This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe, coproduced by Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr, runs through 11/4. This year features “The Madelyn Trilogy” by Beau O’Reilly (Idris Goodwin’s “The Danger Face Trilogy” has completed its run). Admission is $15 or “pay what you can,” except where noted. Performances take place at the Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston, and the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, and elsewhere as noted below. An installation by Jamie Rey, Reconciliation, will be up in the Prop’s lobby for the course of the festival, along with a display of memorabilia of early off-Loop theater curated by Rick Paul. For information and reservations, call 773-539-7838 or visit

The Big Palaver The festival concludes with an evening of new work by Mickle Maher, Jimmy Carrane, Bryn Magnus, Audrey Niffenegger, Jeff Dorchen, and others. Beau O’Reilly and Jenny Magnus host. a Sun 11/4, 3 PM, School of the Art Institute, ballroom, 112 S. Michigan, $20.

Black Box–A Play Crash The Billy Goat Experiment Theatre perform their play within a play in the tradition of the Marx Brothers. a Through 10/25: Thu 7 PM, Athenaeum Theatre.

The Great Cicada Letdown and Other Natural Disruptions That coyote in Quizno’s and other collisions between nature and the city are explored in this series of monologues and songs from the Magpies. a Fri-Sat 10/19-10/20, 9:30 PM, Athenaeum Theatre.

Madelyn Dangles the Noose The first part of Beau O’Reilly’s “The Madelyn Trilogy” introduces the McGuffin siblings at the funeral of Madelyn Glass, who was married to two of the brothers before committing suicide. O’Reilly has a unique feeling for the weird yet lyrical. The first two acts complement each other, but the third seems largely unnecessary. (JHa) a Fri 10/19, 6:30 PM, Fri 10/26, 7 PM, Athenaeum Theatre. $15; $20 for the full trilogy.

The McGuffins Run the 440 “The Madelyn Trilogy” continues the tale of the McGuffin siblings. This spare, efficient play is nearly perfect. I can’t recall a more satisfying two and a half hours I’ve spent in the theater. (JHa) a Sat 10/20, 6:30 PM, Sat 10/27, 7 PM, Athenaeum Theatre. $15; $20 for the full trilogy.

Hitting the Bricks “The Madelyn Trilogy” concludes. The final play veers toward absurdism. I spent three hours wondering which way was up. (JHa) a Sun 10/21, 5 PM, Sun 10/28, 7 PM, Athenaeum Theatre. $15; $20 for the full trilogy.

Mixtape Collision Theatre Company perform their “visual and aural theatrical expression” about the perfect track list. a Through 10/25: Wed-Thu 9 PM, Athenaeum Theatre.

Trash The politics of waste management is the subject of Matt Rieger’s play, presented by Illegal Drama. a Through 10/24: Wed 7 PM, Athenaeum Theatre.

Untitled Work in Progress Vicki Walden plans to use video clips and live actors in her piece. a 10/20-10/28: Sat-Sun 3 PM, Athenaeum Theatre.