Posted inArts & Culture

Chicago Ensemble

CHICAGO ENSEMBLE The Chicago Ensemble is blessed with a camaraderie-enhanced excellence but cursed with a persistent inability to connect with a younger audience. To be sure, in its 19 years of existence it has carved a comfortable though tiny niche, surviving as a reliable purveyor of eclectic chamber classics and an ardent presenter of relatively […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ice Cream

ICE CREAM, Feral Theatre Company, at Eastwick Art Gallery. America and Great Britain: two countries divided by a common language. Caryl Churchill’s sharp and witty Ice Cream explores the truth of this old quip–but not the way the misguided folks at Feral Theatre play it. They miss all of her subtlety. Her perceptive eye, her […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Courtney Pine

COURTNEY PINE Even though Courtney Pine plays saxophone instead of trumpet, his first recordings showcased him as England’s answer to Wynton Marsalis: a young, gifted black jazzman committed to the music’s tradition and willing to convince others of the respect it deserved. This proved especially novel in 1980s Britain, where jazz remained a basically white […]

Posted inMusic

Trance Fever

Metro, May 10 By Peter Margasak Through all of Stereolab’s ambitious, much ballyhooed recombinant music making–whether using the clipped rhythms of the 70s German band Neu or borrowing from breezy Brazilian pop–their essence comes down to the way guitarist Tim Gane wags his head back and forth when they play. All of the band’s music […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Forward Into the Past

The past that’s so visible in the European landscape is also found in many contemporary European paintings and sculptures, which are often weighted with cultural references. American artists, by contrast, sometimes appear to be relatively unaware of their past, simply going ahead and making whatever they want, working in and for the present. As a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Summer Snow

The Hong Kong cinema is by no means just over-the-top action thrillers and escapist comedies. Its serious side is well-represented by the work of such filmmakers as Stanley Kwan and Ann Hui. More than a decade ago Hui’s Boat People heralded the social realism movement whose practitioners included filmmakers educated in the West. Since then, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Gay Matters

Dear Reader, Justin Hayford’s complimentary final paragraph in his April 19 review of Anita Loomis’s Female Deviations: Autobiographies of Desire assumes she is performing “gay” performance art as a “gay” performer. Has Justin asked Anita if she is indeed gay? Would the reviewer still see the piece as “refreshing” if it turns out that it […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away, Para-Vida Theatre Company, at Famous Door Theatre Company. Earnestly dipping their toes into the teeming pool of Chicago theater, the two-member ParaVida company have written and choreographed and perform their own cabaret show. Carolina Hann and Julianne McKay play several characters, mostly struggling young artists and their allies or oppressors. […]

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Kaspar

Kaspar, Transient Theatre. The legend of Kaspar Hauser is an intriguing one: kept in a small room for his entire childhood, the youth finally emerged on the streets of Nuremberg at age 16 able to speak only one sentence. And Transient Theatre’s adaptation of Peter Handke’s play Kaspar is a provocative piece of theater. Director […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Advice for Wyman

Hey, Bill, As you cram yourself into the center seat of your USAir flight to San Francisco [Hitsville, April 19], remember this: Most of them are older than you, but these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consolations. They’re quite aware of what they’re going […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Voice Crack

VOICE CRACK Recording for Germany’s FMP label back in the 70s and early 80s, the Swiss duo of Norbert Moeslang and Andy Guhl made some of the most wigged-out free improvisation records ever heard. On the recently reissued Deep Voices (Urthona), for example, their keen, highly intuitive playing on bass and traditional reed instruments was […]