Posted inArts & Culture

Naked TV

Naked Tv, InFusion Productions, at American Blues Theatre. If you have a hankering for comedy, why would you go out to see improv when you can just as easily stay home, in the comfort of your living room with the kitchen nearby, and watch TV? Should a show get boring, a cable box ensures a […]

Posted inMusic

Poetry & Music from the Guild Complex

POETRY & MUSIC FROM THE GUILD COMPLEX This funky Bucktown event being presented at the tony North Shore venue is the equivalent of a hot item from the Knitting Factory being presented at Lincoln Center. Performance poetry, of course, has been championed for years by the Guild Complex; now, because that group’s offices are housed […]

Posted inNews & Politics


During the convention, you’re probably counting on our local cable service to keep you fixed with CNN and C-SPAN. There’s bad news about that. Cable service in Chicago, particularly in the areas along the lakefront, is notoriously flaky. So if you experience one of our routinely scheduled outages, you may be driven to watch that […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: Last summer I met “Lucy,” an amazing woman. To my delight, we soon started dating. We were physically intimate, though we never had sexual intercourse. I very quickly fell in love with her, and I felt she loved me too. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Lucy suddenly and unexpectedly broke up with me when […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Leander Stillwell

Leander Stillwell Asplendid Stage Left Theatre premiere four years ago, Leander Stillwell is a labor of love by a die-hard Civil War buff. Chicago playwright David Rush drew on the 1915 memoirs of the title character, a naive Illinois farmer-soldier who slowly wised up to the waste of the War Between the States. In Rush’s […]

Posted inMusic

Ensemble Kalinda Chicago & Sones De Mexico Ensemble

ENSEMBLE KALINDA CHICAGO & SONES DE MEXICO ENSEMBLE Project Kalinda, the scholarly arm of Columbia College’s Center for Black Music Research, probes for African influences in the folk traditions of Latin America and the West Indies. Ensemble Kalinda Chicago gives concerts meant to illustrate the linkages, which can be detected in the rhythms, repetitive structure, […]

Posted inMusic

Jai Uttal & The Pagan Love Orchestra

JAI UTTAL & THE PAGAN LOVE ORCHESTRA Jai Uttal may be the very definition of a “world” musician. Born in New York, he studied classical piano as a child, then took up harmonica and banjo. In the late 60s, as his musical tastes turned to psychedelic rock and John Coltrane, his instrument of choice became […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sexual Perversity in Chicago

SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO, Blue Collar Theatre Company, at the Organic Lab Theater. David Mamet’s dark comedy, about a young couple whose relationship is undone by their suspicion-sowing “best friends,” certainly addresses timeless issues: the misunderstandings that can complicate sexual relationships and the way some people wreck others’ happiness in the name of saving it. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Battered Up

I have just read Paul Pekin’s article “Screwball,” about his trip to one of our games [August 2]. As I read the article, I began to wonder exactly what species of insect had crawled up Mr. Pekin’s posterior. It is obvious that spending an afternoon with the Cougars was not what he wanted to do […]

Posted inMusic

Woody Herman 50th Reunion Band

WOODY HERMAN 50TH REUNION BAND Fifty-one years ago, the adventurous swing bandleader Woody Herman made a left turn, assembling an orchestra to replace his “Band That Played the Blues”; the new one, which came to be known as the First Herd and lasted two seasons, played a major role in channeling the then-young idiom of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Sneeze

THE SNEEZE, Stone Circle Theatre Ensemble, at Cafe Voltaire. Who would have believed it? Chekhov can be funny–if his translator knows how to be funny. Neil Simon demonstrated this in 1973 with The Good Doctor, and 15 years later Michael Frayn did it again with The Sneeze, a collection of Chekhov’s short plays that looks […]

Posted inFilm

Angel Dust

Angel Dust This 1994 thriller from Sogo Ishii–a young Japanese director best known for his fascination with the behavior of fringe groups–focuses on the vulnerability of a police investigator brought in to help find a serial killer whose victims are young women on crowded subway trains. Possessing near-telepathic powers and specializing in criminal psychopathology, the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Scrambled Shakespeare

Dear editor, Though I haven’t seen the current production of the musical Hair, it is interesting that Mr. Williams’s quotation from a Shakespeare text is most likely a mistaken alteration: “What a piece of work is man” [August 9]. The line should probably read: “What a piece of work is a man.” The alteration is […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Balcony

THE BALCONY, Thirteenth Tribe, at the Chopin Theatre. A man in a bishop’s miter and robe gets head from a Rocky Horror-esque prostitute: the opening image of this Thirteenth Tribe production demonstrates the company’s fundamental misunderstanding of Jean Genet’s titanic masterpiece The Balcony. In Genet’s fantasy the Bishop, like his fellow brothel customers the Judge […]