Live Bait Theater has been a center for solo performance ever since its first show: James Grigsby’s Terminal Madness, produced in 1988. But not every solo performer can pull the kind of audience that would come out for Marcia Wilkie or Jeff Garlin or Cheryl Trykv, and so for a long time the folks at Live Bait have alternated solo shows with larger productions. This has been good for Chicago theater–Live Bait has produced some of the best new work on the off-off-Loop scene–but bad for solo artists, who have fewer places to perform today than they did 13 years ago, when Club Lower Links, MoMing Dance & Arts Center, the Organic Greenhouse, and Randolph Street Gallery were still around. But now Live Bait is opening its long-awaited second space, the Bucket, built in an adjacent storefront that was previously home to the Nightcrawler Cafe and the Mashed Potato Club. To inaugurate the new space–and to raise money for lights–Live Bait is hosting two evenings of solo work by Chicagoans who’ve appeared there over the years: Jim Carrane, David Kodeski, Amanda Clower, Lotti Pharriss, Edward Thomas-Herrera, Susan McLaughlin Karp, Martie Sanders, and Paul Turner. In keeping with Live Bait’s tradition, most of the pieces are new, though Carrane will present a selection from his current show, Jim Carrane Is Living in a Dwarf’s House. The presence of strong performers like Kodeski, Carrane, and Sweat Girl Sanders guarantees there will be some gems, and the cause is a good one. Live Bait Theater, 3914 N. Clark, 773-871-1212. March 2 and 3: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM. $20 donation.

–Jack Helbig

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