Experience is supposed to be a great teacher. So what do you learn from being crushed by an elevator?
To the editors: As an avid theatergoer and longtime “reader” of your publication, I am writing to point out a disturbing and ongoing trend evident among those charged with criticizing local theatrical productions and the work of the various professionals involved in local theater. While all Reader reviews include the words “in this production,” generally […]
In a holiday season split between almost desperate commercialism and economic uncertainty, I’m grateful for this year’s less slick and more expressive edition of Goodman Theatre’s annual A Christmas Carol. Under Chuck Smith’s direction, the production has a few rough edges but offers a version of the tale more clearly told and deeply felt than […]
BALLAD OF A MAN Quicksilver Productions at American Blues Theatre Quicksilver Productions bills Ballad of a Man as “an original pop/rock musical for the 90s.” In effect, it’s a series of musical comments on a crisis. Attempting to examine the problem of homelessness through one man’s sudden descent to the streets, this well-meant work contains […]
To the editors: Reading Huebner’s article (10/29/93) on the “swashbuckling” Hector Duarte and his murals we are told of his (Huebner’s) “awe” at learning that Duarte had been enrolled at the Siqueiros Mural Workshop, we learn that (of Rivera, Orozco, and) Siqueiros was “the most radical of the three, aesthetically and politically . . . […]
Stephanie Shaw reviews the Free Associates’ improvised holiday show riffing on Tennessee Williams.
CHARISMA Next Theatre Company Joe Butler mysteriously disappears from a party celebrating his high school graduation. His worried parents eventually discover him preaching with a fringe religious sect, and he’s rumored to have effected a bona fide miracle. Unconvinced, the boy’s mother, Maggie, takes steps to restore her son to his former self, a mission […]
Henry Regenry’s new book asks old questions: Why has literary culture failed to take root in Chicago? Why do our best writers always leave?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding that sugar does not have an appreciable effect on human behavior, yet every teacher and parent I know believes fervently in the sugar “high” and the apparent wild effect on children. How did this nonfact get to be accepted as gospel by so many? –Michelle Murphy, […]
Forget the turf wars and jealous fueds–Michael Lyons Wier says the art business is changing! He’s persuaded 12 other dealers to lend their artists for a show at his new gallery in River North.
THE ROAD TO MECCA Shattered Globe Theatre at the Royal George Theatre Center Gallery SCENE OF SHIPWRECK Raven Theatre Athol Fugard’s Miss Helen may well be one of the most beautiful female characters in 20th-century theater. Never mind that the playwright realized only late in the game that he’d written a self-portrait, not a biography […]
Knives aren’t enough? From the Chicago-based newsletter the Rational American (November): “Real feminists–women who don’t whine about oppression, but do something about it–are active in the NRA…” Don’t lobby for kids, lobby for social change, urges Robert Halpern of the Erikson Institute on North Wabash (Erikson, Winter). “Building a reform agenda primarily on children’s issues […]
Toni Halliday is a dance-floor succubus, the Morticia Addams of England’s recent crop of gossamer-voiced pop sirens. Seductive, haunting, and midnight-at-the-graveyard dark, her vocals convey terse accounts of romantic carnage (in “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” she announces, “We won’t be happy ’til we kill each other”). In these ominous tales love […]
It’s hard to feel too sorry for Commonwealth Edison, the $6 billion monopoly to which we have no choice but to pay our electricity bills each month. And yet a twinge of empathy might have materialized at the sight of Edison chairman James O’Connor and other company honchos stiffly standing at a press conference with […]
British-born composer Bernard Rands started out studying in Italy with modernists Luigi Dallapiccola, Bruno Maderna, and Luciano Berio, then moved westward as his academic career took him to London, New York, Princeton, and San Diego. His musical disposition has also shifted over the years, from the continental avant-garde to electronic music to colorful neoexpressionism. Arguably […]