Posted inArts & Culture

Symphony II

SYMPHONY II The aptly named Symphony II sees itself as a reasonably priced alternative to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. With only three concerts per season so far, it hardly poses a threat, but in terms of performance quality it’s definitely on par with the Lyric Opera’s pit orchestra and the Grant Park Symphony. Hardly surprising, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lexis Praxis: Chicago Writers Taken to Stage

Lexis Praxis: Chicago Writers Taken to Stage, Zebra Crossing Theatre. As the title (“words and action”) suggests, this off-night installment in Zebra Crossing’s storytelling and poem-spinning series pushes prose and poetry into performance. No staged recitations, the selections are acted or danced to explore or exploit the authors’ subtexts and symbols. Sometimes the 75-minute program […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Brigadoon

Brigadoon, Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. The plaid kilts are in full swirl in David Perkovich’s sturdy revival of Lerner and Loewe’s early hit. In 1947 Brigadoon artfully confronted postwar doubts about progress using the legend of Brigadoon: this miraculous Scottish village escapes the contagion of history by existing only one day out of every 100 years. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Contemporary Chamber Players

CONTEMPORARY CHAMBER PLAYERS In the Ralph Shapey years, the Contemporary Chamber Players, while open-minded, tended to favor older, east-coast establishment figures–those stubborn, at times inventive adherents of 20th-century Eurocentric aesthetic currents. The new music director, Stephen Mosko, belongs to a younger generation that fuses diverse influences. Just as important, he’s based on the west coast, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Blood on the Cat’s Neck

Blood on the Cat’s Neck, Trap Door Theatre. Best known for his powerful, offbeat, messy films, Rainer Werner Fassbinder–who’d made 40 films by the time he died of a drug overdose at 36–also wrote powerful, offbeat, messy plays. Such as the absurdist comedy Blood on the Cat’s Neck, which concerns an extraterrestrial, Phoebe Zeitgeist, who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nearly God

NEARLY GOD Nearly God is a vaguely defined side project of Tricky with an eponymous album featuring help from a slew of oddball British pop singers–Bjork (by way of Iceland, natch), Terry Hall, Alison Moyet, Neneh Cherry, and Cath Coffey (Stereo MC’s). The album–currently available only as a pricey import but planned for a U.S. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

By Harold Henderson What’s worse, they hold the roof up. From the Renaissance Society on South Ellis, describing a current installation by Austrian sculptor Heimo Zobernig: “His favorite medium are [sic] walls, literally those comprising a gallery space. In their role as architectural barriers, or as support for murals and easel paintings, walls are guilty […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bontoc Eulogy and Seed and Earth

Ever since Roger & Me and Hoop Dreams, documentaries as personal journals and social commentaries–rather than as “objective” news babble–have been enjoying a renaissance. Worldwide documentary storytelling has begun to underscore how ethnic diversity is being imperiled by McCulture–a point vividly made by many selections of Columbia College’s Windy City International Documentary Festival, taking place […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

A coworker and I are arguing about the following riddle. I hoped you could give me a hand. A magician must cross a bridge carrying three gold pieces. He weighs exactly 68 kilograms, and each piece of gold weighs one kilogram. The bridge can carry no more than 70 kilograms or it will break. How […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Robin Steele

Robin Steele, at National Pastime Theater. There’s been a healthy appetite for stories about rogues, villains, and con men ever since the 18th century at least, when Henry Fielding, John Gay, and Daniel Defoe wrote their popular accounts of such proto gangsters as Jonathan Wild, Macheath, and Moll Flanders. But I doubt the predilection for […]