The 1995 Chicago Fringe Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

The 1995 Chicago Fringe Festival 

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Making its debut so soon after the demise of the International Theatre Festival of Chicago, this brand-new project seems to challenge the notion that the Windy City isn't hospitable to events of this kind. Producers John T. Mills and James Ellis hope to succeed where others have failed by offering a more sharply defined image implied by the word "fringe," more concentrated programming (more than two dozen acts in just 11 days, all in one venue with three different performance spaces), a special outreach to family audiences with its weekend "Kids' Fringe" (marked KF in daily listings below), low prices, and the inclusion of Chicago artists alongside visitors from around the English-speaking world.

The 1995 Chicago Fringe Festival runs June 15 through 25 at the Organic Theater Company, 3319 N. Clark; the phone number for ticket orders is 327-5588 (the Organic box office) or 902-1500 (Ticketmaster). The listings below specify which of the Organic's three theaters each show is in: the South Hall or Lab Theater, both located in the second-floor Organic Greenhouse, or the main stage, whose entrance is on Buckingham just east of Clark. Tickets range from $5 to $12 depending on the show; a $5 festival button gets you a $2 discount on all tickets as well as fest-approved merchandise.

Besides the shows listed below, a "Fringe Central" street festival will take place on Buckingham east of Clark on Saturday, June 17 and 24, and Sunday, June 18, from noon to 10 PM. The free fair will feature local entertainers as well as merchants hawking their wares.

The Reader will carry Fringe Festival listings on a week-by-week basis; here's the schedule for June 15 through 22.

THURSDAY, JUNE 15

The Hundredth Monkey

Neovaudevillian Danny Lord, a member of New York's Big Apple Circus, is the force behind the Polo Brothers, whose show promises "hit-and-run comedy." He's joined by stilt walker Priscilla Blight. Main stage, 5 PM. $12.

First Prize and Home Fries

Chicagoans Wendye Clarendon and R. John Roberts wrote this comedy about a longtime waitress who wins the lottery. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $10.

The Heart's Desire: Tales of Laughter, Loss & Love

Evanston storyteller Nancy Donoval's program features traditional and original stories. South Hall, 6 PM. $9.

Close to the Bone

Sensible Footwear, an all-woman trio of British expatriates now based in Toronto, "gleefully wade into waters most men (and carefully coiffed, soft-voiced stand-up babes like Rita Rudner) fear to tread. . . . [And] somehow Sensible Footwear's English accents make even the crudest jokes seem elegant. Even more appealing is the clever way they deliver their material like a chorus, sometimes splitting up jokes among the three of othem, other times competing for the most wicked punch line," says Reader critic Jack Helbig of this comedy show. Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $12.

Gloria Steinem Said "Some of Us Become the Men We Wanted to Marry" . . . Wendy Hopkins Is Tall Dark and Handsome

From Toronto comes this musical comedy by Wild Cycle Productions about the search for true love. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $8.

Illustrated Men

This Toronto-based comedy troupe has been playing clubs, theaters, and festivals around North America for more than eight years. Lab Theater, 9 PM. $12.

Short Hair/Real Job

Performance artist Jeff Bradley arrives from Windsor, Ontario, with a program of storytelling, clowning, object manipulation, and "non-offensive stand-up comedy and positive non-humiliating audience participation." South Hall, 9 PM. $12.

Fool

Englishman Jonathan Kay adopts the persona of a medieval jester for this evening of humor. Main stage, 10:30 PM. $12.

The Magician

"Magical Mystical Michael," who comes from Austin, Texas, performs a program of stage illusions. Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $10.

Plenty of Time--Tea Time With Lady Ettie

Carol Black, based in Arlington, Texas, adopts the role of a fun-loving eccentric in this program of Renaissance storytelling. South Hall, 10:30 PM. $5.

FRIDAY, JUNE 16

The Hundredth Monkey

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 6 PM. $12.

Sykes and Nancy

London's Oddbodies duo performs a Dickensian collage inspired by the novelist's dramatic readings of his own works. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $12.

Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables

Where's Edward Everett Horton when you need him? The Just Desserts Fairy Tale Players from Boston perform their original comic variations on the time-tested stories. South Hall, 6 PM. $10.

Close to the Bone

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $12.

