Posted inArts & Culture

Bringing the Pride party to the people

For LGBTQ+ audiences and their allies who may not want to spend all of their Pride weekend on the north side, the arts collective TRQPITECA offers an alternative. TRQPITECA, formed in 2015, consists of Chicago DJs and producers Natalie Murillo, aka La Spacer, and Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, aka CQQCHIFRUIT. Murillo and Guerrero curate nightlife and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

All in the Gayme

This June, queer youth are challenging audiences on what it means to be active in environmental justice and to participate in mutual aid activism. About Face Youth Theatre, founded in 1999, offers annual workshop sessions where LGBTQ+ youth and their allies ages 13 to 24 can participate in activist theater that supports learning in safe […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A bigger and more colorful world

There’s an expectation for most contestants on the drag reality competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race that the gigs will come a’callin’—and for those who have been lucky enough to appear in the big money, Emmy-nominated seasons, this can mean constant and sometimes worldwide travel for a while after their TV appearance. Denali is one such […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Musical makeover

If you spend any time breathing, you may have noticed polarities everywhere these days, most emanating from a belief gulf that is exponentially widening between conservatives and liberals with every Twitter post. One polarity being heightened not just in social media, but also in government chambers and around dinner tables, is the divide between LGBTQ+ […]

Posted inTheater Review

Just skating by

The year is 1994, and rock star Jacqueline Miller (Diana DeGarmo) is zigzagging the country on a tour. Her dishonest manager has absconded with her earnings, her deadbeat saxophonist boyfriend (Ace Young) is either cheating or has forgotten her birthday, and she’s going on Oprah tomorrow but just lost the cover of Rolling Stone to […]

Posted inTheater Review

Sea legs

Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, “The Little Mermaid,” is a load of hooey. Consider: The titular mermaid throws herself on a dagger in the end, because she can’t bear to go on after some dude she first encountered days earlier marries someone else. Also, she gives up her voice in exchange for legs so she […]

Posted inTheater Review

Home is where the heart is

Samm-Art Williams’s Home, first produced in 1979 with the seminal Negro Ensemble Company and then in a Tony-nominated run on Broadway in 1980, is considered a contemporary American classic, but it doesn’t get revived as much as it probably should. This feels especially self-evident when viewing Tim Rhoze’s stellar production for Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre. Staged simply […]

Posted inTheater Review

Puppet revelations

Puppets are cool, but they are also creepy. Very creepy. Even the cute ones, like Kermit the Frog or Ollie the Dragon. There is just something deeply unnerving about how puppets seem like autonomous beings, even when their puppeteers are right there on stage with them. I think there is something deep and primal in […]

Posted inTheater Review

Ghost bride

Noel Coward’s 1941 comedy about a socialite writer who finds himself haunted by his vivacious (if annoying) dead wife—while his living wife first questions his sanity, then finds herself in competition with the ghost—has inspired a host of revivals and homages. Consider Robyn Hitchcock’s 1985 song “My Wife and My Dead Wife,” and the criminally […]

Posted inDance

Romance languages

Two years into this pestilence, the misery of war, the disappointment of mankind day after day weighing down desperate minds, with a future certain of nothing but social and planetary destruction, do we not long for a reprieve? As the nobleman Alonso Quijano sought glory in the guise of the knight Don Quixote, as a […]

Posted inTheater Review

New generation, old family stories

Change is afoot at Black Ensemble Theater as it prepares to embark on a new era, leveraging a $5 million grant to implement founder and CEO Jackie Taylor’s longtime vision of a Free To Be corridor, which would expand the footprint of the theater campus and provide housing and support opportunities for artists and community. […]

Posted inTheater Review

Get on the bus

The Uvalde school massacre put a somber hue on my mood going into 57 Blocks, Free Street Theater’s latest ensemble-created piece that takes a sharp look at public education. But by the end of the evening, which starts out at Free Street’s Pulaski Park home in Wicker Park, takes audiences on a bus down Ashland […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Skateboarding as social practice

An average spectator might observe a skateboarder as nothing but a person on wheels; they see an athlete—or a delinquent, maybe—pushing and coasting and jumping (“How does the board stick to the bottom of their feet?”), there one minute and gone the next. But from the rider’s perspective, the world is transforming around them. Minute […]