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 […]

Posted inNews & Politics


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 […]

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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 […]

Posted inFilm

A Russian in Hollywood

SHY PEOPLE *** (A must-see) Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky Written by Konchalovsky, Gerard Brach, and Marjorie David With Jill Clayburgh, Barbara Hershey, Martha Plimpton, Merritt Butrick, John Philbin, and Mare Winningham. I still have a lot of catching up to do with Andrei Konchalovsky. Out of his 11 or so features to date, the last […]

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Carl Dreyer’s last film, one of the most controversial movies ever made, would be my own candidate for the most beautiful, affecting, and inexhaustible of all narrative films, but it is clearly not for every taste–not, alas, even remotely. Adapted from a long-forgotten play by Hjalmar Soderberg written during the early years of this century, […]

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Tom and Viv

TOM AND VIV Pidgin English Productions at Broadway Arts Center Should I, after tea and cakes and ices, Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? The words come from J. Alfred Prufrock but the paralyzed energy is very much T.S. Eliot. Thomas Stearns Eliot was no poet to prefer the present when […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Illinois Trivia

On Thursday, May 12, it is almost painfully bright in front of the State of Illinois Center at the kickoff ceremony for Illinois Tourism Week. Once in a while, a breeze starts a string of balloons or a flag swinging lazily. There has already been a balloon launch, accompanied by the loud strains of “Illinois, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Knee Plays

THE KNEE PLAYS at the Civic Theatre The Knee Plays is a collaborative effort between Robert Wilson and David Byrne. In a word, it sucks. If you find the word sucks offensive or culturally reductive, you can have your pick of tedious, insipid, monotonous, uninspired, or pretentious. Scenario and direction are by Robert Wilson, who […]