Posted inArts & Culture

Unlocking the Grid

Skew: The Unruly Grid at Gallery 400, through November 30 Robert Smithson/Tony Tasset: Site/Nonsite at the Museum of Contemporary Art, through December 3 The forms of geometrical abstraction, from Mondrian’s grids and Malevich’s polygons to Barnett Newman’s stripes and Ad Reinhardt’s black squares, were seen by their creators not as metaphors for the visible world […]

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Nowhere to Hide

Carmela Rago and Michael K.Meyers at the Blue Rider Theatre, November 10 and 11 Let’s Order Grasshopper ‘Cause Everything Else Tastes Like Chicken Michael H. Brownstein at Cafe Voltaire, through December 27 Nothing could be more natural in our narcissistic era than for the world to be flooded with solo performers, all of them totally […]

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The Bride and the Beast

The Bride and the Beast, Chicago Dramatists Workshop. Producer, writer, director, and all-around psychotronic guy Michael Flores bills his latest foray into kinda campy, kinda pop, ever so slightly amusing theater as an adaptation of Ed Wood’s The Bride and the Beast, even though the 1958 grade-Z film was actually directed by Adrian Weiss from […]

Posted inFilm

Godard in the Age of Video

Soft and Hard (A Soft Conversation Between Two Friends on a Hard Subject) **** (Masterpiece) Directed and written by Anne-Marie Mieville and Jean-Luc Godard With Godard and Mieville. A 48-minute video that’s premiering in Chicago ten years after it was made, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Mieville’s Soft and Hard (A Soft Conversation Between Two Friends […]

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Cathedral Singers

The 20-member Cathedral Singers, a youthful choir founded four years ago by composer Richard Proulx to record a wide variety of choral music, has already released ten CDs on the Canticum label that demonstrate a versatility and assurance usually associated with veteran ensembles. The fluidity and clarity of the group’s singing can also be heard […]

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Starting Place

An American radical based in Paris since the 70s, Robert Kramer is an important independent filmmaker who has been almost completely ignored in this country, though many French critics regard him as one of our major artists. His best known work includes such ambitious features as The Edge, Ice, Milestones, and Route One, as well […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

ELECTRAFIXION, ECHOBELLY 11/17, METRO Perpetual prima donna, English celeb, and former Echo & the Bunnymen crooner Ian McCulloch has reunited with Will Sergeant, his old band’s guitarist, to form Electrafixion, a brazen attempt to cash in on the alternative-rock frenzy with loud, leaden, ponderous muck. One listen to their debut, Burned (Sire), plainly establishes what […]

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Ms. Cinderella

Ms. Cinderella, Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre. Not all new theater deserves support–especially when it runs no risk and breaks no ground. This shallow musical purports to give a feminist spin to Perrault’s classic fantasy, aiming for the kind of fractured fairy-tale hipness of Into the Woods, A Change in the Heir, and Once Upon a Mattress. […]

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True Books

Title: Unfinished Lives, “Concept by Michael Viner” (Dove Books: 1995) $19.95. Synopsis: Fictional accounts of what would have happened if Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Kurt Cobain, Anne Frank, Nicole Brown Simpson, and other famous people who died early, had instead lived. Monroe sheds her movie star persona and, with the help of […]

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Cowws Quintet

One of the basic tenets of European improv is to avoid the obvious, like quoting, hitting upon grooves, and reactionary interplay. Rudiger Carl’s mind-rattling Cowws Quintet turns this notion on its head with its most recent album, Grooves ‘n’ Loops (FMP), the title of which indicates the kind of improvisations engaged in by this freewheeling […]