Offered as an adjunct to the annual summer Rhinoceros Theater and Performance Festival, this monthlong showcase of fringe entertainment features mostly new work by such ensembles and individuals as the Curious Theatre Branch, Dolphinback Theatre Company, Ira Glass, Frank Melcori, Theater Oobleck, Jamie O’Reilly, Michael Smith, the Saint Ed Theatre Company, and John Starrs, among others. The festival runs through March 9 at three locations: the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. Lincoln; Link’s Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; and Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark. The phone number for reservations and information for all shows is 773-327-6666, ext. 3. Performances take place most nights (except Tuesdays), generally starting at 8 PM, as indicated in the listings below. (These listings are subject to change; audiences are advised to call the festival for late updates.) Tickets are $10 per show (except where noted in individual listings) or “pay what you can.”

The Reader lists festival offerings on a week-by-week basis; following is the schedule for February 13 through 20.


The Queen of Bakersfield & Other Tales of Dust & Moonlight Dolphinback Theatre Company’s artistic director KellyAnn Corcoran performs writer Greg Owens’s “loose collection of stories and songs [exploring] the well-mined world of trailer parks, beehive hairdos, and Elvis worship. To Owens’s credit, he also captures a far less discussed side of blue-collar life–its unwed mothers, suicidal depression, and diminishing job opportunities. But it’s very odd to see moments with the tang of truth side by side with scenes that are total bullshit,” says Reader critic Jack Helbig. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Points of Arrival: A Jean Donovan Journey Paul Amandes’s drama about Jean Donovan, a 27-year-old American Catholic lay worker who was murdered with three nuns in El Salvador in 1980, is directed by Beau O’Reilly for the Still Point Theatre Collective. Live Bait Theater, 8 PM.


3 Cuba Anti-Castro fanatic Jesse Helms might approve of this trilogy of theater pieces: two concern Cuban emigres in or on their way to America, the third depicts the Kennedy-era paranoid episode known as the Cuban missile crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis, by Frank Melcori, is a play about three American sailors on alert during the 1962 inci-dent; Beau O’Reilly directs. We Came All the Way From Cuba Just So You Could Dress Like This, adapted from Chicago Tribune writer Achy Obejas’s book about a 10-year-old Cuban girl’s journey to the U.S. in 1963, is staged by O’Reilly and Sharon Goepfort and performed by Goepfort. And Cuban Grouper, by Scott Turner, concerns a Cuban boat person trying to make his way to Florida in the 1990s; Paul Amandes directs. Live Bait Theater, 7 PM.

Pasiones–The Songs of the Spanish Civil War: 1936-1939 Folksingers Jamie O’Reilly and Michael Smith and director Peter Glazer weave traditional anthems from the Spanish civil war into a one-act theater piece. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Revolving Troubadors This group of solo artists offers an evening of short one-person pieces; the lineup varies from show to show, but participating performers include Greg Allen, Bryn Magnus, Abby Schachner, Gabrielle S. Kaplan, Antonio Sacre, and Judith Greer. Link’s Hall, 8 PM.

Seeing Red, Snow White, and Blue: A Psychoanalytic Musical Performance artist/psychologist Wylie Goodman explores “feminist and feminized notions of performance/love” in this multimedia solo piece, whose text is derived from Freud, Derrida, and The Rules. Lunar Cabaret, 10 PM.


3 Cuba See listing for Friday, February 14. Live Bait Theater, 7 PM.

The Queen of Bakersfield & Other Tales of Dust & Moonlight See listing for Thursday, February 13. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Angela Woodward’s Inner Life The Curious Theatre Branch revives and expands its stage adaptation of stories by Wisconsin writer Woodward. The program features “Mr. Distar,” about an encounter between two former college friends–a professor wrapped up in ivory-tower theorizing and a near-homeless woman who was replaced in her teaching position by a robot; “The Mayor,” Woodward’s tale about a politi-cian who tries to rouse his downcast constituents with an incongruously dark speech; and a new work, “Hypochondria.” Link’s Hall, 8 PM.

The Fever Dolphinback Theatre Com-pany’s production of Wallace Shawn’s one-man drama features Brad Light as an American beset by illness and conscience in a Latin American country. “The Fever is [an] angry, fanatical, . . . surprisingly sharp critique of privilege and class. . . . Brad Light . . . dives deep, performing Shawn’s monologue with such intensity that it’s impossible to take your eyes off him [as he] captures the anguish, disgust, guilt, and sputtering rage behind [the] words. And the effect is riveting,” says Reader critic Jack Helbig. Lunar Cabaret, 10 PM. Note: Tickets for both The Queen of Bakersfield & Other Tales of Dust & Moonlight and The Fever the same evening are $15 “or pay what you can.”


3 Cuba See listing for Friday, February 14. Live Bait Theater, 2 PM.

Angela Woodward’s Inner Life See listing for Saturday, February 15. Link’s Hall, 8 PM.

The Dumb Waiter The Saint Ed Thea-tre Company performs Harold Pinter’s early one-act. Live Bait Theater, 8 PM.


Jimmy’s Roomers: The Neighbor-hood Stories Veteran Chicago poet John Starrs performs tales of “a Catholic Irish Chicago not so long ago.” Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.


Babette’s Feast: A Play in Eight Courses Isak Dinesen’s story about a 19th-century French cook who escapes political unrest in Paris by resettling to a Norwegian village, is adapted by David Isaacson and performed by Theater Oobleck, which invites the audience to join the actors in ingesting a full meal. Note: Special reservations are required due to dinner seating: call 773-784-8983. The price for dinner and show is $17, “more if you’ve got it, free if you’re broke.” Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.


The Queen of Bakersfield & Other Tales of Dust & Moonlight See listing for Thursday, February 13. Lunar Cabaret, 8 PM.

Points of Arrival: A Jean Donovan Journey See listing for Thursday, February 13. Live Bait Theater, 8 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.