Posted inArts & Culture

Winter Arts Preview

When we first started planning this special winter arts issue, there was reason for cautious optimism about live performances. But as December turned to January and the Omicron surge hit, several companies did what they’ve been doing for almost two years: they made new plans. Bridgette M. Redman profiles playwright Cat McKay, whose show Plaid […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Building 63rd House

On August 5, 1966, near Marquette Park, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was attacked while leading a protest to demand housing desegregation. Several blocks away from this spot stands 3055 W. 63rd, a formerly abandoned post office that turned 100 years old in 2020. This is the location where Blue Tin Production (a […]

Posted inPerforming Arts Feature

Welcome to Venus

Back in December, there was a shining sliver of time when it looked like we—as individuals, as artists, as arts institutions—were forging a clear, or at least clear-ish, path forward.  Hundreds of people were back at work on live, in-person shows. A Christmas Carol burned bright at the Goodman. The Snow Queen got a shiny […]

Posted inDance

Kia Smith is a south-side diplomat of dance

At Chicago Dancers United’s Dance for Life festival last August, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage reverberated with layers of rhythm. Each row of dancers formed a different section of intertwining phrases—movements playful and powerful that recalled the musicality of jazz. The piece, South Chicago Dance Theatre’s Architect of a Dream, was the work of Kia […]

Posted inTheater Review

Talking democracy to death

If you think Congress is inept in a crisis now, just wait till you see what 2465 has in store! In Brendan Pelsue’s dystopian dramedy, Wellesley Girl, the U.S. has been reduced to three (or maybe four, if you count abandoned Wellesley) towns in Massachusetts—the only places on the eastern seaboard where, thanks to MIT […]

Posted inTheater Review

Sinister spinsters

Jen Silverman’s The Moors is a brilliantly executed pastiche of everything from Wuthering Heights (the gloomy insalubrious environs of the title) to Rebecca, complete with a menacing parlor maid/scullery maid named either Marjory or Mallory, and suffering from either an unwanted pregnancy or typhus, depending on what room you catch her in. (Played to perfection […]

Posted inLit Feature

Let’s get lit

Here are some book-related, word-inspired, and otherwise literary Chicago events to help kick off 2022. Each event is open to the public, but registration or tickets might be required (and you’ll want to support the writers by buying their books!).  Wed 1/19, 6:30 PM: City Lit Books co-presents its regular Poetry Salon in an online […]

Posted inTheater Review

A 21st-century Oklahoma!

Director Daniel Fish’s controversial 2019 Broadway revival of the classic musical Oklahoma! has come to Chicago for a two-week run at the CIBC Theatre. I don’t know how Fish’s innovative rethinking of the work (first developed at Bard College’s Fisher Center in 2015, and then produced off-Broadway at St. Ann’s Warehouse in 2018 prior to […]

Posted inTheater Review

Ghostly grief

In January of 2020, Black Button Eyes Productions presented the Chicago premiere of Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow’s quirky musical ghost story Whisper House, about an 11-year-old boy living in a haunted lighthouse. Now the company—whose motto is “We help magic invade reality”—has returned to song-driven supernatural storytelling with Mary Rose, an original musical based […]