From what I understand, Dada was an artistic movement that occurred between 1916 and 1920 - Wiemar Republic what up? - that was essentially a rejection of the rational and logical bias inherent in the bourgeois artistic status-quo which the Dadaists felt lead to the horrors of World War I. In fact, the show opens with one of the Dadas explaining what Dada is - a monologue which shortly becomes a series of loud nonsensical sounds. Basically, Dada can be described as violent nothingness.
As a result, I can't really tell you too much about the show. It's the kind of thing that you should really just go and see. The best that I can tell you is that the show felt like part carnival, part poetry slam, part Medieval Times, part anti-war demonstration, part period piece, part finger painting exhibit, part dirge and part roller coaster.
I found it interesting that, even though I knew that a lot of the Dada pieces were deliberately trying not to make sense, I couldn't help but make connections, look for patterns and come to conclusions. The mind needs to construct some sort of meaning out of the jumble of words and sounds. I couldn't help myself. The result was that I came away with a bunch of half-learned lessons that were never given to me by anyone. It was a bizarre but gratifying experience.
Ultimately I had a really good time, and when I came away I felt like I had just enjoyed a very unique theatrical experience. See the show because (a) it's very well done and (b) you will not see anything like it anywhere else in Chicago. It's the kind of show that will make you feel more cultured and intelligent, even though you won't be able to figure out exactly why.
Here's the info:
Soireé DADA: Blinde Essel Hopse
September 7 - October 14, 2007
Thursday - Saturday @ 7:30PM; Sunday @ 3PM
DCA Studio TheaterChicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph, Chicago