Pride Month launches in just a few days, with a very full calendar of events from the social to the political to the cultural. As Jonny is far too dignified (not to mention far too old) to be a Party Animal, he must content himself with being a culture vulture. Here, then, are some of the performing and visual arts events in honor of Pride 2004.
You don't have to be gay, but it helps say the perpetrators of Poonie's Cabaret, at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 8 p.m. next Tuesday, June 1. The perps are Matthew Hollis and Brian Robert Hinkle, who will answer the ages-old question, what do gay horses eat? Tickets are just $5. As always, Links Hall has an ever-changing monthly schedule of music, dance, theater and cabaret events. Details: (773) 281-0824.
The Lincoln Square Community Arts Center will honor Pride June 1-5 with performances of a condensed version (90 minutes) of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, one-half of Tony Kushner's remarkable 'gay fantasia on national themes.' The week culminates with a June 5 benefit for BEHIV that includes picnic food, live music, a silent auction, a speech by State Rep. Larry McKeon, performances by the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps, the Windy City Gay Chorus and Angels in America. The event begins at 5:30; (773) 275-9735; $25. Tickets to other performances of Angels are $15. All shows are at the Berry United Methodist Church, 4754 N. Leavitt.
Also on June 5, the Silk Road Theatre Project will offer a one-performance remount of Jamil Khoury's play, Precious Stones, about the love affair of a Palestinian woman and a Jewish woman across the lines of political conflict. The performance is part of the University of Chicago Arts Fest and is free. It's sponsored by no fewer than seven U. of C. departments, among them the Center for Gender Studies, the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project, the Center for Middle East Studies and the Human Rights Program. Jonny is impressed. The show is at Breasted Hall of the Oriental Institute, 1155 East 58th St., 5 p.m. Khoury will answer questions after.
The Soul Cafe, 1301 W. Hollywood, devotes June to an exhibit of the works of four Chicago gay, male artists depicting the male figure. Men on Men features the work of Brian Justice, Frank Fruzyna, Joey Wozniak and Jason Messinger in a variety of media. The curator (Messinger) promises the male body will be on view as a natural, sensual and joyful object of beauty and desire, to which Jonny says 'Whoop-dee-doo!' The public is invited to a kick-off reception (free) with the artists on Wednesday, June 9, 7-10 p.m.
That marvelous collective of tres GLBT authors and performers, the New Town Writers, will present its annual showcase of original work for two nights, June 20-21, 7:30 p.m., at Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont. This year's title is Working Stiffs 3, offering scenes of wit, drama and humor all dealing with gays at work. Christopher Becerra, Ms. Cookie Crumbles, Gloria Klein, Christopher Knight, Jared Logan, Aimee Lynn Newlan, Michael Rashid, Timothy Rey, Mike Rogers, Lukas Szymanek and Michael Van Kerckhove are the New Townies to be featured. (773) 883-1090; $5.
And don't forget that Bailiwick kicks off its summer-long 2004 Pride Festival with Jonathan Tolins' comedy, The Last Sunday in June, opening June 21 (previews from June 19). The show runs through July 25. (773) 883-1090; $22-$25.
Nomenil Theatre Company devotes June to performance events reflecting themes of Nomenil's current show, Love Pollution: A Tekno-popera. Fest Forward, as the line-up is called, features an accoustic queer music showcase at 10:30 p.m., June 5, hosted by Scott Free and Larry Keitz; the queer-punk rockers Three Dollar Bill at 10:30 p.m., June 12; and an evening of queer youth performance featuring Synergy Youth, presented by GLSEN at 10 p.m., June 26. All performances are at the Loop Theatre, 8 E. Randolph right downtown. Suggested donation is $5; no reservations required.
Congrats to About Face Theatre, whose pet project from last summer, I Am My Own Wife, is racking up an endless string of honors. The show is nominated for three Tony Awards and already has won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Two weeks ago, it scored three Obie Awards for its Off-Broadway New York incarnation. Obies went to actor Jefferson Mays, director Moises Kaufman and scenic designer Derek McLane. The Goodman Theatre, by the way, will present Mays in I Am My Own Wife next season.