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Lynn Harrell and Wu Han

Cellist Lynn Harrell is one of those veterans of the concert circuit we more or less take for granted. Since leaving the first chair of George Szell’s Cleveland Orchestra in 1971 to go solo, he has established a solid reputation as an avid purveyor of both orchestral and chamber repertoires. Yet despite (or perhaps because […]

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Grant Park Symphony

When Kay George Roberts embarked on her career in the mid-60s the odds were overwhelmingly against her. Being a black woman, she encountered stiff though polite resistance in her native Nashville; after all, blacks had traditionally been allowed to play only in their own orchestras. But Roberts slowly forged ahead, and her violin skills won […]

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Messiah

MESSIAH National Jewish Theater A false messiah is the strongest test of a true believer. That paradox finds powerful proof in Martin Sherman’s 1982 Messiah, a fast-moving folktale set in a turbulent time: 1665, when Eastern European Jews, weary of pogroms by Ukrainian Cossacks, were inspired by a messianic figure. Shabbetai Tzvi, it was said, […]

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Hackberry Ramblers

A lot of noise is being made about the Rolling Stones’ longevity, but compared to these guys the Stones are brash youngsters. Never mind the ages of the individual band members (only drummer Ben Sandmel is under 60; two others are octogenarians)–the band itself, at 64 years old, is eligible for a senior citizen’s discount. […]

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The Dirty Picture Man; Act Like a Lady

THE DIRTY PICTURE MAN Hanging Bog Theatre Company at Cafe Voltaire Young playwrights are learning the wrong lesson from network television, as situation comedies, in ongoing embarrassing attempts to justify their inexplicable existence, try to deal with issues from child abuse to racism to gay rights (next we’ll be asking the Super Morphin Power Rangers […]

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The Shadow

I only know the 30s radio show by hearsay, so I can’t vouch for the faithfulness of this big-scale movie version, but if I had to choose between a sequel to this and another Batman or Indiana Jones romp, I’d opt for a second Shadow, if only because the visual design of this one–a comic-book […]

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That Jeff Garlin Thing

Jeff Garlin’s going Hollywood: a whore by his own proud admission, he’s leaving Chicago to star in a “dumb,” “stupid,” and “bad” (by his own admission as well) TV sitcom. The plan, as he lays it out, is to get famous and make lots of money so he can come back and make filmic rhapsodies […]