At a time when we're still freaking out about the Swine Flu, you wouldn't think it would be a great idea to debut a creative performance in which the 17th-century Plague has a starring role. But local narrative chamber-music ensemble Fifth House likes to take risks, and its latest production, "Black Violet," a collaboration with graphic novelist Ezra Clayton Daniels, seems likely to reward audiences who do the same. The show will marry the ensemble's music with a corresponding narrative about the travails of a black cat (Violet) and white albino rat (Tibia) in Plague-ridden London (the story will be projected on slides displayed above the ensemble).
The first performances will occur on October 6 at the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater (7 p.m., free) and October 8 at SPACE in Evanston (8 p.m., $8-$25). Subsequent shows at both venues will continue in February and April. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit the Fifth House website.