Posted inAgenda

Sound healing, Lawndale Arts Festival, Jane, and more music

Sound healing is both an art and a science, and that’s why many boundary-pushing electronic musicians have worked in the (maligned! misunderstood! incredible!) territory of “new age” music. Local audio artist and healer Mirza Shams (who DJs and performs as Naxö) knows this overlap well. That’s why they host sound healing sessions through the Chicago […]

Posted inTheater Review

‘And then I laughed’

At one point in Theatre Y’s ambulatory Laughing Song: A Walking Dream, Marvin Tate as George W. Johnson (the first Black American recording artist) is asked by a reporter at a press conference, “Is your laugh real, or is it fake?” It’s a reasonable question—but by the end of this four-hour show, which weaves together […]

Posted inAgenda

Salt Shed opening, Broadway in a park, Queer cinema, and bats

Join local musicians Makaya McCraven and Sons of Kemet for an outdoor show to celebrate the inaugural evening of the Salt Shed (1357 N. Elston), Chicago’s newest independent music venue, which occupies the site of the former Morton Salt complex. They’ll be joined on the lineup by British jazz musician Nubya Garcia. Tickets are $30, […]

Posted inGhost Light

Mudlark expands its community outreach

The last time I checked in with Evanston’s youth-oriented Mudlark Theater in April 2020, they were in the midst of pivoting to online workshops and creating digital shows. The company has returned to live classes and performances since then. And now, with the help of two grants, they’re poised to further expand their focus on […]

Posted inAgenda

Blasian March, Laughing Song, Dummy, and Giallo Gelato

The Blasian March, cofounded in New York by onetime Chicago dancer and performer Rohan Zhou-Lee in the wake of the George Floyd Black Lives Matter protests, has grown to encompass other cities, including New Haven and Los Angeles. Now, thanks in part to Columbia College Chicago’s Asian Student Organization, it’s come to Chicago. As Zhou-Lee […]

Posted inTheater Review

Queens of the road

In 1994, an Australian road comedy about three drag artists heading off in a beat-up tour bus across the Outback felt like a breath of fresh air in a cinematic landscape that tended to focus stories with “gay themes” on the tragedy of AIDS, and that still tended to view being trans as a punch […]

Posted inAgenda

Sunset 1919, CUFF, Atomic Sketch, and more

Atomic Sketch, which bills itself “Chicago’s original drink and draw” event, celebrates its 14th birthday today in the best way it knows how: a special anniversary drinking and drawing session from 6-10:30 PM tonight at Green Eye Lounge (2403 W. Homer). Featured artists Cecilia Jane, Rebeca Soto, Vivian Jones, Mel Valentine, Morgan Hall, and Megan […]

Posted inTheater Review

Glitter and be God

You want irony? How’s this—the actor originally cast as Judas in the 50th-anniversary touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar, James Beeks, was dismissed from the tour after being arrested for his participation in the January 6 insurrection. In his pretrial motion, Beeks claimed that he didn’t recognize the authority of the government and that he […]

Posted inTheater Review

War and romance

Ken Ludwig is best known for high-octane farces such as Lend Me a Tenor, but in Dear Jack, Dear Louise, he goes for tender epistolary romance. Based on the love-affair-via-letters story of how his parents met in World War II (but wholly imagined by Ludwig, as his mother destroyed the letters before her death), this […]

Posted inTheater Review

Singing past stigma

The same day that I saw Nikki Lynette’s new musical Get Out Alive with Haven, the U.S. rolled out the new 988 phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, with the promise that there will be more resources to address mental health and substance abuse issues, as well as support for those experiencing suicide […]