Posted inArts & Culture

The Small Picture

Dead of Night: The Execution of Fred Hampton Pegasus Players Julius Caesar ChicSpeare Production Company at TinFish Theatre Last week’s news stories about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roland Burris calling his rivals “nonqualified white boys” offered a jolting reminder of the role of race in Chicago politics over the last 30 years. The very insignificance of […]

Posted inArts & Culture

My Song

My Song, Circle Theatre. For a play that champions individuality at all costs, My Song is horribly contrived. Playwright John Green pushes too many buttons in this story of middle-aged music manager Velma, assaulted by the dual threats of bankruptcy and breast cancer. Green’s insights into the music industry are sharp, but his characters are […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Loose Knit

LOOSE KNIT, Frump Tucker Theatre Company, at the Bailiwick Arts Center. A heady amalgam of Waiting to Exhale, The Women, Quilters, the Oprah show, and your favorite soap, Theresa Rebeck’s energetic but overlong comedy assembles five friends who gather weekly to knit sweaters and purl secrets. Rebeck is a savvy if formulaic TV writer who […]

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Film Flam

Film Flam, Live Bait Theater. As an expose of the perils of independent filmmaking, Chicago playwright and Reader contributor Adam Langer’s Film Flam isn’t particularly incisive: the script’s hollow satire of the Hollywood cesspool of “bastards, whores, and sons of bitches” doesn’t mesh well with Langer’s imaginative, intricate tale of backstabbing and double-dealing. The filmic […]

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Mordine & Company Dance Theatre

Mordine & Company Dance Theatre Shirley Mordine is a woman who knows what she wants, though it isn’t always easy to explain to others. Rehearsing the five dancers in her untitled work in progress, she tries to get them to give a phrase more syncopation, more…something (“Edge it, anticipate it more”). She tells them not […]

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Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID, Stage Left Theatre. Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem once remarked that Philip K. Dick’s stories were great even though, like so many American sci-fi tales, they were trash. Certainly Dick was the ultimate hack, writing three dozen novels and hundreds of short stories, many of them while on amphetamines, […]

Posted inMusic

Neko Case & Her Boyfriends

NEKO CASE & HER BOYFRIENDS Neko Case may don the occasional cowboy hat and complement her twangy originals with covers like Ernest Tubb’s “Thanks a Lot,” but it’s her heady pop sensibility more than any of her country trappings that makes her recent solo debut, The Virginian (Bloodshot), a standout. Although the Vancouver-based singer was […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories The lingering influence of Mike Tyson: In February a 35-year-old mother in West Monroe, Louisiana, allegedly bit a teacher, a teacher’s aide, and the principal during a parent-teacher conference. And in January a couple in Clay County, Kentucky, filed assault charges on behalf of their son against his high school basketball coach, Bobby […]

Posted inFilm

German Experimental Films of the 90s, Program Two

German Experimental Films of the 90s, Program Two The second in a series of five programs, “(Found-Footage-) Material, Structure, Form, Animation” collects ten films that abjure photographic realism for a variety of synthetic forms. In the best of them, reediting, fast motion, decaying celluloid, and paint applied to photographs become hypnotic metaphors for transformation, their […]

Posted inMusic

Nelda Nelson

NELDA NELSON Mezzo-soprano Nelda Nelson came across the poetry of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz about ten years ago, while pursuing a doctorate in Spanish literature at Indiana University. Sor Juana was a 17th-century Mexican nun whose passion for knowledge brought her both great acclaim and significant hardship. Known as “la decima musa,” the […]

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Rhino in Winter

Rhino in Winter Offered as an adjunct to the annual summer Rhinoceros Theater Festival, this showcase of fringe entertainment features mostly new work by the Curious Theatre Branch, Theater for the Age of Gold, and other ensembles and individuals. “The fest is all about risk taking, form bending, and brain stoking. By definition it will […]

Posted inMusic


PEECHEES This San Francisco four piece is so annoying you may find yourself tearing its records off your stereo and hurling them across the room–and I mean that as a compliment. As far back as the Buzzcocks’ “Boredom,” with its endlessly oscillating two-note hook, great punk has ridden the knife’s edge between the exhilarating and […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: I would like to respond to BB, the white woman with the African-American boyfriend who wrote in about her Amistad-slavery fantasy. I saw Amistad, and I think some scenes were supposed to be turn-ons. It sexualized oppression, objectification, and slavery. Amistad aside, I think BB is very courageous to admit to a fantasy […]