The Rhinoceros Theater Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

The Rhinoceros Theater Festival 

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This showcase of avant-garde theater in Chicago is coordinated by Scott Turner, Valerie Turner, Jim Krulish, and John Oartel--with a bow to Salvador Dali, whose use of the term "rhinocerontic" (it means real big) inspired the event's name. It runs through August 30 at four venues: Latino Chicago Theater Company (the Firehouse, 1625 N. Damen); Theatre of the Reconstruction (the Garage, 1843 W. North); Curious Theatre Branch (1900 W. North); and the Holstein Park field house (2200 N. Oakley). Holstein Park is the site of free performances presented under the auspices of the Bucktown Arts Fest; other shows are priced at $7 per ticket, $25 for four tickets, $36 for six tickets, or $50 for ten tickets. The phone number for all information is 235-1944. Following is the schedule for August 27 through 30:

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27

THE CASE OF WAGNER Hitler's favorite composer debates the philosopher Nietzsche, in this meditation on aesthetics, philosophy, and fascism by Warren Leming. It's presented by the Chicago Cabaret Ensemble. (Theatre of the Reconstruction, 8 PM)

HIDE THAT HEAD--CURIOUS BITS The Curious Theatre Branch ensemble performs a program of monologues and short works, interwoven with vignettes by Jenny Magnus. (Curious Theatre Branch, 8 PM)

LAS TOALLITAS This "gypsy circus band in search of a circus to play with" blends funk, jazz, and Latin American musical styles; for this engagement the group is exploring a more theatrical, characterbased format in which to ground its sound. (Theatre of the Reconstruction, 10 PM)

A PERFECT ANALYSIS GIVEN BY A PARROT and THE DIMMED HEART Pentimento Pictures' "deft rendition of Tennessee Williams's perfectly constructed short play, A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot, cuts deep into the hearts of...two soon-to-be old maids (circa 1930)....The Dimmed Heart, [Patricia] Duff's short dance/drama about a bohemian whose cozy life is interrupted when her drug-addicted neighbor...comes begging for money,...evolves into a contemporary fable addressing the pertinent issues of drug abuse, homelessness, and philanthropy," writes Reader critic Maura Troester. (Curious Theatre Branch, 10 PM)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 28

THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET See Critic's Choice. (Latino Chicago, 8 PM)

A NEWSPAPER TRAGEDY PUPPET SHOW Redmoon Theater employs puppets of all sizes and cardboard cutouts as well as masked actors to tell "an objectionable story of contemporary relevance." (Theatre of the Reconstruction, 8 PM)

LA VACHE SAUVAGE and LANA SMOKING These two solo pieces were mounted in June at the Free Street Theater. Reviewing that production, Reader critic Maura Troester wrote: "Dana Block's La Vache Sauvage has some holes in the story, but Block's strong acting carries the piece...[which] centers around the true story of a cow that escaped from a slaughterhouse in a small French town and took refuge in a bakery...Written by Tanya White and performed by Michelle Banks, Lana Smoking is about sex...from a distinctly female, African American perspective....White explores the different faces of eroticism, not necessarily telling us that this is how it ought to be but providing an alluring alternative." (Curious Theatre Branch, 8 PM)

THE CASE OF WAGNER See listing under Thursday, August 27. (Latino Chicago, 10 PM)

VOICES FROM L.A. You may have heard it called a riot, but the violence that exploded in the wake of the Rodney King trial was actually "the LA. Rebellion," according to publicity describing this Zebra Crossing Theatre production. Taking her text from actual interviews, actress Catherine Slade portrays a cross section of people involved in the event, in this work-in-progress directed by Joann Shapiro. (Theatre of the Reconstruction, 10 PM)

MEDEA Revenge is tasty for the title character, a sorceress who punishes her unfaithful husband by serving him his children on a plate. Euripides' tragedy is performed by Steele Productions, whose specialty is fusing movement, mask, and puppetry techniques. (Curious Theatre Branch, 10 PM)

SATURDAY, AUGUST 29

KINGDOM--ANIMALIA; PHYLUM--ARTHROPOD The Math new-music ensemble, which employs found objects and traditional instruments, takes on the persona of "a class, order, family, genus, and species of insectachilopodas having a sprawling body and several heads, six, eight, or ten legs, distinct eyes, and metal antennae with 17 joints" in this performance piece. Presented as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest's theater showcase. Free. (Holstein Park, 1 PM)

THE CASE OF WAGNER See listing under Thursday, August 27. Presented as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest's theater showease. Free. (Holstein Park, 3:30 PM)

LA VACHE SAUVAGE and LANA SMOKING See listing under Friday, August 28. (Latino Chicago, 8 PM)

VOICES FROM L.A. See listing under Friday, August 28. (Theatre of the Reconstruction, 8 PM)

HOWARD HUGHES The legendary gazillionaire and recluse is portrayed by Glenn Bugala in the Amicus Theatre's one-man show. (Curious Theatre Branch, 8 PM)

A PERFECT ANALYSIS GIVEN BY A PARROT and THE DIMMED HEART See listing under Thursday, August 27. (Latino, Chicago, 10 PM)

A NEWSPAPER TRAGEDY PUPPET SHOW See listing under Friday, August 28. (Theatre of the Reconstruction, 10 PM)

CLOSING PARTY featuring live music by Las Toallitas and Maestro Subgum and the Whole. $5; free for Rhino Fest participants. (Theatre of the Reconstruction, midnight)

SUNDAY, AUGUST 30

SLASH/WORD More performance pieces from Jenny Magnus and the Curious Theatre Branch, in the same vein as Hide That Head--Curious Bits (see listing under Thursday, August 27). Presented as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest's theater showcase. Free. (Holstein Park, 1 PM)

DATES WITHOUT CHICKS Scott Turner wrote this comedy about two guys pondering the ways of women. Reviewing the Theatre of the Reconstruction's production earlier this summer, Reader critic Adam Langer called the play "predictable and excessively preachy," but said that "Turner's ear for dialogue is sharp, and the rapid-fire repartee is often hilarious and true." Presented as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest's theater showcase. Free. (Holstein Park, 3:30 PM)

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

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Agenda Teaser

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