Posted inPerforming Arts Feature

‘What happened in the community was almost like a brush fire’

What hit harder, the racism or the pandemic? When the world shut down, theater performances came to a halt. No one was laughing about anything. Improvisers couldn’t perform, and theaters across the city lost big money. Alongside COVID-19, the improv community had a great awakening regarding mistreatment of BIPOC talent. Major theaters retroactively diversified leadership […]

Posted inArts & Culture

From stage to page

I tell this story all the time, so forgive me if you’ve already heard it. But when I moved from Chicago in late 1993 to San Francisco (where I spent the next seven years), the first thing I did was pick up the alt-weeklies there: the SF Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian, both […]

Posted inMusic

Improvising trio Icepick renew jazz’s love affair with the El on their third LP, Hellraiser

Sun Ra may have told everyone he was from Saturn, but the Afrofuturistic avant-gardist spent the 1950s in Chicago. While he was here, he recorded “El Is a Sound of Joy,” jazz’s greatest tribute to the city’s public transport system. No one in improvising trio Icepick—bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, trumpeter Nate Wooley, and drummer Chris […]