, August 2006. Listen here.
WNUR’s Lit Show.
Chicago Sun-Times, January 2006. “Everyone cheers when Messinger finishes, and you think The Dollar Store is some kind of bargain.”
Bookslut calls us “excellent.”
Chicago Sun-Times, 2005: “Some of the best young writers in town show up on the first Friday of each month at the Hideout, a bar at 1354 W. Wabansia, to partake in a performance series called “The Dollar Store.”
The Bastion, February 2007
“What can you do with a dollar? Come to the monthly reading series that expounds on the wonders of cheap things.”
The Methods Reporter, November, 2006
Reservoir, November 2006
The great documentarian Carey Rohrbacher has made an awesome shortdoc about our show. Watch it now!
“Chicago’s most dynamic literary event.”
Windy City Citizen
here to read Chicagoist's interview with Mr. Sosenko.
To find out more about our partnership with the Third Coast International Audio Festival: Go here.
...you think the Dollar
Store is some kind of bargain. You're having a great time and all it
cost was a $1 cover-- a dollar.
Read the whole story here.
DARREN O'DONNELL When
Toronto-based writer and performer Darren O'Donnell hit Quimby's in
October, he delivered a monologue from his ever evolving one-man show
A Suicide-Site Guide to the City, a theater piece that dramatizes one
of his pet concerns: the breakdown of the boundary between audience
and performer. He wasn't on a stage in the tiny bookstore, and the abbreviated
bit he delivered didn't include any direct audience participation, but
the partly improvised piece was electrifying--a far cry from your typically
sleepy reading. His 2004 novel, Your Secrets Sleep With Me,
is similarly interactive. The book's comic tale of kids on the caffeinated
lam is peppered with second-person interruptions, in which the narrator
exhorts the reader to really--I mean, come on, seriously--think about
what you're doing, to look at the person next to you, and even, at a
certain point, to "kiss yourself. . . . Just put this book down
for a moment and kiss your own hand. Why not? What have you got to lose?"
O'Donnell performs as part of the monthly "Dollar Store" series,
for which each participant must craft a piece around a particular item
from a dollar store. O'Donnell's inspiration is a plaque that says THERE'S
NEVER ENOUGH TIME UNLESS YOU'RE SERVING IT. Joining him are Elizabeth
Crane, working with a box of generic minoxidil, and Jeremy Sosenko,
riffing on a fisherman's hat emblazoned with the words FRANCE, EGYPT
and MOROCCO. Jonathan Messinger hosts, with help from local comic Sean
Gardner. --> Fri 6/3, 7 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, $1 suggested
donation, 21+. --Todd Dills
Some of the best young writers in town show up
on the first Friday of each month at the Hideout, a bar at 1354 W. Wabansia,
to partake in a performance series called "The Dollar Store."
Each month at "The Dollar Store," four
or five artists -- usually including a couple of fiction writers, maybe
a poet and a comic -- present works inspired by an object picked up
in a dollar store. The founder of the performance series, Jonathan Messinger,
who is books editor for Time Out Chicago, chooses the object of inspiration.
"Next month, for May, it's lousy paperbacks,"
Hideout is brimming with Chicago's literati. They're all here for "The
Dollar Store," a monthly show run by Jonathan Messinger of thisisgrand.org.
Messinger has picked up three items from Chicago's finer dollar stores,
and passed them out to three of Chicago's finer writers and performers
to serve as inspiration.
Packed with wares that
are almost too cheap and random even for eBay -- think discontinued
candy, detergent in bulk, and dinky foreign toys -- dollar stores
truly do give you a bang for your measly buck. As this relaxed night
of readings aims to prove, they also can provide a unique starting point
for storytelling. Hosted by local writer Jonathan Messinger, the event
features the common thread that each story begins with an item purchased
from a random dollar store; with that as their only constraint, the
performers were given a month to travel down whatever tangential literary
path they pleased. The results may be unpredictable, but the price is
certainly right. (PS)
Columbia Chronicle, 11.22.04
Messinger said the idea
for "The Dollar Store," which charges only a $1 donation
for admittance, came to him a couple months ago. "I just thought
it'd be fun and less stressful than some of the other literary
events around the city," he said.
The audience that packed
the backroom of the Hideout and participants like [Sean] Gardner made
it evident that "The Dollar Store" will live up to its creator's