The Rhino in Winter | Festival | Chicago Reader

The Rhino in Winter 

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Offered as an adjunct to the annual summer Rhinoceros Theatre Festival, this monthlong showcase of fringe performance features work by the likes of locals Jenny Magnus, Beau O'Reilly, Frank Melcori, David Isaacson, Scott Turner, and James Schneider. The fest runs through March 2 at the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. Lincoln, 327-6666. Shows take place almost every night and there are matinees most weekends, as indicated in the listings below (which are subject to change; audiences are advised to call the festival for updates). Tickets are $7 per show (except where noted in individual listings) or $10 for two shows.

The Reader lists festival offerings on a week-by-week basis; following is the schedule for February 8 through 15.

Thursday, February 8

Starrs at Lunar

Veteran poet John Starrs offers the first of a weekly series of spoken-word performances. 7 PM.

The Sad Ballad of Johnny Reb and His Beautiful Wife Cecil

Playwright-actor Scott Turner's one-man show combines songs and storytelling to create a "chilling portrait of a gun-toting, wife-abusing loser gone feral," said Reader critic Jack Helbig when he reviewed the performance last year. 9 PM.

Friday, February 9

The Julieannes

"Boyfriends are dissected and digested" when two women with the same name meet, in the Curious Theatre Branch's production of Bryn Magnus's new play. The play "opens with all the dazzling linguistic turns and imaginative leaps that have solidified Magnus's reputation among the off-off-off-Loop crowd, [but] fizzles into an oddly dispassionate jumble," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. 8 PM.

Betty's Mouth

Cin Salach and Sheila Donahue, described as "singers of spoken word," deliver performance poetry. 10 PM.

Saturday, February 10

The Snow Queen

A cast of kids and grown-ups perform Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, featuring an original score by folk composer Michael Smith. 2 PM.

The Trips: A Madras Parable

Jenny Magnus's performance piece--the third in a series of mysteriously titled "Madras Parables," each performed with long-time artistic and romantic collaborator Beau O'Reilly--"actually represents two journeys at once. In one Magnus and O'Reilly take a long, aimless road trip together and drive each other crazy. In the other they travel through their scripts, sorting through what they've projected on each other and what they expect, wondering if two people so intimately intertwined can ever really know each other. Ingeniously, the performers maintain both realities with equal fervency and hilarity....The result is a playful yet exquisitely formal hallucination...performed by the subtlest, hippest comedy team in town," says Reader critic Justin Hayford. 8 PM.

Bleeding Clear

See Critic's Choice. 9 PM.

The Box, the Chair, and the Blade

Lisa Wax, Michelle Kreamer, and Donna Schudel offer an evening of performance. 10:30 PM.

Sunday, February 11

Bleeding Clear

See Critic's Choice. 3 PM.

The Box, the Chair, and the Blade

See listings for Saturday, February 10. 8 PM.

Monday, February 12

The Third Degrees of J.O. Breeze

"The menacing but relentlessly personable J.O. Breeze...interviews applicants for a mysterious job that somehow holds the promise of salvation for all mankind" in Beau O'Reilly's "stunningly staged, exquisitely performed two-act investigation of the limits of love and compassion," said Reader critic Justin Hayford when he originally reviewed this Curious Theatre Branch production. 8 PM.

Tuesday, February 13

The Spy Was in Stitches: The Further Adventures of Secret Agent Man

David Isaacson performs his new parody of post-Cold War capitalist competition, the sequel to his 1991 The Spy Threw His Voice: A Plagiarism in Two Acts. 8 PM. $7; "more if you've got it, free if you're broke."

Wednesday, February 14

Someone's in the Kitchen With Mommy

Ruth Oliver performs a one-woman evening of "Appalachian storytelling, snapshot by snapshot while the biscuits are baking." 8 PM.

Danny and His Things in a Box: A visual noise pastiche, he said as they reached for their guns

Theater Oobleck's Danny Thompson teams up with Ler Noot Fiesta for a new "extravaganza." 9 PM. $7; "more if you've got it, free if you're broke."

Thursday, February 15

Starrs at Lunar

Poet John Starr's weekly series of spoken-word performances continues with guest artist Judith S. Greer. 7 PM.

The Sad Ballad of Johnny Reb and His Beautiful Wife Cecile

See listing for Thursday, February 8. 9 PM.

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