Blood on the Cat's Neck
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★★★ "Rainer Werner Fassbinder, a pioneer of New German Cinema, flamed out in 1982 at age 36 from a drug overdose. He packed a lot into those few years, including more than 40 films and several plays — one of which, 1971's 'Blood on the Cat's Neck,'" landed Chicago's leading avatars of the avant-garde, Trap Door Theatre, an improbable late-night run at the nearly 300-seat Mercury Theater in 1996 after a six-month stint in their home theater. The play unfolds in three parts that move from monologues to dialogue-driven vignettes to a final ensemble scene that feels like a cross between a party at Andy Warhol's Factory and a low-budget horror film. It's back where it belongs now, in a stellar production under the direction of Trap Door founder and artistic director Beata Pilch in the company's cozy Bucktown venue." -Kerry Reid