Unlike previous solo shows in which he’s played one outrageous character after another (such as Drinking in America and Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll), in Wake Up and Smell the Coffee the controversial monologuist Eric Bogosian reportedly jumbles his folks together. This approach should exploit the most interesting aspect of his writing–the profound ambivalence he feels about the street freaks and upper-class overachievers he so deftly and sardonically examines in his raw, sometimes raunchy slice-of-life sketches–while showcasing the vitality and range of the acting talent underlying his dynamic rock-star presence. Directed by Bogosian’s wife, Jo Bonney, Wake Up and Smell the Coffee is described as a “rant of epic proportions covering the decline of Western Civilization, God, and Michael Bolton.” It makes its one-night-only Chicago debut this weekend. Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 312-559-1212. Friday, November 8, 8 PM. $20.

–Albert Williams

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