Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

The weather was oddly appropriate. There was a haze on the city skyline and a white, bleached-out quality to the sunlight; it had all the characteristics of a hot midsummer afternoon. Yet the temperature was actually a bit brisk, especially, of course, near the lake but even downtown away from the water, on the south […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Hitler-Reagan Equation

A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY Stage Left Theatre “The world is perched on the brink of . . . something!” –Agnes Eggling, in A Bright Room Called Day. There’s a character named Zillah in Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day: a young Jewish woman with a punky style who harbors an obsessive loathing for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Minnie’s Boys

MINNIE’S BOYS National Jewish Theater What exactly is laughter anyway? The facial muscles contract automatically, the diaphragm heaves, all in response to a series of complex mental associations. There’s nothing else like it in the human experience, except for tears of sadness. What triggers this profound reflex action? Why do some people laugh at a […]

Posted inMusic

Albert Mangelsdorff

In the 70s, Albert Mangelsdorff recorded an album called Tromboneliness, and the concept contained in that title applies to his appearance in Chicago: an evening of unaccompanied improvisation. No matter that the trombone would seem to be an instrument particularly ill-suited to the purpose; in Mangelsdorff’s hands, it might as well be anything from a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Circuits Clandestins

CIRCUITS CLANDESTINS Compagnie Patrice Bigel/La Rumeur at the UIC Theatre A man in a magenta suit (played by Jean-Christophe Clair) enters and walks smartly downstage. An amplified voice says, “Oui.” Pleased, the man hustles back upstage and walks forward again, slightly flashier this time. “Oui.” The man throws off his jacket and walks forward again […]

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The Creation

Right on the heels of its impressive original-instrument revival of Mozart’s Idomeneo, the City Musick embarks on yet another quest for authenticity. This time around, however, the task is more daunting; for the magnificence of Haydn’s oratorio The Creation, as several superb recordings eloquently demonstrate, seems best served by the modern-instrument, large-ensemble approach. Inspired by […]

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Bodily Fears

DAVID PUSZH DANCE COMPANY at Mundelein College Auditorium May 19-21 WORKS IN MOTION Shaun Gilmore at MoMing Dance & Arts Center May 19-22 OK, so maybe it’s not fair to compare two choreographers on the basis of a shared costume designer. But coincidentally, Joel Klaff (aka Guy Taylor, ace fashion designer and media celebrity) turned […]

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The premiere performance of Ballet Chicago was a colossal production; it consisted of nine ballets, four of them performed by guest artists who arrived in town only the day before the event. The single rehearsal that preceded it, uniting for the first time all the dancers, costumes, and music, was hardly a graceful undertaking. It […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Fifth Sun

THE FIFTH SUN Latino Chicago Theater Company at the Firehouse Like its subject, the El Salvadoran Jesuit priest Oscar Romero, Nicholas Patricca’s play The Fifth Sun is a work divided–between outrage at the injustices of a repressive regime on the one hand and intellectual self-absorption and spiritual introspection on the other. Like other plays about […]