Posted inMusic

Digital R & B

Ginuwine The Bachelor (550 Music) By Kevin John In the information age, the music of choice is the music uploaded with the most information, natch, like Ginuwine’s number-one R & B single “Pony.” In the space of just a measure and a half you get car skids, “Atomic Dog” panting, that bleep you hear after […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Tempest

THE TEMPEST, Firstborn Productions, at Chopin Theatre. In the last 27 years I’ve walked out on two shows. This was the third. Lacking even the energy of bad community theater, Gregory D. Gerhard’s staging suffers from all the calamities that dog Shakespeare when his works are reduced to on-the-job training. The poetry is DOA, mired […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Keepers of The Flame

Giselle Ballet Theater of Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre, March 19-23 Cinderella Ballet Chicago at the Shubert Theater, April 9-13 By Joseph Houseal Classical ballet is the foundation upon which all contemporary concert dance is built, and its presence in or absence from a dance environment speaks volumes about that environment’s depth. The challenges of […]

Posted inFilm

Parallel Sons

A fever dream about how it feels not to fit in or want to fit in, this startling 1995 drama combines symbolism and realism with the impulsiveness of free association, yet its conceits are perfectly logical. Gabriel Mick is seamlessly convincing as Seth, a barely out of high school white kid in the Adirondacks who […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dusa, Fish, Stas & Vi

DUSA, FISH, STAS & VI, Watershed, at the Athenaeum Theatre. The women of the title are four roommates who grapple with, among other things, anorexia, divorce, child snatching, stalking, unrequited love, feminism, gender equality, biological-clock imperatives, working through school as a “paid escort,” and social activism. This they do in properly supportive sisterly fashion, while […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Why We Have a Body

Why We Have a Body Green Highway Theater at Stage Left Theatre By Carol Burbank Green Highway’s latest production is one of the best I’ve seen this year. Clair Chafee’s lyrical Why We Have a Body is written with intelligence and brilliantly underplayed sarcasm, and in the hands of director Janel Winter and her cast, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Sun Times Family Feud

By Michael Miner Organized labor got whomped at two newspapers in Saskatchewan, and the delighted publisher of the Sun-Times promptly rubbed the noses of his employees in the fact. This was a hostile act, and the paper’s tradesmen didn’t suffer it silently. They rejoindered in the unruffled language of lofty purpose, which has long been […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tights On A Wire

TIGHTS ON A WIRE, Zeppo Productions and Old Timer Productions, at Eclipse Theatre Company. I’ve never been particularly fond of George Brant’s plays; Lovely Letters, his parody of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters, was too long, and Sitcom, a TV takeoff, was too obvious. But as an actor–in such disparate shows as Bitches, Santa Claus Conquers […]

Posted inMusic

Mired And Inspired

Jayhawks Sound of Lies (American) Son Volt Straightaways (Warner Brothers) Anyone who grew up in a small town knows it’s hard to reinvent yourself in one. If the world of popular music has a small town, it’s the largely insular retro country-rock movement called No Depression, and the pressure to conform to expectations within it […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Train Of Thought

TRAIN OF THOUGHT, American Blues Theatre. Company member Andrew Micheli’s first produced play contains many dramatic problems common to playwrights’ first attempts. His longish one-act, set on a train platform, not only lacks dramatic crescendo and climax but, more important, is overwhelmed by the playwright’s self-conscious attempts at intellectuality. When two strangers meet on a […]