Gloria Steinem Said "Some of Us Become the Men We Wanted to Marry" . . . Wendy Hopkins Is Tall Dark and Handsome

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $8.

Illustrated Men

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 9 PM. $12.

Fakes, Frauds, and TV Magic

Chicagoans William Pack and Bill Weimer--aka Two Guys Named Bill--perform comedy and magic. South Hall, 9 PM. $9.

The Magician

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $10.

You're Not the Boss of Me

This Chicago improv troupe features alumni of the Second City training program. South Hall, 10:30 PM. $6.

Joyride

This surrealistic comedy by Laura McGhee about a young woman "in search of validation in modern-day society" is presented by McManic Productions from Toronto. Lab Theater, midnight. $10.

Scott & Meg--Tonight as 6

"Meg Martin and Scott Prendergast, a young-and-coming comedy team, are fast, fluid, quirkily eloquent improvisers well worth watching. Their late-night offering showcases an awesome ability to work and play together as they create six full characters inspired by audience interviews in 75 minutes," says Reader critic Lawrence Bommer of this Chicago-based show. South Hall, midnight. $7.

SATURDAY, JUNE 17

Rumpelstiltskin

The famous folktale is performed by the Kathy Burks Marionette Theatre from Plano, Texas--the oldest resident puppet troupe in the southwest. Main stage, 11 AM. $9. (KF)

In Concert

Dave Herzog's Marionettes perform a musical variety show for kids. Lab Theater, noon. $8. (KF)

Peter Rabbit and Friends

Beatrix Potter's tales of a funny bunny are performed by the Emanon Theater Company of Evanston. South Hall, noon. $7. (KF)

In Uffish Thought

Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky" is dramatized by Jordan River Productions from Ellettsville, Indiana. Main stage, 1 PM. $8. (KF)

Fakes, Frauds, and TV Magic

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 1:30 PM. $9. (KF)

Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables

See listing for Friday, June 16. South Hall, 1:30 PM. $10. (KF)

The Hundredth Monkey

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 3 PM. $12. (KF)

Fool

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 3 PM. $12. (KF)

Tea Time With Lady Ettie

Carol Black offers a children's version of her storytelling performance Plenty of Time--Tea Time With Lady Ettie (see listing for Thursday, June 15). South Hall, 3 PM. $5. (KF)

Will and Testament

Chicago actor Fredric Stone draws on plays and sonnets of Shakespeare for this one-man show about a dead performer who goes to theater heaven and gets to audition for the bard himself. South Hall, 4:30 PM. $9. (KF)

Butterflies and Spiders

See Critic's Choice. Main stage, 5 PM. $10. (KF)

Joyride

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $10.

Faulty Wiring

This comedy team cites Chicago's ImprovOlympic as its training ground. South Hall, 6 PM. $10.

Close to the Bone

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $12.

Gloria Steinem Said "Some of Us Become the Men We Wanted to Marry" . . . Wendy Hopkins Is Tall Dark and Handsome

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $8.

The Magician

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 9 PM. $10.

Short Hair/Real Job

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 9 PM. $12.

Sheila's Giant Wall of Plot Twists

The Chicago comedy group Sheila invites the audience to determine the direction of its improvised plays by choosing from among 30 plot twists hanging on the wall. Reader critic Jack Helbig praises "the intelligent, confident way [the] performers play with their long-form improvisations, taking the sort of risks that would trip up less experienced troupes." Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $7.

66 Intimacies

A couple's personal conflict is set against the sweeping social upheaval of mid-1960s America in this play by Gregory Lyle-Newton, presented by Seattle's Blackvaliant Productions. South Hall, 10:30 PM. $10.

A Spoonful of Sugar

This drama about "the darker side of psychiatry" is presented by Fara Spence Productions from Nova Scotia. Lab Theater, midnight. $9.

You're Not the Boss of Me

See listing for Friday, June 16. South Hall, midnight. $6.

