Rhinoceros Theater Festival

This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music takes its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic” (it means real big). Traditionally dedicated to presenting new, sometimes innovative work by Chicago performing-arts groups, the fest this year also features artists from Germany’s Freiwild Festival; several programs feature pairings of local and German performers.

The Rhinoceros Theater Festival runs September 11 through October 17 at the Lunar Cabaret, 2827 N. Lincoln, 773-327-6666. Consult the listings below for specific shows and times. All events are $10 or “pay what you can.” The Reader lists festival schedules (which are subject to last-minute change) on a week-by-week basis; following is the schedule for September 11 through 17.


Small Together

Chicago’s Curious Theatre Branch presents a play by Bryn Magnus. “Like a pointillistic painting, . . . Magnus’s apocalyptic comedy makes more sense once you step back from it. With distance and contemplation, the seemingly disparate elements fuse to form a compelling if not always coherent whole. Part Faustian allegory, part anticorporate screed, and part critique of the American family unit, the work concerns a trio of misfits united by their love and worship of one woman. . . . Exploding with giddy wordplay and inventive satire, Small Together is a refreshingly pretentious and complex play. . . . Yet it seems very much a work in progress. Static, overwritten in spots, and tentatively performed at times, this promising play begs for . . . someone to trim some of the gleeful prose and structure it into the potent satire it could become,” said Reader critic Adam Langer when he reviewed the show’s original run. 8 PM.

Perfect Copy/Invasion of Desire . . .

Theater Oobleck veteran Mickle Maher’s new group, Theater Three, presents two plays about “weak and corrupt members of our community made so weak by their corruption they’re unable to retaliate in any way.” 10 PM.


Mother’s Day

Chicago’s Dolphinback Theatre Company presents writer-actor KellyAnn Corcoran in a one-woman show about family relationships. 8 PM.

Yo, Bukowski!

The Larry Jones Ensemble presents a poetic concert based on the writings of Charles Bukowski. 10 PM.


Toni Geiling and Andrew Bird

Two violinists–one a visiting German, the other local–share the stage for an afternoon of fiddling. 3 PM.

My Murder and Other Local News: 3 Performance Pieces Linked by Voice, Persona, and Me

Chicago storyteller David Schein performs a one-man show. 7 PM.

Der Geier, In Russland nennt man die Steppen Tundra oder Taiga,

and Der Tribun

The German multimedia ensemble KlangbŸhne Guricht presents two experimental productions. Der Geier (“The Vulture”) draws on the myth of Prometheus; In Russland nennt man die Steppen Tundra oder Taiga (“In Russia They Call the Steppes Tundra”), described as “a lesson in tap dance,” features hoofer Eike Gorecka; and Der Tribun (“The Tribune”), performed in English, satirically portrays a political leader making a speech to a democratic nation. 8 PM.


Books on Tape

The Penlight Theatre presents Chicago playwright Eric Ziegenhagen’s one-man multimedia concert. 8 PM.

Yo, Bukowski!

See listing for 10 PM Saturday. 9 PM.


Jamie O’Reilly and Katrin Harff

Vocalists Harff and O’Reilly team up for a cabaret evening. Harff, a visiting artist from Germany, sings songs by Bertolt Brecht; O’Reilly, a Chicagoan, offers Hello, Dali, a program of songs inspired by the visual arts (the multimedia program features selections by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Michael Smith). 8 PM.


Laughs of Steel . . . a Workout for Your Diaphragm

Chicago monologuist-accordionist Dana Block performs a one-woman show. 8 PM.

Der Geier, In Russland nennt man die Steppen Tundra oder Taiga, and Der Tribun

See listing for 8 PM Sunday. 9 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Small Together photo by Chris Dimmicy.