I haven’t done one of these Chicago Fringe scene reports in a while, so here’s what’s on my radar this week:
- The Neo-Futurists’ annual festival It Came From The Neo-Futurarium VI: Curse of The Neo-Futurarium, consisting of staged readings of various camp-ready old films, kicks off this Thursday, June 21 at 8pm. The first installment is a sing-along version of Xanadu, yes that Xanadu, directed by Phi Ridarelli. The series is curated by Neo-Futurist and Partly Dave Show regular Rachel Claff along with Dina Connolly, and that’s Rachel in the roller skates in the photo at right. Other titles coming up this year include Madame X and The Ten Commandments. (I wonder if that’s in honor of the 17-year locusts …) You can view the complete schedule on the Neo-Futurist site.
- Speaking of La Claff, Rachel created a really fun happening called “Memorial Day II” a couple of Sundays ago. In essence, a group of people in formalwear (some of them, anyway) traveled around Chicago on a summer Sunday, installing plaques in various locations commemorating important moments in their lives that took place at those spots. I wasn’t able to participate myself due to work constraints (blargh), but fortunately for us all Rachel has posted all kinds of fun pictures and stories from the event on her Local Disturbances blog. You may recognize some other Partly Dave Show folks among the participants. I like Edward Thomas-Herrera’s story of making a snow angel in his first snowfall ever, circa 1990, after he moved here from Texas.
- Tuesday June 26 will be the annual LGBT Pride open mike reading at Women & Children First Books. I’ve performed at it a number of times myself in past years, and it’s always a great evening. This year’s edition will be co-sponsored by A Field Guide to Gay & Lesbian Chicago. Featured readers are Achy Obejas, JT Newman, Sheree Greer, Rick Karlin, Robert McDonald, and Gregg Shapiro. Open mike readers are invited to bring one double-spaced page of poetry or prose to read. The slots fill up quickly, and readers are encouraged to sign up ahead of time by calling the store at 773-769-9299. Light refreshments will be served. Women & Children First Books, 5233 N Clark St., 7pm.
- Speaking of A Field Guide to Gay & Lesbian Chicago, one of its authors, Robert McDonald, will be leading a three-hour hour intensive poetry workshop, “Serious Play,” at the Uptown Writers Space on Saturday June 23, from 1-4 pm. The official description: “Jumpstart your muse and discover new avenues to poetry creation in this energetic, fast-paced workshop. Using chance, collaboration, borrowed snippets of text, and games modeled on those used by the Dadaists and New York School poets, we’ll write poems as a group and as individuals.” The cost is $25 bucks, or $20 for members of the Uptown Writer’s Space.
- This week’s edition of Homolatte, Scott Free’s ever-popular cabaret night showcasing queer writers and musicians, features performance poet Kay Barrett and musician Alia. Tuesday, June 19th at 7:30pm, at Big Chicks/Tweet, 5024 N. Sheridan. Free admission with pass the hat for the artists.
- I had a great time last Monday performing at Nina Corwin and Al DeGenova’s monthly poetry night at Molly Malone’s. The crowd there is great â€” a very writerly room, and they gave one of the best open mikes I’ve ever seen. I’ll be back, Molly.
- The Partly Dave Show site has been updated with a big candy-heart thank you to all who attended the podcast benefit back in May, and a PayPal donation button for anyone who wasn’t able to attend but would still like to help make the podcast a reality.
- This is going back a ways, but back in early May Partly Dave Show co-host and Time Out Chicago theater critic Christopher Piatt posted an interesting rebuttal to this year’s Jeff Citation nominations (actually co-written with fellow TOC critic Novid Parsi), on the Time Out Chicago blog.
- Finally, if you’re not doing anything tonight (Sunday) and are in the mood for some good music at a rocked-out little bar, Dave Roberts of Planet Earth Chicago will be spinning new wave, punk, and etc. in his inimitable fashion at Club Foot down in Wicker Park. (Dave doesn’t spin at Club Foot all that often anymore, so this is an occasion.) Kristine will be serving up killer drinks and conversation at the bar as always on Sunday nights. That’s 1824 West Augusta, near Damen. Dave’ll probably start spinning about 10pm.