CHICAGO -- Over the last decade the underground performance space at Voltaire, a restaurant and coffeehouse in the Lakeview neighborhood, has been one of the Chicago theatre community's most prolific playgrounds.
Charging a pittance, Cabaret Voltaire has allowed countless small theaters to test their wings. Many of its ventures have been mediocre, but Voltaire launched such successes as Lepers, by Neil LaBute (screenwriter of In the Company of Men), the now-national hit Schoolhouse Rock Live! and Barto Productions' legendary 1991 revival of Dylan Thomas' Under Milkwood.
Sadly, on May 15, this fertile playground will close its doors. The owners of the theatre are currently on a hunt for a new space, somewhere in Chicago, but haven't come up with anything yet..
Cabaret Voltaire is named after the infamous club in 1916 Zurich, where the founders of the Dada movement -- Tristan Tzara, Hugo Ball, Jean Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck -- created performances intent on infuriating their audiences to the point of violence.