ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar:
The Curious Theatre Branch, in association with Pride Arts Center and Jimmy Beans Cabaret, Prop Thtr and Labyrinth Arts, is pleased to present A Hint of Rhino: Rhinoceros Theater Festival 2022, playing April 1 – May 7, 2022. Shows will run Thursdays – Sundays at Jimmy Beans Coffee (2553 W. Fullerton Ave, second floor) in Logan Square and the Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center (4139 N Broadway Ave) in Uptown.
Curious and friends present a pared-down, curated series of events including music, spoken word, new plays, drag and variety events. Programming on Sunday, May 1 at Pride Arts Center will include a special celebration of Matt Rieger, longtime Managing Director for Curious, who died suddenly in October 2021, and whose final play, Jimmy and the Nickels, will run Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings at Pride Arts. Rhino Fest returns this year following a hiatus in 2021, in which festival producers awaited the return of safer gatherings in public spaces rather than shifting to a virtual format. This Rhino Fest represents the result of invitation and collaboration among small groups of Chicago artists, making inquisitive and expansive events for the current moment.
Proof of vaccination will be required at the door, and audience members and crew will remain masked inside venues. Cash and credit cards accepted at the door. Tickets are currently available through Eventbrite. Further additional information and updates, visit rhinofest.com.
The full Rhino Fest 2022 line-up includes:
A Hint of a Rhino Party
Saturday March 26 at 7 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts
An opening night party to mosey back to Rhino. An evening of food and drinks, presentations, some previews of shows to come, a film or two, some jokes and lots and lots of mingling.
John & Paul: Strictly Platonic
Fridays at 8 pm, April 1 – 29, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
Chicago sketch comedy veterans John Klingle and Paul Brennan bring their anarchic humor back to the stage in a raucous celebration of dysfunctional friendship. Watch John and Paul juggle the roles of emasculated fathers, naive prison guards and problematic method actors, all while struggling to keep their corporate sponsorships. Special guests include drag artist Tara Bitchup, songstress Zoë Pike\ and stand-up comic Katie Zane.
New Speculative Fiction
Friday, April 1 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
Sharon Houk, Andy Sullivan, and Tanner Vaughan Halversen read new work.
Labyrinth Hour Cabaret
Saturdays at 8 pm, April 2 – 30, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
A musical and variety adventure featuring bands, musical guests and variety acts.
April 2 & 23: The Improper Behavior Jump Blues Band featuring Miss Sharon and Keith Fort.
April 9 & 16: Drag Show with Narcisca and Slussy Vanity. Further guest artists to be announced. Produced and directed by Diane Hamm with Labyrinth Arts and Performance Collective.
The Chicago Beast Women
Saturdays at 10 pm, April 2 – 30, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
Chicago’s longest-running showcase for veteran and premiering female artists comes to Pride! An inspiring line-up of solo and collaborative artists showcasing new and urgent work. Jillian Erickson, Michelle Power, Cristina McCrystal, Alley Cat and many, many more beloved Chicago performers.
Saturday, April 2 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
Known to many as Spoo Willoughby, Vernon Tonges is a low-profile performing songwriter and singer known for his crippling introversion and disastrous inability to adequately self-promote. Many of his shows occur unannounced in random parking lots where his audience mainly consists of drivers idling in the drive-through line awaiting takeout chicken. Surplus thigh meat comprises his chief compensation. The world remains a tough nut to crack.
The Crooked Mouth and Special Guests
Saturday, April 2 at 9 pm and Saturday, May 7 at 9 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
A Chicago-based music group including Jenny Magnus, Beau O'Reilly, T-Roy Martin, Vicki Walden and Heather Riordan with ample harmonies and lyrics to sink one's teeth into. Rock/pop/alt-country/vaudeville, if you must have a genre.
April 2: Special guest Izzy Yellen. "Izzy yellin'? No, he's making ambient folk."
