Posted inArts & Culture

Blink

BLINK The Chicago Fringe and Buskers Festival isn’t happening this year, but the hit of last year’s fest is returning. A “juggling act,” Fritz Grobe and Morten Hansen take the stage and proceed to make both the animate and inanimate dance in ways replicable only in a quantum-physics lab. Even the sounds of balls striking […]

Posted inFilm

Salvatore Giuliano

Salvatore Giuliano The title character of Francesco Rosi’s 1962 feature, a notorious real-life bandit who galvanized Sicily’s poor after World War II, is seen only as a corpse, an object to be venerated and investigated. How his bullet-riddled body ended up in Palermo’s town square, and who was responsible for the crime, isn’t clear. Rosi’s […]

Posted inMusic

Volcanos

VOLCANOS With the recent upswing of interest in surf music has come a legion of new surf bands–and with that multiplicity has come a wave of gimmicks meant to distinguish one surf band from the next. Many are visual rather than musical: Los Straitjackets wear Mexican wrestling masks; the Surfaholics donned tiki masks for the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Top Girls

TOP GIRLS, Piven Theatre. In the decade since Caryl Churchill’s contemporary classic Top Girls premiered, the problem she addresses–how a woman can make it in a man’s world–hasn’t changed significantly. While women in America and western Europe have made strides toward equality in the workplace, unresolved issues of pay, child care, and maternity leave show […]

Posted inFilm

Life Intimidates Art

The whole point is that the world is constantly changing, and that as an artist one must always invent new devices, new tools, to describe new feelings, new situations….If we don’t invent our own values, our own syntax, we will fail at describing our own world. –Olivier Assayas, in a letter to critic Kent Jones […]

Posted inMusic

Chicago Gospel Festival sidebar

CHICAGO GOSPEL FESTIVAL offers performances on two stages in Grant Park: the Early/Day Stage (Jackson and Lake Shore Drive) and the Petrillo Music Shell (Columbus and Jackson). For information call 312-744-3315. Saturday Early/Day Stage NOON Canton Spirituals 12:40 Law & Order Gospel Singers 1:45 rapper Mike-E 2:30 Tyrone Dickerson & the Christian Fellowship Choir 3:10 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Wayward Spirit

A WAYWARD SPIRIT, Playwrights’ Center. In an age of TV-sitcom clones passing for plays, an old-fashioned romantic fantasy is as rare as it is refreshing. In this bittersweet tale of a ghost who haunts the woman he loved 40 years earlier, you will find no mean one-liners, no farcical madcap scrambles (though a rough-and-ready exorcism […]

Posted inMusic

Dissecting Dylan

Greil Marcus Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (Henry Holt) The little bag of honey-roasted peanuts I got on a recent flight to California bore the slogan A Symbol of Freedom. I was especially spooked by this because I was reading Greil Marcus’s Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes, a book nominally about a Bob […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Good Old-Fashioned Carnage

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore A Red Orchid Theatre By Carol Burbank The slasher film is by now a time-honored tradition. The killer, infected by some inexplicable, incurable brand of evil, pursues buxom young girls and their buff dude counterparts. Characters do one thing wrong–undress alone, laugh at fear, wander off to pee or fuck […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Amanda and Eve

AMANDA AND EVE, Bailiwick Repertory. Alexandra Billings’s charming if somewhat stilted new play, Amanda and Eve (inspired by the Tracy-Hepburn film Adam’s Rib), explores the painful definition of marriage for a contemporary professional lesbian couple. Both the play and the movie pit married attorneys against each other as they take opposite sides in a spousal […]

Posted inMusic

Guy-Gustafsson-Strid

GUY-GUSTAFSSON-STRID In his increasingly frequent Chicago performances the nervy Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson has demonstrated an utterly natural flexibility. I say natural because he never seems to be flaunting his range–he’s simply blessed with a rare mix of empathy and raw skill. Recent recordings reveal yet other sides of his playing: Opus Apus (LJ), a […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

Senator Carol Moseley-Braun and the Cubbies have “more than a few things in common,” argues James Ylisela Jr. in Illinois Issues (May). “For starters, they’re both attractive and historic, which appeals to the idealism in all of us. They also spend a lot of money, raise our expectations and have little to show for it […]

Posted inArts & Culture

First Rites

Among Willows Christine Bornarth, Julie Hopkins, and Julia Mayer at Glade Hall, June 6-8 By Laura Molzahn It’s common to compare contemporary theater with ancient religious ritual but much less common to see an event that actually recalls those roots. Like many religious services today, theatrical events often have more to do with seeing and […]