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Posted inArts & Culture

Curst Flesh: The Testimony of Therese Raquin

Curst Flesh: The testimony of therese raquin. Maureen Brennan adopts a lugubriously libidinal persona–half Vincent Price, half Norma Desmond–to tell, of all things, the story of 19th-century naturalist Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin. Billing the work as movement theater (talk for ten minutes, swoop around suggestively, repeat), the Brooklyn-based Brennan creeps through Zola’s tale of adultery, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Lost Weekend

THE LOST WEEKEND, WNEP Theater Foundation, at Zebra Crossing Theatre. Given Charles Jackson’s depiction of alcoholism in his novel as a failure of nerve that the dogged love of a good woman can repair, WNEP’s adaptation could easily have sunk into camp parody. But it works–and very well–because Katie Caussin’s ten cast members treat this […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The City File

By Harold Henderson Press releases we were afraid to finish: “Maine Lobster Enters Cyberspace.” “Obtaining entry into high-rise buildings or [gated] residential compounds to canvass will be difficult,” writes UIC political scientist, former alderman, and former congressional candidate Dick Simpson in his new book Winning Elections: A Handbook of Modern Participatory Politics. “Four practical methods […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Criminal Hearts

CRIMINAL HEARTS, Strawdog Theatre Company. Strawdog worked for more than two years to win the rights to this work by Jane Martin, the pseudonymous feminist playwright. After all, it’s Martin’s first comedy set in Chicago, specifically a Gold Coast condo. It hardly seems to have been worth the trouble, however, despite the playwright’s sympathy for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Egghead: The Rot in the Cosmic Egg

The Egghead: the Rot in the Cosmic Egg Lloyd Brant describes his one-person evening of “metaphysical vaudeville” as “Beckett dropping acid with the Marx Brothers on a trip through Purgatory.” Well, I can vouch for the purgatory part, having watched Brant go through the paces of his silly, shallow show, speaking long monologues in gibberish, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

I have always laughed at people who, before opening a carbonated drink which has been shaken, tap the top of the can with their finger so that it doesn’t explode upon opening. After lengthy arguments, we even performed a semiscientific experiment by shaking a drink and opening it with and without tapping the top, but […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fletcher Basington Orchestra

FLETCHER BASINGTON ORCHESTRA No, there’s no need to call your neighborhood jazz obscurantist to get the lowdown on Fletcher Basington–there ain’t no such creature. U. of I. at Chicago jazz prof Richard Wang and veteran trumpeter Art Hoyle (who you’ll find on some of those first Sun Ra records) put this jazz-repertory orchestra together for […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Dresser

THE DRESSER, Apple Tree Theatre. Ronald Harwood’s 1980 comedy-drama honors the great old actor-managers of World War II-era English theater–and the overworked “little people” who made the stars shine. Very wittily written and keenly observed (Harwood himself was a backstage assistant to Shakespearean legend Sir Donald Wolfit), it portrays the final burst of glory of […]