Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

Roughly 150,000 people have seen Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind since it premiered here 12 years ago. Some 3,600 plays, three theaters, and countless lineup changes later, the show remains an example of experimental theater at its finest. Too Much Light was the beginning of a breeding ground at the Neo-Futurarium for some of the most original productions to hit Chicago in the past few years: Greg Allen’s literary deconstructions; John Pierson’s manic, fragmented musings; Greg Kotis’s dark allegories. But none of these embodies the Neo-Futurists’ ethos or mediates between the silly, the serious, and the sublime as well as Too Much Light. And while the show’s basic structure (30 plays in 60 minutes) and, to a lesser degree, its formula (at least one musical number, slide show, political metaphor, vaudevillian bit, and prop-centered piece per performance) have remained constant, the troupe still manages to throw some curveballs. Recently they delivered a bittersweet eulogy for former Neo-Futurist Ted Bales and, in typical anarchic fashion, announced that the last of the show’s plays would be performed in a local bar an hour after curtain. Some of the novelty may have worn off, but Too Much Light hasn’t lost its slick, subversive edge. Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 773-275-5255. Open run: Fridays-Saturdays, 11:30 PM (doors open 10:30 PM); Sundays, 7 PM (doors open 6:30 PM). $5 “plus the roll of a single six-sided die” ($6-$11); “no reservations are accepted.”

–Nick Green