Name: The Neo-Futurists present Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
Location: 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
Hours: Friday and Saturday @ 11:30 p.m., Sunday @ 7:00 p.m.
Phone Number: (773) 878-4557
Phil and I apprehensively sat down for our first Lyft ride.
“I hope it’s not some creep,” I muttered under my breath.
Lo and behold, it was no creep at all, but rather an aspiring actor from Boston who’d come to Chicago to pursue his career. Lucky for us, he’d begun driving for Lyft to bring in some extra money.
Lucky for us? Why?
Because, to date, I’ve never received such an awesome, spot-on recommendation when asking for “something to cool do with an out-of-towner.”
“Go see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. Stop at Hopleaf for a few beers before,” he said.
Curious, we took our driver’s advice.
We quickly discovered that Hopleaf is truly a beer-lover’s paradise. With 50+ beers on tap and hundreds of bottled beers, it’s easy to spend hours lost in the selection. But save room for food! Their menu boasts way more than mediocre bar-bites. I decided on the Duck Reuben, and I’m not saying it was a life-changing experience, but… well, yeah, it was pretty life-changing.
Around 10:45 p.m., we headed to the old funeral home where the Neo-futurists host Too Much Light. We were handed vintage baseball cards to secure our entrance (when they’ve run out of cards, they’ve run out of seats) and then we rolled a die to determine how much we’d pay to see the show (yes, really).
TML’s claim to fame is its unique style of presenting its shows. Each night, the ensemble performs 30 shows… in 60 minutes. It’s up to the audience to interact with the ensemble to determine the outcome of the show(s).
No pressure, the Neo-futurists are just like you and me. Except way more outspoken. And talented.
I chatted with two members, Leah Urzendowski Courser and Lily Mooney, to try to figure out how these folks come up with the madness that overflows through doors and windows of the Neo-futurarium.
The women have plenty of theater experience under their belts, participating in improv and sketch comedy, writing and choreographing plays, and working with names such as The Building Stage, Redmoon, The Ruffians and Steppenwolf.
So, what exactly is TML according to those who create it?
Courser describes the show as “fast, physical, interactive, quick and dirty, mind-changing [and] thought-provoking.”
Viewers will walk away with a new appreciation for the theatrical world, and the social commentary portrayed in the shows will leave them aware and in awe.
For Mooney, “TML is a schizophrenic self-destructive ever-regenerating 30-armed nightmare starfish.”
Find out what it will be to you.
Check out the full interview here.