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Posted inArts & Culture

Daystar: a Medieval Christmas Play/The Butterfingers Angel, Mary & Joseph, Herod the Nut & the Slaughter of 12 Hit Carols in a Pear Tree

DAYSTAR: A MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS PLAY Bailiwick Repertory with Coyote Company at Bailiwick Repertory THE BUTTERFINGERS ANGEL, MARY & JOSEPH, HEROD THE NUT & THE SLAUGHTER OF 12 HIT CAROLS IN A PEAR TREE Talisman Theatre As incredible as it may seem at this time of year, there are many American citizens who do not know […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sustained by the Golden Apple: teacher Odis Richardson, a troubleshooter for the underdog

In the mid-80s Odis Richardson wanted out of teaching. He was a special-education instructor and debate coach at south-side DuSable High School, which draws most of its students from the Robert Taylor housing project. And he’d been teaching in the Chicago Public Schools since 1965. But it was less that Richardson, an outgoing man in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Largest Elizabeth in the World/Sovietiquette: My Days in Russia

THE LARGEST ELIZABETH IN THE WORLD Griffin Theatre Company SOVIETIQUETTE: MY DAYS IN RUSSIA International Performance Studio Playwright Stephen Gregg’s The Largest Elizabeth in the World is a hilarious absurdist fantasy about a teenage girl who grows to be 50 feet tall. Gregg, who also penned Griffin’s successful Sex Lives of Superheroes, produced last season, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Deconstructed Christmas

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS Metraform at the Annoyance Theatre THE AMERICAN DREAM Synergy Theatre Company In a preface to The American Dream, Edward Albee describes his play as “an examination of the American Scene, an attack on the substitution of artificial for real values in our society, a condemnation of complacency, cruelty, emasculation and vacuity; […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gone

GONE Theater Oobleck If you’re not a member of the Oobleck cognoscenti, seeing an Oobleck show can be kind of like going to a party where you’re the only one who’s not stoned. All around you, there are people discussing with amazing lucidity Hegelian philosophy and Wilbur Wood and how Animals was really Pink Floyd’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fritz Hauser

Calling Fritz Hauser a drummer is like describing a hologram as “a snapshot.” Technically correct, it quite misses the point. A master colorist, this Swiss percussion virtuoso layers not just rhythms but sounds, from the distant rumblings of soft-pedaled dual bass drums to the wildly expressive sparkle of widely tuned cymbals; a superlative composer, he […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Woman With a Past

Visiting professor Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann flew home to Germany last Monday, a few days earlier than she originally intended to. She’s not sure she wants to come back to Chicago. A frequent guest at the University of Chicago since 1978, she had never spent a quarter quite like this last one–which was largely devoted to defending […]

Posted inArts & Culture

James Brown

Last time the Godfather of Soul was in town, he displayed his professionalism and dedication by working 90 minutes nonstop for a sparse crowd scattered around Soldier Field. Brown paces himself these days; he dances in spurts, then stands back and lets his supporting cast–a surreal bevy of high-stepping showgirls and his usual tightly wound […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

This question has perplexed me since the ninth grade. You’re in a room with only two doors. One door leads to death, the other to life. Each door has a guard. One guard always lies, the other always tells the truth. You don’t know which door is which, and you don’t know which guard is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jim True & Company

As an actor (in numerous plays at Steppenwolf, Remains, and other theaters, and in the forthcoming film Singles), Jim True knows that the key to words isn’t just what they mean, it’s how they sound–their assonance, alliteration, rhyme, and rhythm. Those are the elements True explores in his work as a composer; his texts include […]