Neo-Futurists’ Tenth Anniversary Benefit

The beauty of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and the reason it’s survived for so long, is that the show is designed to be a living entity, changing week by week. I’m not just talking about routine shifts in the cast or variations in the performance–every week new short plays are written and rotated in, and older, less successful ones are rotated out. The Neo-Futurists even have a weekly ritual–throwing a die before the Friday and Saturday night shows–that determines how many new plays, from 2 to 12, they must write for the next week. This willful, loving embrace of change is the most Futurist thing about the ensemble–which otherwise would be repelled, I think, by Filippo Marinetti’s crypto- (and not so crypto-) fascism. The show I saw last weekend was every bit as inspired and entertaining as anything I saw in the early days of the Bush administration. No wonder it continues to attract so many novelty-loving young audience members and so many repeat viewers, some of whom have seen it hundreds of times. The Neo-Futurists celebrate their longevity with a benefit in keeping with their aesthetic of diversity and constant change: it features “30 Bands in 60 Minutes” (yup); performances by poet Marc Smith and Neo-Futurists past and present; a film written by Greg Kotis; and games, a raffle, food, drink, and “surprises.” See listing for complete schedule. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 773-275-5255. Wednesday, September 16, 7 PM. $30-$100. –Jack Helbig

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