Posted inArts & Culture

The Rhinoceros Theater Festival

The Rhinoceros Theater Festival Directed this year by Beau O’Reilly, this annual summer showcase of fringe theater, performance, and music takes its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic” (it means real big). Founded as a component of the Bucktown Arts Fest but now independent of that event, has relocated farther […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago Soundscape Project

CHICAGO SOUNDSCAPE PROJECT As you read this, you’re probably hearing a variety of sounds that you’re not listening to–sounds of the street, sounds of appliances, sounds so common you don’t notice they’re there until they stop. A “soundscape” forces you to listen to the sounds emanating from a particular environment by placing them into the […]

Posted inMusic

Lyric Opera

LYRIC OPERA Don Carlo is one of my favorite Verdi operas not only for its gorgeous, dramatically compelling music but also for the life it breathes into historical personages whose actions shaped the politics of their day. Epic in scope yet emotionally intimate, this five-act opera based on Schiller’s celebrated play traces the downward spiral […]

Posted inMusic

Money Changes Everything

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum By Jim DeRogatis Long before I ever set eyes on I.M. Pei’s great glass pyramid on Lake Erie, I had heard the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum calling to me, like the Holy Grail to King Arthur or Wally World to Clark Griswold. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Laughing Like Wild

LAUGHING WILD, Broad Shoulders Theatre. Christopher Durang’s acerbic 1987 look at two misfits takes the form of two intricately linked monologues: a female screamer and an affirmation-spouting gay man try to stay sane despite AIDS, the depletion of the ozone layer, and their own explosive neediness. Durang uses the unnamed pair to wage his usual […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Summer’s Day

A SUMMER’S DAY, Eclipse Theatre Company. In the abstract love triangle A Summer’s Day, Polish playwright Slawomir Mrozek takes competition to its most philosophical level. Sux and Unsux, two rivals, have unlike natures so absolute that each seems the distillation of psychological self-torture: one embodies naive hope in the face of constant failure, while the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories The London firm Goodfellow Rebecca Ingrams Pearson announced in August it would begin offering insurance policies to cover people worried about alien abduction. A premium of about $155 a year would pay an abductee about $160,000 (provided the abductor wasn’t from earth) and double that if the insured were impregnated during the abduction. […]

Posted inFilm

Avant-Garde Films

This first program of X-Film Chicago’s new season is one of its best, but with a twist: the strongest films explore existing genres but become extreme enough to also transform themselves. Mark Street’s Lilting Towards Chaos is not the only autobiographical film about a diffident protagonist, but it’s so relentlessly flat and so pointedly affectless […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sunjata

About seven years ago the French shadow puppeteer team of Luc Amoros and Michele Augustin approached Werewere Liking, head of the Ivory Coast-based Ki-Yi M’Bock Theatre, about a collaborative puppet show re-creating the ancient African legend of Sunjata, the Lion King. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable spectacle that incorporates elements of southeast Asian shadow […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fractured Voices

Bathe Me, Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights Doorika at Chicago Filmmakers By Justin Hayford Gertrude Stein’s writing seems to come from nowhere. Her perplexing prose, which began appearing in print a year or two after another unknown named Einstein proposed an equally perplexing new universe, defies all previous notions of how fiction should work. She […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Roads to Nowhere

Dear editors: Harold Henderson’s “Up Against the Sprawl” (September 6) contains some anti-antisprawl arguments that are roads to nowhere. For example, Henderson notes that fixing old facilities can cost more than creating new facilities in outlying areas. There is a glaring problem with this argument, however: new infrastructure soon enough becomes old infrastructure in need […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Twin Houses

There’s something eerie about puppets, however cuddly: rationally we know Kermit and Kukla are just souped-up dolls animated by hand, but they seem so alive it’s hard to get past the illusion. And when the puppets are life-size and made to look as real as possible–as they are in the Belgian Compagnie Nicole Mossoux & […]