A fixture on Chicago's late-night theater scene, the Neo-Futurists have been doing their hit Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind since 1988 (it's now the longest-running show in Chicago). The setting -- a cramped room above a funeral home -- isn't much, but the gimmick is irresistible: Every night the performers stage a new collection of "30 plays in 60 minutes." The "plays" vary from a 3-minute comedy sketch to a lightning-quick wordless tableau; the mood veers from laugh-out-loud silly to emotionally touching. The show starts at 11:30pm on weekends; get there about an hour ahead, because seats are first-come, first-served, and they do sell out. The late-night curtain attracts a younger crowd, but I've taken 60-something relatives who have had a great time (unlike many improv comedy troupes, the Neo-Futurists don't rely on raunchy or gross-out humor). Admission is random: Theatergoers pay $9 plus the roll of a six-sided die. If you want to feel that you've experienced edgy, low-budget theater -- but still want to be entertained -- this is the place to go.
- © Frommer's 2013