Posted inMusic

Jim Baker

JIM BAKER Chicagoan Jim Baker’s been most thoroughly documented as a pianist–he graces Caffeine’s eponymous 1994 Okka Disk debut and lends his touch to the new record Birdhouse (also on Okka Disk), a powerhouse quartet session led by tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson. Anderson’s weekly sessions at the Velvet Lounge have long relied on Baker to […]

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Brain Gephart/Bob Long Quartet

BRIAN GEPHART/BOB LONG QUARTET As a rule, I tend to shy away from groups like this–or rather, from the groups with which people might easily confuse the Gephart-Long band. At first glimpse, this quartet seems to comfortably sail the seas of “contemporary” jazz, as saxophonist Brian Gephart’s throaty tenor and pliant soprano pilot the band […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Public/Privacy

PUBLIC/PRIVACY, Terrapin Theatre, at Eclipse Theatre. What a difference style makes. Of the three one-acts comprising Public/Privacy–all of them about private conversations taking place (or failing to take place) in very public places–director Scott Letscher pays attention to style only in the third, Marsha Norman’s “Lunch With Ginger.” For that piece he places four actors […]

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Show and Tell

Mixed Quartet Chicago Moving Company, Bob Eisen Dance, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, and James Kelly Choreography Project at the Athenaeum Theatre, November 8 and 13; repeating November 15 By Terry Brennan When Mikhail Baryshnikov started to perform with the White Oak Dance Project a few years ago, many questioned why a primo ballet dancer […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Exotic dancer Pamela Harrison stated in October that she was wrongfully fired by the Kat Tales club in Stuart, Florida, after fellow dancers complained she was a health hazard. Harrison wears a colostomy bag tucked into her G-string, into which body waste can flow during her performances. An expert cited by the Associated […]

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Lester Bowie, Ritual Trio & Ntozake Shange

LESTER BOWIE, RITUAL TRIO & NTOZAKE SHANGE Those who have never heard a performance by Lester Bowie–the Saint Louis trumpeter who cofounded the Art Ensemble of Chicago in the late 60s, and who these days most often appears with his wild and woolly large ensemble the Brass Fantasy–need to know this: his extravagant, hyperexpressive technique, […]

Posted inFilm

I Was a Jewish Sex Worker

The “I” in this autobiographical documentary is Phillip B. Roth, a New York-based filmmaker whose quasi-experimental shorts from Boys/Life on have amusingly and explicitly chronicled his explicit sexual dalliances and fantasies. Here, in a longer format (75 minutes), Roth probes deeper into his background for an explanation of his homosexuality and fear of intimacy. Surprisingly–yet […]

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Splintered

Splintered, Bailiwick Repertory. Taken separately, the four one-acts that director Jeremy B. Cohen has assembled here are all rather slight and problematic works by writers who’ve penned better. But presented together in this seamless, intelligently directed evening, they represent an eloquent and moving depiction of the troublesome, often solitary world of sex in the alienated […]

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Othello

This is a rare screening of the original version of Orson Welles’s landmark 1952 independent feature–not the so-called restoration released in 1992, but the film as it originally looked and sounded, courtesy of a 16-millimeter print owned by cinematographer Gary Graver, one of Welles’s key collaborators during the last phase of his career. For all […]

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Boys Just Want to Have Fun, Too

While the ten films on this program are a pretty diverse lot, “fun” more often than not means some variety of camp that toys with our gender expectations. What else to make of the tattooed drag queen in red high heels who takes “her” dog out for a walk in a film by Jeffrey Adkins […]

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Alex Klein/Livia Sohn

Alex Klein/Livia Sohn One of the major additions to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the Daniel Barenboim era is Alex Klein, who last year took over the principal oboe chair left vacant by Ray Still in 1992. A native of Brazil, where his talent was recognized early, Klein trained at Oberlin, opting to learn the […]

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The Vanishing Twin

THE VANISHING TWIN, Lookingglass Theatre Company. This campy, gender-bending gothic spoof is effective enough as a showcase for the versatile Lookingglass crew. Writer-director Bruce Norris displays an uncanny ability to segue from highly literate period melodrama to innuendo-laden Charles Ludlam-meets-Rocky Horror deconstruction. And the script provides the cast ample opportunities to show off their skill […]