Posted inArts & Culture

Tracers

The re-creation of the Vietnam combat experience in John DiFusco’s Tracers reveals no love of war but an immeasurable compassion for the warriors who, willingly or not, fought in it. This Mary-Arrchie production, which opened last July to critical praise, has lost none of its intensity–indeed, its new quarters in the Firehouse allow the action […]

Posted inFilm

To Die For

If, like me, you find things to admire in all of Gus Van Sant’s films, you may be especially gratified by what he’s done with this satirical anti-TV script by Buck Henry—suggested by a real-life crime and adapted from a Joyce Maynard novel—and a spot-on performance by Nicole Kidman that may be the best of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

DanceAfrica/Chicago 1995

As rousing as our homegrown African-American troupes often are, I’ve noticed a difference between them and African groups, who dance and play their music in a way that’s at once smaller and more intense, as if the performers had imploded and concentrated and complicated their energy. When the youth division of the Ghana Dance Ensemble […]

Posted inNews & Politics

New at the Sun-Times: Troubleshooter or Troublemaker?/Quarterback Sneak

New at the Sun-Times: Troubleshooter or Troublemaker? “Zenia strides right past them in her richly textured dress, with her long legs, her startling new breasts, her glossy hair nebulous around her shoulders, her purple-red angry mouth, trailing musky perfume.” Zenia’s the scourge of Margaret Atwood’s most recent novel, The Robber Bride. And what a woman. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Terre Haute

Asylum Productions, at Chicago Dramatists Workshop. If Chicago playwright Lisa Dillman’s Terre Haute accurately portrays the attitudes and concerns of us “twentysomethings,” then we deserve our reputation as an aimless, narcissistic, numb generation. Melissa, a self-absorbed actress, is packing up her belongings in the apartment she shared with Brent, an impoverished, self-righteous poet. Over the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brilliant Traces

Brilliant Traces, Shattered Globe Theatre. Henry Harry lives in a remote cabin deep in the Alaskan woods, but one night this hermit’s solitude is broken by a young woman in bridal garb who staggers in from a snowstorm. After telling her tale, of having driven nonstop from Arizona until her car died at his doorstep, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Bed You Sleep In

This 1993 feature certainly has its flaws–including a wholly unnecessary literary quotation that appears on-screen at the worst possible moment–but it’s still one of maverick independent Jon Jost’s most forceful efforts to date, in part because it stars the most talented actor he’s ever worked with, the resourceful Tom Blair. Mainly known as a stage […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story In August the City Union Mission in Kansas City, Missouri, announced it intended to convert a building it owns into a homeless shelter, a need that it says was created by a shortage of low-income housing in the area. To do so, the organization said it would have to evict low-income tenants Violet […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Recipe for Salvation

The Whispers of Angels David Rousseve/Reality at the Athenaeum Theatre, September 28-30 The Whispers of Angels tells the story of a young black man dying from AIDS, but the word “AIDS” is never spoken. It is sumptuous dance theater, with stunning dancing and marvelous stage pictures, but its dances express isolation and clinging. David Rousseve […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Pair After Moliere

La Bete Pegasus Players Theatre and the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble Celimene and the Cardinal Court Theatre What a shame that to find wisdom onstage One must venture back to a bygone age When men wore knickers and spoke in couplets And traveled the stage in goofy doublets. Theater today is rather static, The best to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bailiwick Repertory’s 7th Annual Directors Festival ’95

A showcase for generally unknown pro, semipro, and student directors, this monthlong event features productions ranging from established classical and contemporary selections to untested material, all in the service of what Bailiwick press materials proclaim “a new world vision.” Bailiwick Repertory, Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont, 883-1090. Through October 26: Mondays-Thursdays, 7:30 PM. $8 […]