Barebacking–unprotected anal sex–has to be one of the most incendiary issues going for gay men. But writer-choreographer-performer Peter Carpenter tackles it in Bareback Into the Sunset, an hour-long nonlinear show with just a few characters: a thin white man seen early on in a hospital bed, a black woman narrator, and a health-care worker. The movement ranges from country line dancing to postmodern dance; what remains a constant is the slipperiness of the narrative. In Pirandellian fashion, the characters reflect aloud on the action and themselves and even seem to switch identities at times. But don’t think the show’s all work and no play–parts of it are funny, especially when Carpenter adopts the persona of a college professor giving a lecture. Waspish, irritable, and eventually highly emotional, he gives responses to “questions” (actually interludes of noise) that illuminate the feeling side of dangerous behavior. Opens Thu 9/14, 8 PM. Through 9/16: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan, 312-344-8300, $22-$26. Postshow discussion Thursday and preshow discussion Friday, both free to ticket holders.

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