First produced last winter at the Next Theatre, Eric Simonson’s passionate staging of The Normal Heart has reopened at the Ivanhoe, which of late has hosted light musical and comedy fare. Normal Heart is anything but–written by gay activist Larry Kramer, it’s a lacerating, deeply serious examination of the individual and social costs of AIDS […]
The house on Howe Street near Armitage is, you’d have to say, one very elegant residence. The frame structure, situated snugly behind a wrought-iron fence, has a second-story balcony and forest-green paint and trim. The living room and dining room on the first floor are linked by a shared fireplace, and there’s a solarium off […]
Have you ever held in your hand a memo from Governor Thompson? Are you sure?
In Vietnam they had servants, chauffeurs, nannies. Here they wait tables and sleep like sardines.
Those Lincoln Avenue roommates, the Body Politic and Victory Gardens theaters, have lent their two-level performance complex as well as their energies to the task of bringing off this six-week-long 13-playwright showcase for homegrown talents. Productions include two full-length works, three programs of short plays, and a couple of pieces-in-progress (see below for details). Body […]
Somewhere between prose and cinema lie these “comic” books, a new kind of narrative art.
James “Snooky” Pryor’s broad-toned, rhythmic harmonica lent its flowing emotional intensity to some of the most significant blues recordings of the 1940s and ’50s, most notably those by Floyd Jones (“Stockyard Blues,” “Schooldays on My Mind”) and Sunnyland Slim. (“Goin’ Back to Memphis”), and he remains an accomplished purveyor of the music he helped bring […]
ROAD Remains Theatre Ensemble at the Organic Theater Road is one damn good evening of theater. I don’t get to say that very often; hardly ever. Chicago has dozens of theater companies dedicated, as they say, to presenting new and challenging plays. You hear that claim a lot; but when you get there you often […]
AUNT DAN & LEMON Steppenwolf THE APPENDIX TO AUNT DAN & LEMON PERFORMED at the Chicago Actors Project And you may ask yourself, “My God! What have I done?” –Talking Heads. The earth has two crusts. One made of rock; and the other, of all the horrors people have inflicted on each other since Cain […]
Had Professor Higgins cared as much about food as he did about spoken English, he might well have exclaimed, “Why can’t the English teach their children how to cook?” English food has long had a reputation for being god-awful, and not just among tourists. Many years ago the British humor magazine Punch ran a contest […]
Obviously it was a messenger. I should have tested it, spoken to it, asked it for a lesson. Instead I squashed it.
SHORTS #1 Great Chicago Playwrights Exposition at the Body Politic Dramatists who write short stuff clearly defy the odds. Unless they provide a companion piece to complete a dynamite package deal, they can never know if their sketch, monologue, or one-act will ever see the light of day, let alone find worthy stage mates. Is […]
If you can handle spending a holiday in Berwyn, Independence Day at FitzGerald’s provides an opportunity to see two bands that make me prouder to be an American than a lifetime supply of rockets and red glare. Nobody has done more to save the accordion from Lawrence Welk’s Disease than Clifton Chenier, whose Bogalusa Boogie […]
SHORTS #2 Great Chicago Playwrights Exposition at the Body Politic In the second round of short works from “Play Expo,” there’s a big gap between those plays written from the inside out–where what the characters do and say seems to come from the persons they really are–and those from the outside in, where people come […]
DOONESBURY New Tuners Theatre at the Theatre Building Sometimes I’ll catch myself going over Doonesbury four or five times. First I read the words. Then I go over the comic strip again, pausing at each frame to admire the draftsmanship. Finally, I go back and dwell on the bemused, droopy-lidded expressions that Garry Trudeau draws […]