This weekend marks the opening of Chicago’s 26th Annual RhinoFest, the “longest-running multi-arts fringe festival in Chicago.”  “Terkelogues,” a show featuring content from Studs’s interviews with comedian/actor Zero Mostel and painter Gertrude Abercrombie, can be seen Sunday, January 25 at 7pm and Sunday, February 8 at 3pm.  As is fitting for a festival that takes place each year in January and February, “Terkelogues” considers blizzards, power failures, being ill and stuck in bed – and the inefficiency and liberation that accompany a snow day.  The play is co-directed by our own Tony Macaluso, the Director of the Studs Terkel Radio Archive.

Gertrude Abercrombie was a Chicago native.  She got her start painting with the Federal Arts Project, and continued to work in a surrealistic style until her death in 1977.  She was great friends with many jazz artists, including Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson; Richie Powell’s “Gertrude’s Bounce” was written about her.  Zero Mostel, perhaps best known for his Tony Award-winning portrayal of Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” was interviewed by Studs Terkel in 1961 when he was in Chicago as part of the Broadway cast of Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinocerous,” (in another Tony-Award winning role).  The production took a four-week break from Broadway and came to Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Playhouse.  How fitting that the interview will now be a part of Chicago’s own RhinoFest.

For additional information about the production, you can read Thomas Willis’s article in the Chicago Tribune from August 6, 1961.  And of course you can listen to the Mostel interview below.  Hope to see you at RhinoFest!

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