Posted inArts & Culture

Grant Park Music Fest Dumps Gift Horse/Pope Joan Defrocked

Grant Park Music Fest Dumps Gift Horse Three months before the start of its 62nd season, the venerable Grant Park Music Festival has shed a longtime benefactor. In mid-February, Chicago Park District general superintendent Forrest Claypool moved to sever all ties between the music festival and the nonprofit Grant Park Concerts Society, an independent organization […]

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Dial “M” for Murder

Dial “M” for Murder, Shubert Theatre. As if to prove that chestnuts can be roasted at any season, the Shubert Theatre is hosting a return of Frederick Knott’s classic work of suspense. The national tour of this faux thriller stars Roddy McDowall as the supposedly bumbling police inspector who unravels the crime behind a nasty […]

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Limon Dance Company

It seems this company has always been inclusive. When Jose Limon started it some 50 years ago he made his former teacher, Doris Humphrey, artistic director, a post she held until her death in 1958. Limon generously produced the works of company members, and after he died, in 1972, the troupe added to his repertoire […]

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Detachments

Detachments, Center Theater Ensemble. While Ellen, a comedic actress, is out of town at a Lucille Ball convention, an ophthalmologist informs her that her retina is detached. “Does this mean I’m not going to do the LucyFest?” she asks. Back home, a second eye doctor confirms the diagnosis while his string of wacky international internists […]

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Loudon Wainwright III

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III With nothing but an acoustic guitar and a lyric, Loudon Wainwright III can pull off things more powerful than most Hollywood narratives. That said, his albums have occasionally veered into the overwrought; his 25-year recording career has taken him through many labels and many phases, from his best-known single “Dead Skunk” (actually […]

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Endurance: Reel One

Two decades ago a film history professor complained to me that his students were now making videos. Videotape is much cheaper than film, so instead of viewing three-minute films of the forest he now had to view hour-long unedited videos that panned around dorm rooms. But artists had been using long takes since the beginning […]

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Other World Lovers

Other World Lovers, Ma’at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre, at Victory Gardens Studio Theater. This production releases us from realism as it probes the spiritual domain of a young West African couple, Marie and Marcel, trying to have a baby. Shepsu Aakhu, who developed the play with his wife Hiwote Tadesse Tamrat, has crafted […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story A February Reuters news service report profiled New York City dental hygienist Carol Meyer, who charges $125 for a “breath makeover.” She uses two tools, the computerized gum thermometer and the gas sensor, which detects sulfur compounds. Her main recommendation: swabbing the tongue with disinfectant. Questionable Judgments An unidentified 31-year-old man was sentenced […]

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NRG Ensemble

NRG Ensemble When the founder and leader of NRG Ensemble, Hal Russell, died in 1992, the band stood at a crossroads. Having just completed its second record for the major jazz label ECM, NRG had to ask: should it continue in the vein of its work with Russell, performing as a repertoire band in the […]

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Celluloid Antiheroes

In the mid-1980s NYC Lower East Side hipsters Lydia Lunch, Foetus, Annie Sprinkle, Sonic Youth, Wiseblood, and the Butthole Surfers got together with such filmmakers as Richard Kern and Nick Zedd to make some very dark low-budget films that incorporated elements of hard-core porn, punk rock, violence, drug culture, and modern art, which Zedd dubbed […]

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Chi Lives: the consummate host

“Welcome, welcome!” says Truong Anh-Tuan as customers enter New Saigon, the Vietnamese restaurant he owns at Argyle and Broadway. “Please!” Anh-Tuan gestures for them to sit down. Then he moves from table to table, making sure everyone is happy. Today he’s even more animated than usual, as his thoughts are focused on the upcoming celebration […]