Posted inArts & Culture

Dogtown

DOGTOWN Eclipse Theatre Company The Dogs, the brainchild of casting director Jane Alderman, are a pack of nine talented actors who work together extraordinarily well, giving and taking focus onstage with the sort of egoless generosity found only in the best, most unified, most mature of Chicago’s myriad ensembles–Lookingglass, Ed, Lois Kaz. So it’s disheartening […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Human Snake Pit

SLAVS! Steppenwolf Theatre Company Chernobyl was not like the communist system. They were one and the same. The system ate into our bones the same way radiation did. –Physician Yuri Shcherbak, quoted in David Remnick’s book Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire I’ve really fucked up. –Soviet defense minister Dmitri Yazov, a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Polvo

Polvo charts a strange course somewhere between thoughtful artiness and ultraslacker nonchalance. Their last full-length record, Today’s Active Lifestyles, demonstrated the quartet’s fondness for unusual guitar tunings, odd song structures, faux-ethnic instrumentals, cryptic obscurity, and, alas, fashionable indie-rock sloppiness. Some catchy tunes popped up here and there, but the band seemed to savor subverting them […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

From the minute Bubba’s motorcade hit Lake Shore Drive last Friday, it was chaos for Gate 16. When the Secret Service closed off seven gates at Soldier Field during the president’s attendance at the World Cup game, Gate 16 got the overflow. As a Gate 16 ticket taker, I saw 13,000-plus ticket holders trying to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Fugue for Strangers; Hurlyburly

A FUGUE FOR STRANGERS Chapel Perilous Theatre Ensemble at Baird Hall HURLYBURLY Pillar Studio Much more a suite than an exercise in counterpoint, A Fugue for Strangers is a set of monologues created by Chapel Perilous Theatre Ensemble out of 12 weeks of writing and movement workshops and rehearsals. An ambitious fusion of densely choreographed […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Sports Section

With two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning a week ago Tuesday, Frank Thomas–who had been taking the night off–emerged from the dugout and stepped into the on-deck circle. The White Sox were down 5-2 to the Oakland Athletics, Dennis Eckersley was on the mound, and the game was all […]

Posted inArts & Culture

New Works by Jean-Luc Godard

Essential viewing: an intimate hour-long self-portrait on film, JLG by JLG, plus the third and fourth episodes of Godard’s ongoing video series Histoire(s) du cinema, each half an hour long; all three works were completed this year. Ostensibly a work of winter landscapes and brooding self-scrutiny, somewhat suggestive of German romanticism, the beautifully composed JLG […]

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Something Completely Different

SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT Paul Cipponeri, Jenny Eakes, Jenna Hunt, Dardi McGinley, Scott Putman, Tatiana Sanchez at the Dance Center of Columbia College, June 17 and 18 When one of the dancers in Mordine & Company gave me a flier for this concert, she said the company had canceled its June concert for financial reasons, but […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

SCRAWL 6/24, METRO The early charm of Scrawl came from their fairly inept but extremely exuberant performances, three women from Columbus playing catchy, raw punk rock because it was fun. Over the years they’ve grown beyond the manic, reckless spirit that produced gems like “Green Beer” and “Gutterball,” but their newfound wisdom arrives in the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Spotter

She never should have mentioned the blow job, I’m thinking as I feign interest in the bartender’s love life. Her nervous banter continues. This cop she’s met–“the kind of man you want to give a blow job”–should be here any minute. It’s after midnight; his workday just ended. The bartender can’t stop moving. As she […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Superchunk

It’s never easy being the first to do something. Not because originality’s hard to come by–though it is–but because certain hard-to-maintain standards tend to be established. Chapel Hill’s Superchunk busted out in 1990 with their low-rent self-empowerment anthem “Slack Motherfucker,” and the debut album that followed shortly was drenched in a similar spirit, pushing the […]