May 7: Special guests Michael Amandes and Mac Modean
Sunday, April 3 at 3 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
For over three years, from in-person to online and now both live and streaming – this unassuming monthly forum organized by Donna Dunlap, Karen Fort and Cordis Heard for those who write and have seldom if ever spoken their own written words – a core Prop Thtr tradition. Two hours with three to five readers.
Jimmy and the Nickels
Sundays: April 3 at 5 pm, April 24 & May 1 at 3 pm. Note: the May 1 show will be followed by a celebration of Matt Rieger, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
Thursdays: April 7, 14, 21, 28 at 8 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
A follow up to 2020’s lauded My Dinner with Joe, this chamber comedy, the last work of the beloved and abruptly departed Curious playwright and Managing Director Matt Rieger, features Mike McKune, Don Schroeder, Nick Leininger and Paul Brennan, and is directed by Stefan Brün with Charlotte Lastra.
Friday, April 8 & 22, Saturday April 9 & 23 at 7pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
A new monologue from Chicago poet and fringe theater mainstay Barrie Cole.
Cafe Neckbeard To Go
Fridays: April 8, 15, 22, 29 and May 6 at 9 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
Saturdays: April 9, 16, 23, 30 at 9 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
PR Representative and Procurement Specialist Chris Bower will theatrically update the world on the ongoing saga of the most experimental and explosive and explosively experimental cash-only fine dining celiac-intolerant temporarily to-go cafe in The Historic Logan Square Neighborhood (THLSN): Chef Anton "*" Anis's Cafe Neckbeard! Featuring Chris Bower and Steak Richardson.
The Problem With Flowers
Sundays: April 10, 17, 24 at 5 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
Thursdays: April 14, 21, 28 at 7 pm, Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center
Roberto Del Rio’s solo work playfully examines the loves and miseries, the delights and betrayals in an emotional day off. From dawn until dusk we’ll hear those struggles, triumphs, fears and desires that only manifest when we’re by ourselves.
Deconstructing Desolation Row
Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
Four writers respond to Bob Dylan's 1965 ballad from Highway 61 Revisited in song and lecture. Performances by Jayita Bhattacharya, Frank Bonacci, Michaela Chan and Bill Ferguson.
Time in a Teacup
Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
New work by Jay Sebastian. Musings on time, memory, and baloney sandwiches through stories, original songs and 8mm movies.
The Anchovy's Song, The Pelican's Apocalypse
Friday, May 6 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
Jeff "Hollywood" Dorchen weaves together songs, obvious lies (elaborate and simple) and poems.
Sheila Donohue and Friends
Saturday, May 7 at 7 pm, Jimmy Beans Coffee
Performance poet and four-time National Poetry Slam Champion Sheila Donohue returns to Rhino Fest for an evening of new and archival work, with special guests.
Venue Note: Broadway Theater at Pride Arts Center is a first-floor space and is wheelchair accessible, with two accessible bathrooms. Jimmy Beans Cabaret is up one flight of stairs and is not easily accessible for wheelchair users.
About Rhino Fest
The event that became the Rhinoceros Theater Festival began in 1988 as an offshoot of the Bucktown Arts Fest, and in its first year featured just two days of performances, including work by Jenny Magnus and Beau O'Reilly. When the event's founder moved away from Chicago in 1990, he asked a ragtag group of local artists (including Beau O'Reilly and Theatre of the Reconstruction’s Scott Turner) to keep the festival going, and the Rhino Fest was born. The Curious Theatre Branch went on to produce the Rhino across many neighborhoods and venues over the years, with events variously taking place in Wicker Park/Bucktown, Rogers Park, Andersonville and Avondale; at spaces including the Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Café, the Neo-Futurarium, the Society for New Things, The Garage, The Firehouse, Remains Theatre and Prop Thtr. In the mid-2000s, Rhino Fest settled at Prop Thtr in Avondale as its long-term base, and Prop and Curious co-produced the festival among a shifting group of curators for many years. Following the closure of Prop's Elston Ave. space in 2020, and a year off during the height of the pandemic, Rhino Fest is once more becoming itinerant, this year producing shows at The Broadway at Pride Arts Center in Uptown and Jimmy Beans Coffee in Logan Square.