Live Bait Theater’s seventh annual showcase of one-person performances features old and new work by a slew of fringe artists. The fest runs through August 25 at Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark; performances take place in the theater’s main-stage and Bucket spaces. Tickets are $10 per show; a festival pass to all shows costs $30, and a pass to the two “Live Bait Bucket Solo Sampler” shows is $15. Call 773-871-1212 for reservations (tickets are also available on-line at; check for more information.


Live Bait Bucket Solo Sampler #1: Seeking and Hiding

David Kodeski hosts an evening of short solo performances (ten minutes max) by Karin McKie, Kristin Garrison, Michael Lehrer, Lotti Pharriss, and Beth Ann Bryant-Richards. Bucket, 7:30 PM.


James Grigsby Memorial

This tribute to the late performance artist James Grigsby–whose 1988 solo show Terminal Madness was Live Bait’s first production–features music, readings from Grigsby’s work, and a screening of his film Trust Me. Main stage, 6:30 PM.

Live Bait Bucket Solo Sampler #2: Image, Bodies and Risk

Edward Thomas-Herrera hosts a program of short solo performances (ten minutes max) by Jamie Black, Diane Dorsey, Mark Gagne, Judith Harding, Carrie Kaufman, and Ron Kelly. Bucket, 7:30 PM.

Battle Scars

This program “ties together two pieces with little in common. Lotti Pharriss’s Fear Itself is much the stronger, as Pharriss–in gas mask and apron festooned with alarming press clippings–explores the way irrational fears suddenly became rational on September 11. A convert to Catholicism (she calls it ‘the perfect religion for people with OCD’), she’s an appealing performer with a gift for the loopy….But unfortunately she fails to address the costs of being paralyzed by fear….Still, hers is an original voice. Beth Ann Bryant-Richards can’t seem to decide whether she wants Daddy Died for His Country to be about her father’s influence on her, his difficult adaptation to civilian life, or his death by leukemia resulting from radiation exposure at Hiroshima. She’s a fine mimic, [but she] has nothing new to say about nuclear weapons,…and her claim of victim status for her career-military father, on par with Japanese civilians, is in questionable taste,” says Reader critic Kelly Kleiman. Main stage, 8 PM.

Tastes Like Chicken

Jonathan Pereira’s comic monologue “flirts with issues of racial identity, but [its] final thoughts on the irrationality of prejudice feel more random than conclusive. Still, [Pereira is] a mesmerizing performer with a gift for physical comedy and the courage to structure a monologue in a highly unconventional manner,” says Reader critic Justin Hayford. Bucket, 11 PM.


James Grigsby Memorial

See listing for Friday, August 23. Main stage, 6:30 PM.

Battle Scars

See listing for Friday, August 23. Main stage, 8 PM.

Are You There, God? It’s Me, Kristin

Kristin Garrison offers her piece about being a teenager in the 1970s. “Garrison is…a major-league performer [who] shows she can claim a room. Whether holding forth onstage or dashing through the theater’s aisles, she seems to be with her audience rather than performing at us or even to us….Although at times her methodical approach results in rather labored pacing, for the most part Garrison captivates by the sheer ingenuity of her wit. Now she needs to make more sense of her disjointed musings…. For her material to be as memorable as she is, [she] needs to rely more on structure than on quirks,” says Reader critic Justin Hayford. Bucket, 8:30 PM.

My Dirty Little Secret

Marianna Runge’s monologue, directed by Don Regal, explores her conflicted relationship with Catholicism as well as her experiences as a phone sex operator. “Runge explores her mammoth topic–the quest for faith–in discrete, manageable, uninflated episodes. As a result the material never feels forced, though Runge’s performance is at times a bit mannered. Fortunately her writing never is: she dispenses with literary flourishes to focus on incidental details that capture a mood or convey a psychological state,” says Reader critic Justin Hayford. Bucket, 11 PM.


James Grigsby Memorial

See listing for Friday, August 23. Main stage, 3 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Joe L. Davis.