Thursday, August 19, 2010

Revolution For The Thrill Of It

Graphic taken from 2010 Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Fest t shirt. These t shirts will be on sale at the Fest.

You might see a small band of rebels in the Daley Center tomorrow afternoon, but it won’t be a scene being filmed for Transformers 3. The guy with the megaphone and unruly hair is Mary-Arrchie Theatre Artistic Director Rich Cotovsky, and his devoted followers are actors. They’ll march northward until they reach the Mary-Arrchie Theatre at the corner of Broadway and Sheridan Road. Yep, Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins XXII has arrived. The virtually nonstop three-day celebration of theatre, performance art, comedy, and music will once again exude a freewheeling 1960s vibe that kicks off with an Opening Ceremony that features Cotovsky channeling the spirit of Hoffman.

As usual, some big players on the local scene are involved; like A Red Orchid Theatre doing Oil Talk, Rush Pearson doing Gogol’s Diary Of A Madman, The Factory Theater doing The Popeye Chronicles, and The Factory Theater Alumni doing The Mystery Of Pink Floyd. Unfortunately the Mary-Arrchie Theatre itself won’t be performing its current hit Cherrywood, (it’s been extended through August 28th) as part of Abbie Fest, but the group will be performing Wild Dogs and Gas Mask 101.

Over the years, Citizens’ Relief, Rare Terra, Theatre O’ Th Absurd, The Plagiarists, and Bruised Orange Theatre have put up interesting shows, so they should be worth checking out this time around. Several other performances look promising. Part of the fun at Abbie Fest is never knowing what to expect. In addition to showcasing a wealth of local talent Abbie Fest also provides a supportive atmosphere in which new groups can get their feet wet.

I took part in this annual ritual for 20 years as a member of the Famous In The Future comedy group, and have too many fond memories to go into here. My old mates are still active, and this year, they’ll be offering a revue of scripted material called Famous In The Future in 3D. Longtime cast member Desiree Burcum, who has an obsession with puppets, warned on Facebook that some puppets will be involved with this year’s production. Founding member Frank Carr is the only individual other than Cotovsky, who has performed in every single Abbie Fest. Famous In The Future in 3D is slated for 7:00PM Saturday night.

A few hours earlier, James Moeller and Carla Hayden of Black Forest Theatre will perform The Dog Star Rages at 4:45PM. Moeller has been talking up the original 30-minute piece, which also features Maurice Cleary, on his JimmyDumps/SunnyJimmy blog and it sounds like another winner from the always offbeat but genial Black Forest Theatre.

Abbie Fest XXII is a great place to hang out all weekend for inventive and imaginative performances, and a fun way for the theater community to come together. Mary-Arrchie Theatre is located at 735 W. Sheridan Road, just off the intersection of Broadway and Sheridan. (773-871-0442)


which one is dumps? August 20, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

Hey Terry -- The fest isn't the same without you onstage with Frank...

You guys were so funny together! Still it should be another great display of the vibrant Chicago theater scene!

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