Godzilla Rainbow Troupe


Dates: 1971 - 1974
Size: 1 linear foot
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605
Collection Number: Archives_GRT
Provenance: The majority of the pieces in the collection, including several one-of-a-kind photographs, were donated to the Special Collections department by Mr. Tucker shortly before his death in 1989. Additional material has been generously donated by Dr. Richard Foley and set designer Rick Paul.
Access: Researchers, please request this material 24 hours in advance of use.
Citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Godzilla Rainbow Troupe [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.

The Godzilla Rainbow Troupe was founded in 1971 by Gary Tucker under the pseudonym ’Eleven’. Tucker had previously worked with Charles Ludlum’s Riduclous Theatrical Company, and Godzilla Rainbow had many of the same characteristics: scatalogical content, nudity, cross-gender casting, and a high dose of camp. Their first show was Bill Vehr’s Whores of Babylon which opened at the Body Politic Theatre and then moved to the Kingston Mines. The Mines also housed their next two shows, Bill Vehr and Charles Ludlum’s Turds in Hell and a drag version of Tobacco Road . Their final show, Eleven’s adaptation and staging of John Colton’s The Shanghai Gesture played at the a run-down burlesque house in the South Loop. In 1973, Godzilla Rainbow took Whores of Babylon to the Festival Mondial Theatre in Nancy, France.

Despite their short run as a company, Godzilla Rainbow produced vital, extremely memorable theater. Many of Chicago’s well known actors and designers such as Jack Wallace, Linda Kimbrough, Tom Biscotto, J. Pat Miller and Rick Paul worked with the Troupe.

Scope and Content

The material is arranged chronologically, with larger items and photographs filed separately. A box arrangement listing follows.

NOTE: Some of the photographs do contain nudity.

Related Collections

Body Politic Theatre Collection
Goodman Theatre Archive, Production History Files (A House Not Meant to Stand, 1981)

Container List


Godzilla Rainbow Troupe - General 

1. Clippings, c. 1973

Whores of Babylon by Bifi Vehr, August 1971. Directed by Eleven [Gary Tucker] at the Body Politic Theatre.

2. Reviews and clippings
2a. Script; xerox of original, with notes in Tucker’s hand
SEE ALSO: GRT-AV, GRT-AV Oversize, GRT Box 2

Turds in Hell by Bill Vehr and Charles Ludlam, October 1972. Directed by Eleven [Gary Tucker] at the Kingston Mines Theater. Sets by Ed Paschke, costumes by Stuart Iverson, choreography by Dido, lights by Jack Berlinski, music by Van Karisson and Eleven [Tucker], with J. Pat Miller, Roberta Custer. Jack Wallace, Lily Monkus, Tom Biscotto.

3. Program
4. Promotional material and reviews

SEE ALSO: GRT-AV, Poster GRT Box 2, Awards GRT Box 2

Tobacco Road adapted from the novel by Erskine Caldwell by Jack Kirkland, at the Kingston Mines Theater, n.d. Directed by Eleven [Gary Tucker], sets by Stuart Iverson, costumes by Poss, lighting by Michael Hooker, with J. Pat Miller, Eleven [Tucker], Hedda Lubin, Wild Cherry.

5. Program
SEE ALSO: GRT-AV, Poster GRT Box 2

Highlights of Tobacco Road and Whores of Babylon with Screen Test by Ronald Tavel (directed by Eleven [Tucker] and the 1944 movie Cobra Woman) as part of 1973 An Endless Party at the Kingston Mines Theater, December 31, 1972.

6. Program and flyer

Whores of Babylon by Bill Vehr, May-June, 1973, at Le Palace-Tex Pop, Montmarte and Festival Mondial Theatre du Nancy, France.

7. Reviews and clippings
SEE ALSO: Poster GRT Box 2

The Shanghai Gesture by John Colton, September 1974. Directed by Eleven at the Foffies Burlesque Theatre on State Street. Sets by Rick Paul, costumes by Flemming Wilson and Reece McBride, lighting by Clyde Foster, with Gary Houston, Tom Biscotto, Linda Kimbrough.

8. Program and reviews
SEE ALSO: GRT-AV, Poster GRT Box 2


1. Three Charles MacArthur awards from the Chicago Drama Critic’s Society for Turds in Hell , December 1973

2. Two oversize photographs from Whores of Babylon , 1971

3. Poster from Whores of Babylon , Festival Mondial Theatre de Nancy, 1973

4. Poster from Tobacco Road

5. Poster from The Shanghai Gesture

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