Posted inArts & Culture

Hannah Free

HANNAH FREE, Victory Gardens Theater. Four years after Hannah Free premiered during a Bailiwick Pride Performance Series, playwright Claudia Allen is no closer to turning this heartfelt assemblage of rustic reminiscences and lesbian lasciviousness into a play. The indefatigable Hannah, 80-something and hospitalized after falling while shoveling snow from the roof, can’t see her lifelong […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eaton Opera Company

EATON OPERA COMPANY In his latest chamber operas University of Chicago composer John Eaton has taken on topical satires from disparate eras. Like his hugely entertaining Peer Gynt–which debuted three years ago in performances by the New York New Music Ensemble–Don Quixote, faithfully adapted from the Cervantes novel, is an “opera for instrumentalists”: musicians not […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I saw the movie Roswell the other day and am quite taken with the revelation that: (1) aliens crash-landed in New Mexico back in the 40s; (2) one or two survived long enough to be observed and analyzed; (3) metal never before seen on earth, which looked like aluminum but was as strong as titanium, […]

Posted inMusic

No Alternative

No Alternative Last Sunday I went to the New World Music Theatre for Q101’s Jamboree ’96, a veritable who’s who concert of the station’s current playlist. Since “alternative rock” was originally a marketing term and is now, among other things, a radio format encompassing everything from fun-wanting popster Sheryl Crow, who played at last year’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Romeo & Julius

ROMEO & JULIUS, Bailiwick Repertory. The classic tale of secretly wed lovers whose passion defies family and society would seem an intriguing source for gay theater in a time of controversy over same-sex marriage. But this all-male version of Romeo and Juliet, adapted by Michael Halberstam and staged by Kerry B. Riffle, misses the point, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kurt Elling

KURT ELLING What a difference a year makes. When Kurt Elling celebrated the release of his debut CD last spring at the Green Mill, few people outside Chicago knew anything about him. This weekend’s appearance follows a Grammy nomination in the jazz vocalist category–almost unheard of for a new artist–a slew of articles in newspapers […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Second City

Second City. Credit director Mick Napier, Annoyance Theatre guru, with one of the keenest main-stage revues yet. Citizen Gates preserves the innovations of the last revue, Pinata Full of Bees: running sketches, a wizard sound design, the refreshing absence of TV-generated humor, sharp transitions, and music as backdrop rather than foreground. This 81st revue is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wallace Roney

WALLACE RONEY The excellent trumpeter Wallace Roney has frequently expressed his annoyance with comparisons to the late Miles Davis, but his complaints don’t really wash: Roney has spent too much of his career suggesting such comparisons–and in ways that go beyond his stylistic homage to Davis’s long-lined phrasing, clipped articulation, and plangent melodic instincts. After […]