Pictured Other PAC/edge events: Neo Futarium's Windmilled, Sexoh and Nikki Blinds. Call ( 773 ) 772-5463 for details on events.
The third annual PAC/edge Festival is well underway, a feast of Chicago's avant-garde and cutting edge arts and artists in all disciplines. Presented by Performing Arts Chicago and the School of the Art Institute Chicago, all events in the March 11-April 10 fest are at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster, ( 312 ) 902-1500, while complete PAC/edge details are available via the PAC Line, ( 773 ) 772-5463.
The following programs, featuring GLBT artists, may be of special interest to members of our community. Unless otherwise indicated, all tickets are $15.
Economies of Touch, March 18 ( 6:30-11:30 P.M. ) , March 26 ( 2-7 P.M. ) , April 1-2 ( 9:30-11:30 P.M. ) —Artist and massage therapist Sheelah Murthy will give bodywork to people connected with the sex industry as she links the safe confines of massage therapy with the unsafe territory of prostitution, all adding up to massage as an art form. This program is free to observers, but $60 for participants. All fees will be donated to a Southeast Asian social service organization. GLBT sex workers are invited to make appointments by calling Ms. Murthy at ( 773 ) 410-7841.
JT Newman presents The Girlie Q Variety Hour, March 19 ( 9 P.M.; $20 ) —This should appeal to the slutty and salacious in all of us, promising a neo-burlesque, vaudeville-inspired event with a queer edge that combines live music, drag, strip tease, dancing girls, depraved comedy and lowbrow interests. The presenter promises a show that's both titillating and thought-provoking. In the words of Dorothy Parker, 'You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think.'
Teatro Luna presents La Probidita S-e-x-oh! March 19-20, 26-27, April 2-3, 9-10 ( 8 P.M. Saturdays, 3:30 P.M. Sundays ) —Teatro Luna, a favorite of Windy City Times theater critics, offers a world premiere. The mujeres latinas will explore the virgin/whore stereotypes of Latina sexuality, as seen through the Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican heritages of the writer/performers of the ensemble, among whom is lesbian artist Coya Paz. Teatro Luna also will offer a workshop March 20, 11 A.M.-2 P.M. ( $25 ) . Performing in the Community will explore autobiographical and autoethnographic performance strategies for addressing larger social and political issue.
Asimina Chremos and Kairol Rosenthal present L'Air Lair, March 26-27, April 2-3, 9-10 ( $10 ) —This dance work will be performed for audiences of five at a time—yes, only five—in the vending machine room of the Athenaeum, thereby turning an otherwise unremarkable space into a site of drama and emotion. The performing ensemble features gay dancer Dan Mohr. Because of the small venue, L'Air Lair will be presented four times on each performance date, with performances beginning on the hour ( call for times ) . Even if all 24 performances sell out, that's only 120 people, which make your chances of scoring Dan Mohr's phone number pretty good.
T.U.T.A. presents Rules for Good Manners in the Modern World, April 9 ( 3 P.M. ) and 10 ( 1 P.M. ) —This contemporary intellectual comedy by gay French playwright Jean-Luc Lagarce makes fun of social rules and rituals. It was a surprise hit of last fall's Playing French Festival. Now you can revisit it in all its costumed splendor, as staged by The Utopian Theatre Asylum ( T.U.T.A. ) .
Naturally, we assume that PAC/edge simply is riddled with other GLBT artists, but those above are the ones we know about. The dozens of Festival events feature numerous other treats by many of Chicago's best-known, permanent avant-gardists, among them world premieres by the Curious Theatre Branch ( The Turtle At Play ) , Live Action Cartoonists ( Performance of Sleep in One Long Act without Intermission ) and Lucky Plush Productions ( eidolon and Surrelium ) .
Among other treats is a world premiere opera, Pluto, presented by Free Street and Hermit Arts, with music by Justin J. Mayer and libretto by Idris Goodwin, the founder of Hermit Arts. A rising star, Goodwin recently was named recipient of a major national writing fellowship. PAC/edge also features two puppet troupes, The Rubber Monkey Puppet Company and the Incurable Theater. The Rubber Monkey is the world's only 3-D shadow puppet troupe, creating images 10 feet tall. Incurable Theater offers short works based on Faust and Brecht/Weill's The Threepenny Opera among other subjects, and warns that its work isn't suitable for young children.