Reviews, Reports + Comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Report on: "NEO-FUTURISTS" Theater in Chicago

2010, 04-18:

NEO-FUTURISTS Theater

…  On April 18th, I was a guest of a friend at NEO-FUTURISTS theater, 5153 N Foster in Chicago (# 773-275-5255; neofuturists.org ).  GREG ALLEN helped found that venue way back in 1988, and they continue providing “alternative” performances in Chicago’s longest-running show, “Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind” (currently in its 21st year)…

…  They operate in a very unusual way:  The show is put on at 11:30 PM on Fridays & Saturdays, & at 7 PM on Sundays. Seating in their 150-seat theater is first-come, first-served, & what you pay (in cash only, at the door) is $ 9 + whatever you roll on one six-sided dice (in other words, $ 10-15 total per person)…

…  They set up 30 different short “blackout” plays, & perform as many as possible (as chosen via numbers by the audience) in 60 minutes time.  The nite I was there, they performed 29, utilizing GREG ALLEN, ELIZA BURMESTER, KURT CHIANG, BILAL DARDAI, GENEVRA GALLO-BAYIATES, and PHIL RIDARELLI

…  When asked by the cast, a large number of people raised their hands as having attended PREVIOUS shows they’ve put on (which quite pleased them, since word-of-mouth is their biggest “advertising”)… 

…  Various of the called-out skit choices eventually involved members of the AUDIENCE, including ones who “competed” in cheer-leading--  the loser of whom had to wear the “Curtains” costume & yell-out stuff during blackout changes (which he good-naturedly seemed to enjoy)…

…  Some of the skits done included:  “Nightmares of Broken Etiquette”;  “Today’s Headlines in Cute Grade School Girls’ Handwriting” (which Kurt performed with chalk on a blackboard); & “Spray Bottle Theater Presents: Hollywood Classics” (a FUNNY routine where they did classics as others shot water at them)...

...  Also:  “Platonic Adult Conversation, w/ Collegiate Sex-Life Symbology”;  “Rip Van Wrinkle” (by Greg);  “Chandelier at Room Temperature” (with Bilal);  “A Star Is Born”;  etc…

…  I MYSELF was involved in one skit called “The Evil Yellow Ball”, wherein I had to really use my HEADKurt juggled items in the midst of the audience at the end of the room.  Then, the lights went up, & Eliza was standing in front of me with the afore-mentioned Yellow Ball--  which she promptly threw at my HEAD & glasses.  This went on twice.  I was magnificent, if I must say so myself (-- which I must, because no one ELSE will!)…

…  As Kurt explained at the end of the show, they keep ADDING & removing various new & different skits to the repertoire, so each performance can be DIFFERENT each week… 

...  I later personally commented to him that it was an ENJOYABLE evening, & I was impressed at how WELL they all do at learning so MANY different constantly-“shifting” roles (which he appreciated hearing)… 

…  I RECOMMEND the theater as an refreshing nite out (but keep in mind, the dialogue is often very “ADULT” rather than for kids!)…



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1 comment:

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