The staging, a co-production with the Brooklyn Lyceum, begins an open-ended run April 2 and plays 11:30 PM Friday and Saturday nights. Too Much Light is the longest-running original show in Chicago history.
In Brooklyn, a new resident cast of the New York Neo Futurists will write, direct, and perform the show "50 weeks a year," offering an "ever-changing 'menu' of plays." The order of the short plays is determined by the audience. It's not improv, observers say, but it is spontaneous. Pieces run 10 seconds to perhaps two minutes, ranging from comic to tragic.
At the end of each show, a toss of a die determines how many new pieces will be added to the show in a week's time, making the ensemble hustle to create new work.
According to production notes, the actors always appear as themselves on stage, speaking directly from their personal experiences. Each short play is written by a performer, honed by the ensemble, and randomly collaged with 29 other plays through "high-energy audience participation" in which theatregoers shout out numbers between 1-30 until the evening's "scripts" are exhausted.
"Each night of performance, we create an unreproducable living-newspaper of the comic and tragic, the political and personal, the visceral and experimental," according to production notes. Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind was created by Greg Allen in 1988. In the mid-1990s a branch of the show with a Chicago played Manhattan for almost two years. Greg Kotis and Spencer Kayden of Urinetown were members.
The new New York ensemble for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind includes (in random order, as is the Neo-Futurist aesthetic): Katrina Toshiko, Desiree Burch, Michael Cyril Creighton, Rob Neill, Justin Tolley, Lindsay Brandon Hunter, Chris Dippel, Sarah Levy, Regie Cabico and Molly Flynn.
All performances are at the Brooklyn Lyceum, a building that was once Public Bath No. 7, 227 4th Ave., Brooklyn, corner of President St. Admission is $9-$15.