BINGO BALLS Donna Jagielski-Miller at Cafe Voltaire, August 18 One has to wonder about the inner workings of Donna Jagielski-Miller’s mind. And one has to marvel at how she could create a performance incorporating dance, slides, audience participation, and household products, focusing on one–and only one–subject: balls. Big blue ones, homemade ones, spiritual ones, the […]
To the editors: Your front-page “Book Wars” article was disappointing [July 16]. No sign that its writer, Mel Miles, has any particular familiarity with, or interest in, books. The article read like a standard piece of everyday journalism, such as we’ve already seen on the subject in the daily papers. Here’s a novel idea for […]
Choreographer Daniel Ezralow and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago are in many ways a heavenly match: both stylish, both full of sizzle, both entertaining but eager to be more, too. For Ezralow’s new piece, In Praise of Shadows, the stage is stunningly draped and lit; Thom Willems’s score hovers tantalizingly between rock and traditional Indonesian music. […]
FATHOMLESS PERFORMANCE CONCEPTS PRESENTS . . . BLISS, BY EWA Studio 108 at Curious Theatre Branch, Rhinoceros Theatre Festival Halfway through this bizarre hour-long put-on, an actor who represents the playwright smugly announces that the script–which addresses, very loosely, the responsibilities of earthlings to each other–is vastly superior to the audience’s capacity to grasp it. […]
Whether about emigrating alone to America with an illegitimate child in 1890, crusading for the unions in 1910, single-handedly raising a family and running a farm in 1940, breaking free of housewifely dependency in 1960, or Having It All in 1990, the stories of the five generations of women in Conversations of My Mothers resonate […]
Chris Isaak is many things to many people: a dumb man’s Harry Connick, an even dumber man’s Lyle Lovett, a real dumb man’s Elvis. The San Francisco-based crooner manque has spent his now-seven-year-long recording career waiting expectantly for the multiplatinum seller that his manager, his friends, Bay Area journalists, even his record company told him […]
Dan Coffey’s speciality is giving old buildings new life.
Chicago these days finds itself in a literally fretful situation: the city is awash in lively and imaginative jazz guitarists. With Bobby Broom, Henry Johnson, and John McLean all appearing on recent CDs–and Fareed Haque and Dave Onderdonk both busy around town (and poised to release their own new discs)–perhaps the least visible of the […]
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE Shakespeare’s Motley Crew at Touchstone Theatre Once one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, The Merchant of Venice is performed infrequently these days, though little in this fable presents difficulties except the fact of Shylock’s Jewishness: Bassanio needs money to court a young heiress, Portia, so his friend Antonio borrows a large […]
Carmen Roman and Mary M. Badger proudly announce the rebirth of American Blues Theatre.
MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY *** (A must-see) Directed by Woody Allen Written by Allen and Marshall Brickman With Allen, Diane Keaton, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, Jerry Adler, Joy Behar, Ron Rifkin, and Lynn Cohen. It’s instructive to divvy up Woody Allen’s movies into “art films” and entertainments. Without too much boiling and scraping, I think you […]
Dear Reader: I was waiting for my sister in front of the Presidential Towers when a panhandler approached me and asked me for my spare change. To dissuade him I said I didn’t even have bus fare back to Roscoe Village. (I had enough for a cab to Cicero). He gave me a quick lookover […]
Dave McKenna plays the piano like a grounded angel. His melodies, his touch, and his dreamier tempos often suggest an empyreal provenance; but his left-hand chords and stomps remain delightfully earthbound, imperturbable in their rhythmic accuracy, inexorable in terms of swing. Actually, you can find entire rhythm sections less propulsive than McKenna’s left hand. His […]
“Does anybody know on what principle police in this city are allocated?” Rabbi Arnold Wolf of Hyde Park’s K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation asked, scanning a crowd assembled in the basement of the Fourth Presbyterian Church. The 50 people in attendance–many clergy and a few foundation staff members–sat at tables strung together in a U shape. […]
Inspired by surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic”–it means real big–this sprawl of avant-garde theater and performance in Chicago is coordinated this year (its fourth) by Michael Martin, Scott Turner, and Beau O’Reilly, who have endeavored to maintain the event’s broad scope and cutting-edge sensibility. Rhino Fest runs through August 28 at […]