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Rhinoceros Theater Festival 

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This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago's fringe began as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest; now it's produced by the Curious Theatre Branch. Taking its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali's use of the term "rhinocerontic" (it means real big), the Rhino Fest, now in its 11th year, features shows by such local notables as Theater for the Age of Gold, the Billy Goat Experiment, Blair Thomas, Antonio Sacre, John Musial, and Theater Oobleck in addition to the Curious folks.

The Rhinoceros Theater Festival runs September 1 through October 14 at the Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln; additional performances take place September 12 through 27 at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs' Storefront Theater, located in the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph. Admission to all shows is $10 or "pay what you can"; for information and reservations, call 773-327-6666.

Following is the schedule for September 1 through 7, based on information available Monday.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Geek Love

Theater for the Age of Gold presents a musical by Jeff Dorchen and Jeff Kowalkowski, which explores themes of "dismembered body image and identity." Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Something Made Up

Monologuist Barrie Cole tries her hand at playwriting with this tale of a woman and a man whose worldviews are altered by a book on ventriloquism and a bottle of oregano respectively. Directed by Cole and Eric Ziegenhagen, the production features Julie Caffey and Doug Stapleton. Lunar Cabaret, 10 PM.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2

Chameleon With a Stigmata

Former stand-up comic Sue Cargill wrote this dark comedy about a self-effacing woman whose new apartment is inhabited by a human-sized bright red chameleon whose inability to change his colors contrasts with the woman's tendency to blend in with her surroundings. Anna Bahow directs. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Lily

This fact-based drama recounts the experiences of a group of girls who formed a bond of friendship in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp after the deaths of their families. It's presented by the Stillpoint Theater Collective. Lunar Cabaret, 10 PM.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

Chameleon With a Stigmata

See listing for 8 PM Saturday. Lunar Cabaret, 3 PM.

Evening at Club Means

This "didactic cabaret in 17 scenes," written and performed by Stephanie Kulke with the input of Jenny Magnus and director Kerstin Broockman, finds a nightclub hostess recalling her German-American heritage.

Lunar Cabaret, 7 PM.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

Until One Day I Run Out of Teeth and The Secret Thoughts of Clowns

The American Monster Theater presents two plays by Carey Friedman; the ensemble includes Lance Baker, Michael Stumm, and Kathleen Powers. The first is a study of a woman and a man in a hotel room; the second is described as "a modern-day horror tale about a guy, a girl, and a government."

Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 5

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Ian Belknap, in the role of Mephistopheles, hosts a program of monologues about the seven deadly sins. The performance is part of a weekly series in which each show features a different lineup of sins, portrayed by a rotating ensemble that includes Jenny Magnus, Bryn Magnus, Lusia Strus, Susan Messing, Matt Kaye, Rose Abdoo, and others.

Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

Carving Wood and Midwest Parking

The first play on this double bill is a comedy by Nicole Kupper about a woman obsessed with Ping-Pong and her relationship with her daughter and the daughter's fiance; the second, presented by Cougar Cougar Productions, is a comedy by writer-director Mike Hansel.

Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

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