The Neo-Futurists' flagship production "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" has been a staple of the Chicago theater landscape since 1988. The show's appeal is its random nature; from the moment the audience enters, chance plays a large role in the proceedings. The price paid for each ticket is determined by the roll of a six-sided die. The audience shouts out numbers to determine the performance order of 30 short plays, many of which have misleading titles.
The mini-plays that make up the evening's entertainment range from humorous to dramatic. Some are bafflingly nonsensical. The Neo-Futurists should be applauded for their commitment to breaking the fourth wall and messing with the audience, though it seems like a larger than usual portion of the latest batch of plays border on being downright hostile. In one play a large chunk of the audience must permanently vacate their seats. In another viewers are sprayed with water. In yet another a willing audience member's clothes are permanently ruined with paint.
The plays themselves, and sometimes the performers, change so frequently that it's entirely possible that the readers of this article will see quite different material. That remains this show’s enduring strength: if any particular play doesn't suit your fancy, you might have better luck in a minute or two. Standouts from the current incarnation include Mary Fons-Misetic leading female audience members in a pink duct tape-infused dance of anger about the continued oppression of women, as well as a strangely touching scene in which Fons-Misetic comforts a piece of paper about to be discarded.
The rest of the ensemble also provides a nice mix of laid-back and frenetic energy. Too Much Light remains a unique experience well worth the mutable price of admission.