Nasty, Brutish and Short: A response from The Vertical Side Show

Nasty, Brutish and Short: Festival Edition!
 January 25, 2019
Co-Presented by Rough House Theater,  The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, and Links Hall (*)
Featured Performances By: Jacklynn Kelsey, Jose Nateras, Philip Huber, Kevin Michael Wesson, Dani Wieder, La Pendue, Noah Ginex Puppet Company
image credit: Evan Barr
Mankind at war is a dismal sort,
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Though many things fall in that rut,
This cabaret was anything but!
On that inauspicious evening
While frost and howling winds were weaving,
We came in droves, in flocks, in swarms,
The mics were hot, our hearts were warmed.
With a team of cheeky chuckaboos,
The line-up was a motley crew.
And here we feel we should specify
The brow was low, but the bar was high!
Hosted by a sordid pair
who held a certain savoir-faire!
Irreverent, churlish, delightfully moody,
with a hearken back to Punch and Judy.
They introduced each curious act,
That ranged from ‘strange’ to ‘camp’, in fact.
We’d like to recapitulate,
(For brevity’s sake, we’ll enumerate.)
the oddities presented here,
by teams of skillful puppeteers.
The baffling rhythms of a one man band;
A keg of protein lent a helping hand.
Laser ants in a time-travel farce.
Palindromic legs with a single arse.
A man turned beast at the end of the day
And a marionette felt pretty and gay.
All this wrapped in a comedic bow,
A jam-packed, short-form puppet show!
The Vertical Side Show: From the creative mind of the 2013 International King of Burlesque, Ray Gunn, comes The Vertical Side Show – an immersive, theatrical mash-up of burlesque, drag, circus arts, live music, dance, and comedy. With inspiration taken from story-based spectacles like Circque Du Soleil and classic ballets, this site-specific show surrounds the audience and immerses them in an unpredictable line-up of performances.  Each Vertical Side Show presents a new story, ranging from the absurd to melodramatic, through a Dr. Seussian lead narrator and a band of talented misfits. The Vertical Side Show presents its work at Links Hall as part of the Pay-the-40th-Forward season. 

(*) PRJ is partnering with Links Hall to celebrate their 40th anniversary by providing a platform for artist-to-artist responses to the work that is presented as part of the Pay-the-40th-Forward season. Thank you, Links Hall, for all that you do for the dance and performance communities in Chicago. Congratulations on 40 years!