Posted inArts & Culture

Double Feature

DOUBLE FEATURE Theatre M and Diamondback Theater at Stage Left Theatre One can draw many facile comparisons between Quincy Long’s The Johnstown Vindicator and David Mamet’s Squirrels, which are playing together at Stage Left under the heading “Double Feature.” Squirrels is a dissection of uninspired writing, while The Johnstown Vindicator is an example of it. […]

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Locked Up in Time

A fascinating German documentary by Sybille Schonemann about her return to the East German penitentiary where she spent a year as a political prisoner before Germany’s reunification. In addition to restaging portions of her own arrest and incarceration, she films her confrontations with the officials who brought unspecified charges against her, the secret police who […]

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Jackie Mason: Brand New

The stage of the Shubert Theatre is laid out like a television news studio for Jackie Mason’s new one-man show–desks, chairs, elaborately schlocky “JM” logos on the walls, and big and little TV monitors everywhere. The stocky, shock-haired Mason comes on and, for a couple of hilarious hours, pointedly ignores these trappings; preferring instead to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Dying to Talk

Recently in the Renaissance Room of the Hotel Inter-Continental, several hundred doctors and lawyers gathered to talk about putting patients to death. They also came to share secrets, confess, and grieve. The conference–Physician Assisted Dying: Progress or Peril?, sponsored by the American Society of Law & Medicine–was intended to help these doctors and lawyers evaluate […]

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Kind Ness

KIND NESS Blind Parrot Productions at the Gallery Ping Chong’s Kind Ness is a sly piece. It’s so harmonious, so funny, so darn entertaining that it’s easy to sit back and mindlessly watch it the way you’d watch a Cubs game from a good seat behind home plate. Then you start to think about what […]

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The Glass Menagerie/The Last Meeting of the Knights of the White Magnolia

THE GLASS MENAGERIE Black Ensemble THE LAST MEETING OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE WHITE MAGNOLIA Avenue Productions at Avenue Theatre You can take it as a compliment to the universality of Tennessee Williams’s best-known work. In Black Ensemble’s African American version of The Glass Menagerie, Williams’s memory play about a troubled family that can only […]

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Decaying Myths

TONY FITZPATRICK AND OBAJI NYAMBI at Lorenzo Rodriguez Gallery Midway between the crumbling Kennedy Expressway and the rough edges of Bucktown, the spare storefront of Lorenzo Rodriguez’s home and gallery glows with carefully placed interior lights. Known about town for his large-scale art-strewn warehouse parties catering to Chicago’s black-leather-jacket bohemia, Rodriguez settled his art interest […]

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Vinny Golia Trio

On instruments from baritone sax to flute, Los Angeleno Vinny Golia makes music with power, precision, and poetry: demanding, challenging, and worth everything you put into it as a listener. (If Marlon Brando had played jazz, I fancy it would’ve sounded like this.) His technique bristles with the integrity typical of those who’ve tamed the […]

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Beyond the Pale

BEYOND THE PALE Caravan Productions at the Heartland Studio Beyond the Pale is an impressive example of what can be done with an idea, some talented people, and a few dollars. A very few dollars. Conceived by the director, Jessica Thebus, and one of the cast members, Shannon Jackson, this play consists of eight Chicago […]