Posted inArts & Culture

Cyrano de Bergerac

CYRANO DE BERGERAC Apple Tree Theatre Company Edmond Rostand’s deservedly popular portrait of silent passion Cyrano de Bergerac celebrates the gallant 17th-century swordsman and wordsmith, his vaunting bravado and his selfless devotion. “One of those rare animals who have opted to be free,” as his noble enemy De Guiche describes him, Cyrano is ferociously independent, […]

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The Last Days of Chez Nous

Even if you decide at times that the story telling and the visual style aren’t as compelling as the characters, this woman-oriented feature by Australian filmmaker Gillian Armstrong (My Brilliant Career, High Tide), working here with novelist and screenwriter Helen Garner, is so alive with felt and observed experience and subtle familial interaction that you […]

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Poncho Sanchez

The distinction between jazzy Latin bands and Latin jazz bands is less subtle than you’d think. In any case, percussionist Poncho Sanchez exploits it for all it’s worth in his terrific conjunto, wherein the repetitive rhythms and exhortatory vocals never subsume such fundamental jazz virtues of swing and improvisation. Like most Latin jazz leaders, Sanchez […]

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Come’s first release begins with the heroin lullaby “Submerge”: “Now we sink so softly / Now we sink so deeply,” croons singer Thalia Zedek. It’s the beginning of a descent into a somewhat unpleasant but for the most part compelling netherworld of druggy and unrelenting blues rock. Zedek’s the singer who leavened some of Live […]

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Rackham String Quartet

One sign that chamber music still thrives–albeit modestly–is the popular series at the North Park College that has been drawing residents in the city’s northwestern neighborhoods. Another sign is the number of young conservatory graduates still willing to collaborate in string quartets. The Rackham was formed only a year and a half ago at the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

Declaring that we need to avoid the “train wrecks” that have resulted from previous battles between economic interests and the Endangered Species Act, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt has announced his intention to change the focus of enforcement of the ESA from individual species to entire ecosystems. My first reaction to this announcement was […]

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Red Rodney Quintet

These days, when trumpeter Red Rodney spins one of his lively, puckish solos, he offers not a snapshot of the moment but a panoramic photograph of his whole life. Thus you hear his roots in bebop, nurtured during his time as a Charlie Parker sideman–but now they flourish in the more contemporary structures gleaned from […]

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Margie Gillis

If you’re going to be onstage by yourself for an entire evening, you’d better be ready to be a lot of people. Margie Gillis is. With her flowing hair, strong limbs, and delicate but lively torso, she’s both rooted and airy, a plastic creature. In Bloom she’s the famous Molly, dancing the world’s most famous […]

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Dirty Hands

DIRTY HANDS Mary-Arrchie Theatre Playwrights who’d like to dramatize philosophical principles would do well to look at Jean-Paul Sartre’s Dirty Hands and the Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s staging of it. In a small European country called Illyria an angry young man, Hugo, has rebelled against his privileged upbringing and self-perceived wimpiness by joining the quasi-Marxist Revolutionary Party. […]

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Role Play

ROLE PLAY Organic Theater Company Greenhouse Lab Theater Let’s start with the good news. In its never-ending quest for bold new voices and wonderful imaginations, Organic Theater seems to have stumbled upon a real find. Playwright Eric Berg displays a brilliant creativity and well-trained ear for dialogue in Organic’s excellent production of his latest effort, […]