide to Midwestern Charms and Curses

This production by Cleveland's Theater Labyrinth, written and performed by Mike Geither under the direction of Raymond Bobgan, examines "the secret life of a disillusioned postal worker." 9 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): A Field Guide to Midwestern Charms and Curses theater still.

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