SUNDAY, JUNE 18

Rumpelstiltskin

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Main stage, 11 AM. $9. (KF)

Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, noon. $10. (KF)

Peter Rabbit and Friends

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, noon. $7. (KF)

In Uffish Thought

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Main stage, 1 PM. $8. (KF)

The Magician

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 1:30 PM. $10. (KF)

Tea Time With Lady Ettie

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 1:30 PM. $5. (KF)

Sykes and Nancy

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 3 PM. $12. (KF)

Brave Hearts and Faithful Friends

Evanston storyteller Nancy Donoval performs tales from around the world. South Hall, 3 PM. $6. (KF)

Rumpelstiltskin

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Main stage, 3:30 PM. $9. (KF)

First Prize and Home Fries

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 4:30 PM. $10. (KF)

Peter Rabbit and Friends

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 4:30 PM. $7. (KF)

The Hundredth Monkey

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 5:30 PM. $12. (KF)

Illustrated Men

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $12.

Kaspar in Babylon

Also known as Punch, Kaspar is a traditional hero of European puppetry; he's transported to contemporary America in this new puppet piece by Chicagoans Kirsten Rengren and Lisa Barcy. South Hall, 6 PM. $9.

Butterflies and Spiders

See Critic's Choice. Main stage, 7 PM. $10.

The Magician

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $10.

Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables

See listing for Friday, June 16. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $10.

Fool

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 8:30 PM. $12.

Joyride

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 9 PM. $10.

66 Intimacies

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 9 PM. $10.

A Spoonful of Sugar

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Main stage, 10:30 PM. $9.

Sheila's Giant Wall of Plot Twists

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $7.

MONDAY, JUNE 19

First Prize and Home Fries

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $10.

The Heart's Desire: Tales

of Laughter, Loss & Love

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 6 PM. $9.

Butterflies and Spiders

See Critic's Choice. Main stage, 7 PM. $10.

Sykes and Nancy

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $12.

Will and Testament

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $9.

Beyond Cute and Ugly: The Autobiography of R. Chumleigh

Neovaudevillian Reverend Chumleigh, based on Camano Island, Washington, performs a program of off-kilter comedy. Main stage, 8:30 PM. $12.

A Spoonful of Sugar

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Lab Theater, 9 PM. $9.

Short Hair/Real Job

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 9 PM. $12.

Fool

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 10 PM. $12.

You're Not the Boss of Me

See listing for Friday, June 16. South Hall, 10:30 PM. $6.

Sheila's Giant Wall of Plot Twists

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Lab Theater, 11 PM. $7.

TUESDAY, JUNE 20

Joyride

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $10.

Plenty of Time--Tea Time With Lady Ettie

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 6 PM. $5.

Fool

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 6:30 PM. $12.

Sykes and Nancy

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $12.

Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables

See listing for Friday, June 16. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $10.

Butterflies and Spiders

See Critic's Choice. Main stage, 8:30 PM. $10.

Illustrated Men

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 9 PM. $12.

66 Intimacies

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 9 PM. $10.

A Spoonful of Sugar

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Main stage, 10 PM. $9.

Short Hair/Real Job

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $12.

Kaspar in Babylon

See listing for Sunday, June 18. South Hall, 10:30 PM. $9.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21

In Uffish Thought

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Main stage, 5 PM. $8.

First Prize and Home Fries

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $10.

Plenty of Time--Tea Time With Lady Ettie

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 6 PM. $5.

Close to the Bone

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 7:30 PM. $12.

Gloria Steinem Said "Some of Us Become the Men We Wanted to Marry" . . . Wendy Hopkins Is Tall Dark and Handsome

See listing for Thursday, June 15. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $8.

Joyride

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 9 PM. $10.

Will and Testament

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 9 PM. $9.

Fool

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 10:30 PM. $12.

Illustrated Men

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Lab Theater, 10:30 PM. $12.

Kaspar in Babylon

See listing for Sunday, June 18. South Hall, 10:30 PM. $9.

THURSDAY, JUNE 22

The Hundredth Monkey

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 6 PM. $12.

A Spoonful of Sugar

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Lab Theater, 6 PM. $9.

Will and Testament

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 6 PM. $9.

Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables

See listing for Friday, June 16. South Hall, 7:30 PM. $10.

Sykes and Nancy

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 8 PM. $12.

66 Intimacies

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 9 PM. $10.

Joyride

See listing for Friday, June 16. Lab Theater, 9:30 PM. $10.

Fool

See listing for Thursday, June 15. Main stage, 10:30 PM. $12.

Faulty Wiring

See listing for Saturday, June 17. South Hall, 10:30 PM. $10.

Sheila's Giant Wall of Plot Twists

See listing for Saturday, June 17. Lab Theater, 11 PM. $7.

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