Coming March 30th, a newsletter dedicated to what's new and next in Chicago visual and performing arts.

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Posted inArts & Culture

Fierce Love: Stories From Black Gay Life

FIERCE LOVE: STORIES FROM BLACK GAY LIFE Pomo Afro Homos at Randolph Street Gallery The dozen vignettes in Pomo Afro Homos’ Fierce Love: Stories From Black Gay Life, presented a couple weeks ago at Randolph Street Gallery, are uncompromisingly African American, uncompromisingly queer, and still remarkably universal. “These are some of our stories,” Djola Bernard […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Light Opera Works

Oscar Straus was one of Vienna’s last red-hot waltz kings. His operettas in the first three decades of this century helped set the standard for music theater as middlebrow entertainment and have served as models even for Stephen Sondheim. A Waltz Dream was arguably his greatest hit, though its plot is unusually ironic and bittersweet […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sue Foley

Sue Foley’s ability to combine roadhouse raunch with a sensitive feel for nuance and phrasing brings a welcome multidimensionality to her blues guitar playing. Her voice tends to be thin, sometimes detracting from the intensity of her music, but she excels on country romps (Memphis Minnie’s “Me and My Chaffeur Blues” and her own “Walkin’ […]

Posted inMusic

Peter Brotzmann With Hamid Drake

Peter Brotzmann is not only one of the very best saxophonists alive–he may also be the most dramatic. Though little known in America, he’s been a crucial figure in Europe’s homegrown jazz renaissance since the late 60s, when he exploded onto the scene with his own incendiary version of Albert Ayler’s already inflammable music. Over […]

Posted inArts & Culture


SALOME Interplay A more sumptuous script than Oscar Wilde’s Salome would be difficult to endure; his 75-minute poem-play is almost too gorgeous and ornate for a first hearing. Wilde wrote it in 1881, in flawless French, for Sarah Bernhardt, and her grandiloquent flair inspired him to heights of sensuous imagery and chartreuse prose previously unknown. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Waiting for Godot/Krapp’s Last tape

WAITING FOR GODOT and KRAPP’S LAST TAPE Gate Theatre International Theatre Festival at the Blackstone Theatre Recently I’ve noticed something strange and troubling about theater audiences: they don’t seem to know how to take a serious play anymore. It seems that unless the play is preachy or nod-off-in-your-seat boring, or the actors do a lot […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story According to police in Salt Lake City, a 27-year-old woman called 911 in May because her husband refused to have sex with her. By the time police arrived, the nearly nude woman had begun beating her husband, who attributed his lack of desire to an exciting Utah Jazz basketball game on TV. Well […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Avalanch Ranch

Part drum concert, part rock musical, part large-cast performance piece, Avalanch Ranch defies easy categorization. What would you call a show that combines Bryn Magnus’s trademark mythopoetic story telling and Shu Shubat’s choreographed Busby-Berkeley-ish drumming routines with an evening’s worth of music by the lcoal rock band Family Problem? Magnus and Shubat call the show […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Introduction to Life

HAPPY BLUEBALLS, YOUR LIFE IS WAITING! Metraform at the Annoyance Theatre RADIOJULIET Manifest Theatre Company at Avenue Theatre The phrase “life-affirming,” usually reserved for teary melodramas or precious musicals, is not a phrase you’d expect to hear in connection with the Annoyance Theatre, whose regular menu is messy, irreverent comedy. This is Metraform, and Happy […]

Posted inMusic

Keyboard Innovations

KATHLEEN SUPOVE Three Arts Club June 10 For centuries the piano has reigned supreme among musical instruments. It’s not hard to see why. As far back as the 1500s its older relatives the virginal and the harpsichord were almost as permanently fixed pieces of furniture as the family wardrobe in the households of Europe. They […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Restaurant Tours: bringing back Barney’s

Back in the days when cholesterol was just another unpronounceable word, Chicago was the steak center of the world–mainly because those foul-smelling south-side stockyards provided our restaurants with the best of the beef, riddled with saturated fat and absolutely ambrosial in flavor. Even the second-tier steakhouses were great, and places such as Barney’s Market Club, […]