Julian Baumgartner may be the sole owner of Chicago’s oldest conservation studio, but that doesn’t keep him from being simultaneously the master of old masters and social media. He’s a man with a fan base in the millions—many of whom claim they know or care nothing about art but are faithful viewers of his videos. […]
“Material artifacts are the most concrete things that surround us in our homes,” writes Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book The Meaning of Things. Most of us, particularly since the pandemic started, spend the majority of our time in our homes—giving the objects and environments therein an oversized role in shaping our moods, our days, and […]
In August 2021, the new art gallery Ruschwoman announced its arrival with the group exhibition “Speculative Magenta Hauntology.” The lead image in the exhibition was by the late artist Chiara Fumai. In the photo, titled Annie Jones Reads Valerie Solanas, Fumai was dressed as the famed bearded woman Annie Jones; behind her, large, bold letters […]
Jon Kitley of Aurora has made a friend of horror. For 22 years he’s run Kitley’s Krypt, a site devoted to horror films, ranging from the earliest silent nightmares to the latest terrors from overseas. The site started in October of 1998 using the now-defunct Microsoft FrontPage tool. Kitley’s Krypt continues to provide regular updates […]
Ajumma Rising February 1, 2022: Serpent Day. Candy-Making Day. World Hijab Day. National Baked Alaska Day. International Face and Body Art Day. And a historic day when the Lunar New Year coincided with the first day of Black History Month—and a troupe of ajummas in top-to-toe uniform—perms, visors, puffy vests, patterned pants, and practical shoes—descended […]
Perceptions Theatre If you’ve had your fill of dead white male playwrights, or even if you just want to add some variety to your dramatic play reading list, Perceptions Theatre has the prescription for you. The company, founded by artistic director Myesha-Tiara, has been hosting a play reading club that features BIPOC playwrights. During the […]
Windy City Playhouse It’s no secret that theater companies (and movie theaters) make a lot of their profits at the concession stand. So curating themed cocktails is not that uncommon for theater spaces around Chicago. However, there is one location that has made their drink menu as iconic as their immersive work—Windy City Playhouse. Not […]
The Vixen Fierce, powerful, and incredibly talented, the Vixen is the sweetheart of Chicago’s drag scene. Following her appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Vixen has become a champion and leader of Chicago queens, with a self-stated mission to “make the community better, be the hall monitor of drag—keeping everyone on their toes.” The Vixen […]
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The audience Between Monday, March 16, 2020 and Saturday, July 10, 2021, I saw exactly zero live productions—probably the longest dry spell of theatergoing since my teens. In the 16 months between Theater Wit’s Teenage Dick and Theatre Above the Law’s Henchpeople, I saw loads of digital productions, caught up on a ton of television […]
“Video Brain Blender” gave me an experience I couldn’t have replicated at home, and that’s exactly what I missed about going to the movies throughout the pandemic.
Sophie Thatcher Monica Vitti. Peter Ivers. Béatrice Dalle. Esoteric influences the impossibly cool Sophie Thatcher pays tribute to on her impossibly cool Instagram account, which all have me running for Wikipedia to keep up. After her breakout turn on Showtime’s Yellowjackets, this 21-year-old product of the Chicago theater scene has literally become her generation’s Juliette […]
When the world, or the country, wants you dead and forgotten, making unforgettable living music is a kind of defiance. Every performer in Summer of Soul knows that. But no one puts it over with more force than Chicago’s Mahalia.
Out of Site On your way home from work, you get off the train and there is a giant puppet show featuring a man fighting a puppet hydra in an empty parking lot. Or you meander into Wicker Park, the actual park, and encounter a human-sized box covered in floral wallpaper with the words “Look […]