Whatever your views on the romantic accounts by artists the world over of the “brave and bewildered amateurs” who fought against Franco, there’s no denying the opportunity a revue of music from the era represents. In Pasiones: The Songs of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 some of Chicago’s foremost musical talents join forces in an hour-long program of multilingual period propaganda stirring enough to engage even the most cynical pacifist. Considerably tightened by award-winning director Peter Glazer since last winter’s Rhino fest appearance, Pasiones still features internationally acclaimed musicians Michael Smith and Jamie O’Reilly, who reconnoiter the intricate Iberian rhythms with such closely fused harmony and razor-clean enunciation (assisted by Katrina O’Reilly) as to seem a single voice. The songs themselves range from patriotic anthems to nostalgic ballads about faraway homelands to weary, bawdy soldiers’ laments, all performed with enough immediacy and conviction that we leave wondering where we can sign up. Lunar Cabaret and Full Moon Cafe, 2827 N. Lincoln, 312-458-0822. Through May 5: Fridays-Saturdays, 8 PM; Monday, May 5, 9 PM. $12. –Mary Shen Barnidge
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo by Iwona Biedermann.