Neo-Futurists Burning Bluebeard in Chicago

The Neo-Futurists, performers of the fringe hit Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind and creators of over 60 other original, full-length productions (and whose motto is “Theatre that doesn’t suck”), are taking on a classic tragic moment in Chicago history as their next holiday production.  It’s not a redemptive tale of a greedy man (A Christmas Carol) or a reflective memorial to the past by a gifted alcoholic (A Child’s Christmas in Wales).  Instead the show is a tragic true story of over 600 people who died while watching a Christmas pantomime.

The Neo Futurists in Burning BlueBeard

Burning Bluebeard is the story of the tragic true story of  the Iroquois Theatre fire of December 30, 1903, the deadliest theatre fire in United States history.  Over 600 people lost their lives  in this fire, including many women and children, while attending a matinee performance of a Christmas pantomime called Mr. Bluebeard. (You can read the whole story online via this digitized book).

In the performance by the Neo Futurists, singed clown performers recount the horrific event. Personal stories and touching remembrance are met with silliness, gift giving and dance as the performers seek to end their nightmare through a successful completion of their show. Day by day, show by show, these hopeful performers recreate the fateful night, joyfully embracing the impossible task of changing the inevitable. Sadly, each night, their efforts end in fiery death. How hard will you fight for your happy ending?

The Neo-Futurists are neither an improv group or a comedy troupe.  They write ultra-short plays that when taken together as a whole, approach subjects in an immediate, non-illusory, and interactive manner.  All work is scripted by the ensemble who individually write new plays every week. They’ve been on the scene since 1988, and have toured a number of their shows across the country.

In this show many of the performers are commedia or clown trained as well, working with groups such as Lookingglass, Red Moon, Chi-Town Clown, Dell’arte, or the Big Apple Clown Care Unit.

Previews: Thursday and Friday, November 17 and 18, at 8:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
Regular performances continue through December 30, 2011:

Thurs/Fri/Sat at 8:00 p.m.

(No performances on Thursday, November 24th or Saturday, December 24th)
Tickets are $15, $10 for students/seniors with ID, or pay-what-you-can on Thursdays.
All performances take place at The Neo-Futurarium,
5153 N. Ashland
Show ends December 30, the 107nth anniversary of the fire.
For tickets or information, visit 773-275-5255.
More info about the neofuturists at

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