Posted inArts & Culture

A Life in Pictures

Irving Penn: A Career in Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, through February 1 By Stephen Longmire In his earliest fashion photo-graphs and portraits for Vogue, in what would now be deemed a postmodernist gesture, Irving Penn often showed the edge of the “seamless” studio backdrop, allowing electrical cords from his artificial lights to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Sidebar

Acting was far from Tenzin Lodoe’s mind while he was growing up in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala. His parents had fled there from Tibet in 1954, when they were children. Lodoe’s father, Tenzin Choegyal, who is the Dalai Lama’s youngest brother, became the Tibetan leader’s assistant, and Rinchen Khando, Lodoe’s mother, served as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Play-Action

Play-Action, Directors Theatre of Chicago, at the Athenaeum Theatre Studio. In the middle of Play-Action’s first act, five college students gather in the kitchen of a grungy apartment and debate the possibility of original thought. When no clear consensus can be reached, one character proposes committing “the perfect murder” as the exemplar of an original […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nixon’s Nixon

Nixon’s Nixon, Buffalo Theatre Ensemble. Russell Lees’s conceit in this two-character snooze-a-thon is that Richard Nixon spent the last 90 minutes of his presidency reliving old times, role-playing with Henry Kissinger, and procrastinating about resigning. Maybe he did. But nowhere in this drama is there a compelling argument that idle speculation about Tricky Dick’s final […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Graphite Salesman

THE GRAPHITE SALESMAN, Yurodivy Theatre Company, at the O Bar & Cafe. Playwright Mark Glinski’s got too much of a good thing in his new one-act. His premise in The Graphite Salesman is golden: Ted, a naive simpleton stranded in an O’Hare men’s room when his traveling partner disappears, finds himself caught up in the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The School for Wives

THE SCHOOL FOR WIVES, Court Theatre. Actor Kevin Gudahl and 17th-century French playwright Moliere have proved a reliable combination for comic brilliance at Court Theatre, where Gudahl starred in Moliere’s The Misanthrope and in Jacques Rampal’s sequel, Celimene and the Cardinal. Here he again plays a role created by Moliere himself–Arnolphe, a middle-aged man whose […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Michael Guilbault, 19, pleaded guilty in December to robbing a convenience store two months earlier in Raleigh, North Carolina. According to the prosecutor, a delayed getaway aided police in their capture. Guilbault and his accomplice were to meet their friends Heather Beckwith, 18, and Curtis Johnson, 19, at the getaway car nearby, but […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Tripping on Nostalgia

Griller Goodman Theatre By Albert Williams “Take care of the luxuries, the necessities will take care of themselves,” says a man in Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Eric Bogosian’s collection of character sketches. The monologue from which the line comes, “Live,” is spoken by a self-made house- and pool-proud suburbanite who defends his lavish lifestyle […]

Posted inFilm

Shattered Realities: Films by Julie Murray

Shattered Realities: Films by Julie Murray Julie Murray’s short films balance on the knife-edge between humor and confusion, order and chaos, meaning and its absence. An Irish-born New Yorker who also makes collages, Murray edits together her own footage with found footage from various sources, producing a dense weave at once alluring and frustrating–appropriately so, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

I was waiting to cross State Street at Washington when two expensively dressed women came out of Field’s. I caught only the end of the younger woman’s comment: “I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem right to have a woman on death row.” Her companion, a white-haired woman in her 60s, laid a gloved hand […]

Posted inMusic

Betty Carter

BETTY CARTER Recently, while listening to Betty Carter’s latest album, a fellow writer sighed, “And some people still claim she doesn’t know what she’s doing.” The album in question, I’m Yours, You’re Mine (Verve), places more emphasis than usual on Carter’s elastic command of the world’s slowest tempi, with a balanced blend of recomposed standards […]

Posted inFilm

Cult Confusion

Happy Together Rating ** Worth seeing Directed and written by Wong Kar-wai With Tony Leung, Leslie Cheung, and Chang Chen. By Jonathan Rosenbaum At some point in the mid-90s Wong Kar-wai’s exciting and hyperbolic style lost its moorings. Whether this happened between Days of Being Wild (1990) and Chungking Express (1994), during the two years […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sincerity Forever

SINCERITY FOREVER, Stage Left Theatre. The press package for this production of Mac Wellman’s one-act includes the author’s dedication of the play to conservative leader Jesse Helms, “for the fine job you are doing of destroying civil liberties in These States,” as well as correspondence from the National Endowment for the Arts asking Wellman not […]