As the conclusion to Curious Theatre's season-long homage to Samuel Beckett, entitled No Danger of the Spiritual Thing... 100 Years of Beckett, the Rhinoceros Theater Festival will feature the work of Beckett as well as pieces written in response to Beckett's work by numerous local and national talents. Some of the plays in this year's festival include: Zest for Gloom, October 20 & 27 A quintet of acclaimed solo performers use Beckett's work as a jumping-off place for five humorous tales of memory, swimming pools, stage directions, and the end of the world. The Observer, September 14, 21, 28; October 5, 12 Was Quantum Leap actor Dean Stockwell the most imporant figure in both scientific and literary history? Through studies of such diverse topics as nuclear geo-politics, quantum mechanics, game theory, obsessive-compulsive disorder, the Firebombing of Kobe and the game of cricket, author Mark Chrisler comes upon a suspicion that attempting to scientifically validate absurdism might lead to optimistic results. In this lecture-style solo show, he proves himself very, very wrong. Krapp's Last Tape, September 9, 13, 20, 27 Decrepit old Krapp - still sure that he possesses the talent to change the world - in conversation with a tape recording of himself made 30 years before, is worn down by a moment of despair. Nothing will be different, his masterpiece will have no effect. One of Beckett's own masterpieces, Krapp's Last Tape is an ironic and unsettlling work about the vacuous desire to achieve greatness. The Irish Project, October 19, 21, 26, 28 Taking a stone soup approach, a dose of Van Morrison, a sprinkling of James Joyce, a line or two of William Butler Yeats, and a bit of attitude from Beckett, ten students of the SAIC in residence at the Burren College of Arts near Galway in Ireland have created this evening of inspiration. MacBeth, October 21, 22, 28, 29 One of the Bard's Greatest Hits, this portrayal is a stripped down, Beckett-inspired interpretation. The actors playing the Witches will double in other roles to give the impression of ubiquitous evil as this tragedy has its title character tumbling toward the abyss. Radio vs. Theater: The Final Smackdown Returns, November 12 For a third time, Beau O'Reilly, Chicago playwright, monologist and master of the theater arts, takes on Ira Glass, radio host, producer and master of the broadcast arts, in a battle for ultimate supremacy. The two will perform a series of "dueling monologues" each wielding his considerable skills and talents. O'Reilly will tell stories, embody characters, and recreate moments using his gifts of voice and movement and perhaps of song. Glass will sit at a mixing console with a microphone and pre-recorded quotes and music, and perform stories in the style of his radio show. No holds will be barred, no emotions untouched in this rare public contest. For a complete listing of shows and venues please visit Curious Theatre Branch.