Posted inArts & Culture

The Next Generation Project

THE NEXT GENERATION PROJECT at Link’s Hall April 3-5 Chicago’s many showcases for new choreographers often carefully state that they show “emerging” artists. “The Next Generation Project,” sponsored by Jan Bartoszek’s Hedwig Dances, also carefully states its purpose: to present the best choreographers to emerge from the other showcases–the promising choreographers who may form the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Prospect

PROSPECT Latino Chicago Theater Company Liza’s been waiting at this bar for Vince for hours, and she’s getting ticked off. So she strikes up a conversation with Scout, who’s been buying her drinks all night. Scout’s a Mexican computer programmer who’s been struggling with his racial identity (his real name is Mario), and though he […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pocket Full of Posies

POCKET FULL OF POSIES Wysiwyg Theatre Company at Angel Island A playwright this bad should at least have the modesty to tackle a tiny subject. In Pocket Full of Posies, a new work, local playwright Joseph Savit pretends to confront a growing problem–the unwillingness of private hospitals to treat high-risk patients–but doesn’t even approach enlightening […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

Basketball has replaced baseball as the sport of choice; at least in my life it has. Football, of course, remains Chicago’s obsession, but basketball has caught and, I believe, surpassed baseball as the sport that mirrors our lives. Its hectic pace, leading up to unexpected epiphanies, is both how our lives seem and how we […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lonnie Brooks

Guitarist Lonnie Brooks’s Louisiana roots are usually more hinted at than proclaimed these days–a droning harmony, deceptively propulsive slow shuffle, or a long shimmering phrase reminiscent of Guitar Slim. Mostly, he’s a hard-driving contemporary bluesman, with a distinctive, high-pitched voice and a penchant for meticulous arrangements and well-crafted lyrics. Brooks used to play country music, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Roadside Prophets

The acting is raw and unglued, the guest-star appearances of aging 60s icons (Arlo Guthrie, Timothy Leary, David Carradine) are self-conscious and arch, and the sprawling episodic construction is underlined by conceptions that are sentimental to a fault. But this odd little road movie–a first feature written and directed by Abbe Wool, who cowrote Sid […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gertrude Stein and a Companion

GERTRUDE STEIN AND A COMPANION Borealis Productions at Strawdog Theatre According to a recent biography of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway said that when Alice B. Toklas entered Stein’s life, Stein stopped looking like a beautiful peasant woman and started looking like a Roman emperor. And indeed, the enduring image of Stein is grave and commanding. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Joe Segal Presents

Joe Segal, the venerable producer/promoter of the Jazz Showcase, is billing this concert as “The Jazz Event of the Year!” Segal was never one to shy from hyperbole; this time, though, his description may well fill the bill. To celebrate his 45 years of presenting “sessions”–Segal’s word for almost everything from a pickup jam to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is the first interactive comedy show with a decidedly cyberpunk sensibility. It’s performed by the Upright Citizens Brigade, a comedy troupe trained in improvisation but willing to take the form places even the bold Annoyance Theatre has not gone before. The hour-long show is based on the premise that it’s a demonstration in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

. . . Some Unfinished Chaos . . .

. . . SOME UNFINISHED CHAOS . . . Equity Library Theatre Chicago at Chicago Dramatists Workshop Our perceptions are shaped by a gestalt–a way of organizing information into meaningful patterns. That’s how we sort through the details: those that fit our personal gestalt get noticed, while the rest fade into the background. The problem, […]

Posted inMusic

U2: the grace of another time

U2 has a charismatic leader without portfolio for a singer, an idiot savant for a guitarist, and about the strongest rhythm section you can imagine. Distinctive and impressive today, they started out scruffy and rather anonymous. On the release of their first album, Boy, in 1980 they seemed like just another vaguely new-wave British aggregation […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story Robert Coker, 24, remains unrepentant about his love for the 11-year-old girl he used to live across the street from in Salem, Oregon, despite the fact that he was recently imprisoned for failure to keep away from her and her family. He continues to send her love letters from prison and told a […]