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 […]

Posted inMusic

Crown Royals

CROWN ROYALS Cracking the soul code is a damn near impossible task: how did 60s labels like Stax, Volt, Hi, and Josie get that sound? The delicate mix of dirt and polish is as elusive as a good recipe for cheese grits, but Chicago’s own Crown Royals have come as close as anyone to nailing […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Away

AWAY, Northlight Theatre, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. Australian playwright Michael Gow seems to think that the way to create humanistic drama is to introduce stereotypical characters in stock situations in the first act, then undercut them in the second. But the three intersecting domestic dramas that comprise Away […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Family Goes Nuclear

Indiscretions Organic Touchstone Company at Touchstone Theatre By Albert Williams Here’s a nearly 60-year-old play whose plot might inspire the themes of next week’s Jerry Springer and Jenny Jones shows: “Boys Who Sleep With Their Fathers’ Girlfriends” and “Mothers and Sons–How Close Is Too Close?” Jean Cocteau’s 1938 hit Les parents terribles lay neglected for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

Not to ask a stupid question, but…why are covered bridges covered? It can’t have been just because they look good that way in the postcards. –Laura Wargo, Naperville, Illinois There is much misinformation about this in our society, and I am glad to lift the veil of ignorance at last. You realize, first of all, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Ballad of Frankie and Johnny

THE BALLAD OF FRANKIE AND JOHNNY, Redmoon Theater, at Steppenwolf Studio Theatre. There used to be a sweet ragtag innocence about Redmoon. The puppets looked hastily assembled, the costumes as if they were made from hand-me-downs. The sets seemed so flimsy you wondered how they survived a performance. But the shows were real and wonderful. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Invisible People

THE INVISIBLE PEOPLE Falling somewhere between leisure suits and the song “Feelings” in the popular imagination, mime is an art we can no longer see for the cliches–walking against the wind, pushing imaginary walls, and other such bad copies of Marcel Marceau. It takes performers as original as Gregg Goldston and C. Nicholas Johnson, the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Days of the Week

Friday 6/13 – Thursday 6/19 JUNE By Cara Jepsen 13 FRIDAY Some say it’s one of the most important black films of the past 30 years. Others call it ordinary. Everyone agrees it’s extremely violent. Whatever your take, The Mack, a movie about an Oakland pimp, was one of the most popular blaxploitation films of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Baltimore Waltz

THE BALTIMORE WALTZ, Ulysses Theater Company, at Shattered Globe Theatre. Paula Vogel’s 80-minute one-act–a quirky 1991 tribute to a brother who died of AIDS–keeps tragedy at arm’s length until its abrupt and haunting ending. With a kind of gallows humor, Vogel changes their fates: Anna, a Baltimore schoolteacher, imagines that she’s suffering from incurable “Acquired […]

Posted inMusic

Eleventh Dream Day

ELEVENTH DREAM DAY The bumpy ride Eleventh Dream Day took from independent labels to Atlantic and back again (to Chicago outlets Atavistic and now Thrill Jockey) makes for compelling extramusical narrative. But the parallel musical story is just as interesting, and the current chapter–the exciting, if plainly titled, Eighth–shows that even after a decade the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

WCT’s X-Rated Ads

blumberg.qxd Editor: I was amused to read in Hot Type (June 6) that Windy City Times staff are embarrassed to show the newspaper to their parents because of the very ads that pay their salaries. Hey folks, it’s a gay newspaper. It’s not for your parents (unless they are queer). It’s for the people who […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

We parked our car in a lot at the eastern end of the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve and started walking west through a stand of red pines. The Chicago area is not famous for red pines, and these, all the same age and size, planted in neat rows, strongly suggested the involvement of the Civilian […]