This annual summer showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music used to be presented at multiple locations, but now all activities take place at a single venue: the Lunar Cabaret in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, home base of the Curious Theatre Branch, whose artistic director Beau O’Reilly is the event’s coordinator. But though the Rhino’s roaming grounds have been reined in this year, the beast’s appetite hasn’t been curtailed. The Rhino Fest, which takes its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic” (it means real big), still seeks to offer audiences a broad sampling of new, sometimes innovative work from the fringes of Chicago’s performing-arts community.

The eighth annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival opens Thursday, September 4, at the Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln, and runs through Sunday, September 28. Performances are generally Mondays at 8 PM, Thursdays at 8 and 9 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and 10 PM, and Sundays at 3 and 8 PM; consult the listings below for specific shows and times. All events are $10 or “pay what you can.” For more information, call 773-327-6666.

The Reader lists festival schedules (which are subject to last-minute change) on a week-by-week basis; following is the schedule for September 4 through 11.


Ten Tongues

Poet Cin Salach and musician Mark Messing, ex-members of the Loofah Method performance troupe, headline this evening of spoken word and music; also on the bill are musicians Mark Penner-Howell and Danny Faith. 8 PM.


Ten Tongues

See listing for Thursday, September 4. 8 PM.

Arrogant Living: My Critique Show

Jeff Dorchen and guest artists, including Cheryl Trykv and Rose Abdoo performing as Theater for the Age of Gold, present a theatrical collage of prepared pieces by Dorchen and others, including improvisation, puppetry, film, and music. A second installment, Arrogant Living: The Gramma Show, will be presented Friday, September 12. 10 PM.


Ten Tongues

See listing for Thursday, September 4. 8 PM.

Eddie: A Man in His Skin

Beau O’Reilly’s one-man show, presented by the Curious Theatre Branch, concerns a “nude run messiah” and his “ecstatic pursuit of a world that embraces the naked.” Musical accompaniment is provided by cellist Paul Leisen. 10 PM.


In Between

Theater Dank’s love story about a man who can fly and a woman who can walk on water employs puppets, clown actors, and found objects. 3 PM.

Eddie: A Man in His Skin

See listing for Saturday, September 6. 8 PM.


Surprise! It’s Theater

The Curious Theatre Branch’s Jenny Magnus moderates a discussion on “surprise in the theater,” featuring a panel of local artists and critics. 8 PM.


Insect and Western

“Punk-folk” banjo and guitar player Eugene Chadbourne headlines a concert and party. 10 PM.


Reciprocal Quantities: A Mathematical Study

Local Infinities presents Meghan Strell and Charlie Levin in “a comical duet for two women and their box.” 8 PM.

Strange Tales

Magician and performance artist David Parr presents an evening of theater and illusion, during which the audience is invited to take part in “a perplexing series of paranormal experiments.” 9 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Eddie: A Man in His Skin photo/ uncredited.