The Junk Show | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Junk Show 

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One person's trash is Kate Sheehy's treasure--and a treat for anyone who likes their puppetry and performance art compelling, fresh, and homemade. Sheehy curated "The Junk Show" at Link's Hall and conceived and directed the festival's signature piece, Junk Farm, an episodic parable of urban sprawl, deforestation, depersonalization, and exploitation featuring miniature shadow puppets, found objects, and a seven-member ensemble of "worker ants." Looking like a cross between Devo and Xena, the ants move in goofy synchronization as they lay down railroad tracks and push a Fisher-Price farm and its Auntie Em-like proprietress onto a junk heap, intoning, "All that's slow is useless. We will throw it in this pit." Guest artists add to the fun, utilizing marionettes, clowning, music, and video; a crowd favorite the night I attended was Andrew Ziegler and Andrew Hanson's Ivan & Kiki: A Bird and a Cloud, an oddly poignant tale about an old man of the sea and the barmaid who loves him. In addition to Junk Farm, this weekend's lineup includes the debut of the Living Room Project's multimedia Trash Angel and a piece derived from Rimbaud's A Season in Hell by a new dance-performance collective, Moxy. There was nothing slick, glitzy, or pretentious in what I saw--just a love for the weird poetry of everyday detritus. Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824. Through April 22: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 7 PM. $10.

--Kerry Reid

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Danielle Paz.

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