Rhinoceros Theater Festival

This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe takes its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic” (it means real big). The Rhinoceros Theater Festival runs 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 October 9 through 13.


Laughs of Steel . . . a Workout for Your Diaphragm

Monologuist-accordionist Dana Block performs a one-woman show. “You’ve got to have something to offer if you’re going to wade into the crowded pool of autobiographical solo performance, [and Block has] the writer’s chops at least to be allowed into the shallow end. . . . She has a knack for creating images at once arresting and irreverent. . . . But as a performer she’s strangely ill at ease with her own material,” says Reader critic Justin Hayford. 8 PM.

Perfect Copy and Invasion of Desire and the Resistance to That Invasion

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.



Abby Sher’s play concerns a man destroyed by his obsessive desire for revenge against a postal system he thinks has ripped him off. “Underground purports to be ‘based loosely’ on Dostoyevsky’s Notes From Underground. And theatergoers familiar with the novella will perhaps have an easier time grasping this adaptation’s more puzzling elements. . . . But the story of a little man fighting the establishment is universal, whether our sympathies lie with the humble citizen bent on exercising his rights or with the innocent employees victimized by his self-righteous vendetta. Amy Ludwig directs a stylish production [that] makes for an engaging 90 minutes,” says Reader critic Mary Shen Barnidge. 8 PM.

Books on Tape

The Penlight Theatre presents Chicago playwright Eric Ziegenhagen’s one-man multimedia concert. 10 PM.


Mother’s Day

Chicago’s Dolphinback Theatre Company presents writer-actor KellyAnn Corcoran in a one-woman show about family relationships. 3 PM.

7 Pounds of Mud

Beau O’Reilly’s drama concerns a 21-year-old named Mud (who’s hung up on heroin and an aging James Joyce scholar) and her meddlesome father and brothers. This Curious Theatre Branch production “scuttles around the borders of pathos and parody as it distorts and romanticizes the path that brought its heroes to live on the street as heroin addicts,” said Reader critic Carol Burbank when she reviewed the show’s original run. 7 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. 8 PM.


Neighborhood Stories

Poet John Starrs and playwright Bryn Magnus team up for an evening of anecdotes representing two generations’ perspectives. 8 PM.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): My Murder and Ohter Local News theater still (uncredited).