Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind 

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At a time when some theater companies are wondering where they are going to find a new audience when their mostly over-60 subscriber base moves on to Miami or Phoenix, the Neo-Futurists' Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind continues to attract huge, loyal, enthusiastic audiences from the very demographic group that has proved most resistant to live theater: young, underemployed, student-loan-burdened baby busters. Mostly in their 20s (though some are conspicuously younger), they arrive at the Neo-Futurarium, a converted fraternal lodge above the Nelson Funeral Home, in twos and threes and fours, an hour or two before showtime. Dressed in jeans and comfortable shirts or sweaters, they take a table in the large lobby/recreation room set up just outside the auditorium, buy a cup of joe or an herbal tea from the Neo-Futurist snack bar, and make an evening of it. When the tables are taken, people begin sitting in clumps on the floor or hanging out in the hallways. They're not a cult audience in the Rocky Horror tradition--no one comes dressed in strange costumes--but they are attracted as much by the shared sense of community and the familiar Neo-Futurist rituals (rolling a die to determine admission price, being given a name tag with an absurd name on it at the door, the cast ordering a pizza for the audience whenever the show sells out) as they are by the show itself. It's been this way for five years, and there's no end in sight. To celebrate, the Neo-Futurists will perform a "Best of 1993" show December 3 through 12. Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 275-5255. Open run: Fridays-Saturdays, 11:30 PM; Sundays, 7 PM. $2 "plus the roll of a single six-sided die."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jim Alexander Newberry.

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