Look out for a Wienermobile and Alice in Wonderland, this weekend in theater

September 1, 2011

Laura Molzahn

“You’ve got to embrace salvation no matter where you find it—even if it comes in the form of a 23-foot-long fiberglass hot dog.”

Words of wisdom from New York writer/comedian Robin Gelfenbien, performing her hour-long one-woman show My Salvation Has a First Name: A Wienermobile Journey during the Chicago Fringe Festival this weekend and next. What’s she seeking salvation from? Bullying and horndogs, from the sound of it. The show, which apparently makes copious use of the frankfurter’s innate inappropriateness, includes songs and video from the former Hotdogger’s travels in an Oscar Mayer propaganda delivery system.

The Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival has exploded since its first incarnation last year, with 27 artists/groups performing God knows how many kinds of dance on three different bills Friday through Sunday. Expect some familiar Chicago groups (The MASSIVE, Elements Contemporary Ballet, RE|Dance Group, Aerial Dance Chicago), respected local dancers venturing into choreography (Emma Draves, tapper Laura Chiaramonte), and artists from around the country. Why go to the casino when you can take a chance on dance? Make Rahm happy.

Jonathan Abarbanel

The theatrical spit really hits the fan NEXT week, with more than three dozen shows opening between Sept. 8 and Sept. 30. Things are just a tad quieter this long Labor Day Weekend, but still with a number of special theatrical attractions among which classical literature figures prominently.

The House Theatre of Chicago launches its 10th anniversary season with an adaptation of Edmond Rostand's turn-of-the-last century romantic verse drama, Cyrano de Bergerac. Calling their version simply Cyrano, it's adapted and directed by company member Matt Hawkins. Since Hawkins also is a skilled stage combat artist, we presume that Cyrano will retain all the swash and buckle of the big-nosed original. The House performs these days at the Chopin Theatre, where Cyrano runs through Oct. 16. Oh, did I mention that they've added original songs? "And on the refrain, I strike!"

To launch its 32nd season, City Lit Theatre turns to Lewis Carroll via playwright Christopher Hampton's adaptation of Alice's Adventures Underground, Carroll's original rendition of what's better-known as Alice in Wonderland. Artistic director Terry McCabe has staged the piece, which continues at City Lit (in Edgewater) through Oct. 9. All I can say is "Oh, my ears and whiskers!"