Laura Lodewyck, NBC Chicago Street Team
Collaboraction upturns Theatre-with-a-Capital-T in their 9th Annual Sketchbook Festival, closing this weekend at The Building Stage. Formerly held at the Steppenwolf Garage, Sketchbook feels at home here with the casual party vibe provided by the space at The Building Stage — with tiers of open seating, live bands or DJs to accompany seat-shifting and meandering between pieces, and a byob policy (highly recommended) — Sketchbook careens through a weirdly haunting, high energy program of short, strange performance pieces. The visual elements, supported by performance-inspired artwork decorating the space, add striking images to the pieces: a forgotten Nazi hangs suspended from his “zeppelin” in the ceiling; a giant parachute descends to consume the stage; an enormous paper-mache head is worn by an actor in skin-tight, skin-colored leggings (with a lumpy-stuffed crotch). Sketchbook is indeed a show you have to see to believe. Even better is that the mixed program provides for entertainment that satiates the short attention span — each piece runs less than 10 minutes. Check it out this final weekend, tonight through Sunday.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any wacky, under-discovered events in Chicago, and check out my reports with Nude Hippo.