Posted inArts & Culture

Underbite

MOUTH Robin Lakes/Rough Dance at the Dance Center of Columbia College, March 31 and April 1 and 2 Choreographer Robin Lakes has a knack for exploring the simple but essential things in life. In Mouth, her new full-length piece, she muses on that strange opening in our face, thoroughly examining the acts of kissing, biting, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Buckets o’ Beckett

BUCKETS O’ BECKETT Splinter Group Studio Done badly, something like Splinter Group’s third annual “Buckets o’ Beckett,” seven short pieces by the world’s most philosophical playwright, could easily become “Buckets o’ Boredom.” The most difficult thing about Beckett’s works is that they’re so amazingly abstract it’s hard to find the characters inside all those words. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Learning to Breathe in a Box

Gang threats, drug-addicted parents, drive-by shootings: we know the circumstances of low-income teens in Chicago because the media cover such things on a daily basis. What we don’t know is what all this does to a kid’s soul. TeenStreet’s Learning to Breathe in a Box tells us. The 12 members of the ensemble, Free Street […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ironmistress/Spike Heels

Ironmistress Halcyone Productions at Heartland Studio Theatre It’s one of those things you don’t even know is missing until you find it. But when you do, you let out a prayer of thanks. “Yes!” you want to exclaim. “This is what’s needed.” I walked into the Heartland Studio Theatre to see Halycone Productions’ Ironmistress, sat […]

Posted inArts & Culture

And Baby Makes Seven

AND BABY MAKES SEVEN Footsteps Theatre Company And Baby Makes Seven, by New York playwright Paula Vogel, could be called warm, witty, bold, daring, even zany. They’re the kind of words that make great banners for newspaper advertisements. They’re also quite deceptive. For while And Baby Makes Seven has all these qualities, it’s missing a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

David Dorfman Dance

Arts foundations have recently been hip to funding choreographers who tour the country, creating new dances with “community members.” Often the community members are “artistically disadvantaged”: kids from housing projects, old folks from senior-citizen centers, runaway teens. But New York choreographer David Dorfman decided to work with a segment of our society perhaps more artistically […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bonanza/The Course of It

BONANZA Id/Ego Productions at Live bait Theater Remember the episode of Bonanza when Hoss accidentally kills a man? Id/Ego Productions is now doing a bawdy, reverse-gender spoof of this episode. It’s well staged and very well acted, though to be honest, whenever I saw that map begin to burn I changed the channel to The […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Something to Say

PICTURED FROM RIGHT TO LEFT Off Your Center at Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center of Northwestern University, January 6-8; repeating at Link’s Hall, January 14 and 15 Acting on the precepts of such famous postmodernists as Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, and Merce Cunningham, young choreographers since them have often used dance to explore dance itself. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Deed of Trust

DEED OF TRUST Victory Gardens Theater There’s something comfortable about Claudia Allen’s plays. Maybe it’s because many of them are about small-town folks in Michigan. Maybe it’s because she often explores family matters. Maybe it’s because she has a sense of humor about and compassion for her characters. They’re fleshy. They’re genuine. They have quirky […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Doug Elkins Dance Company

Considered baffling by some audiences and hilarious by others, NYC choreographer Doug Elkins defies easy labeling because he wears every label. His choreography reflects his experience as a kid who discovered dance in one of the most diverse cities on earth. George Balanchine, John Travolta, Martha Graham, Michael Jackson–Elkins steals from them all. The Patrooka […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Love Comics

LOVE COMICS Illinois Theatre Center Perhaps you’ve read them, those passion-filled pages of illustrated stories chronicling the joys and perils of love (Gasp! Sigh!), true love. They’re romance comic books of the 1950s, and during that decade they outsold all other categories of comic books, providing postwar adolescent females with the motivation to settle down […]