Posted inMusic

Chick Corea & Gary Burton

CHICK COREA & GARY BURTON The impressionistic, even gauzy album that first paired vibraphonist Gary Burton with pianist Chick Corea, Crystal Silence, came to symbolize the “new cool” school of jazz in the early 70s; but just as important, it revealed a perfect creative partnership of the sort that rarely comes along in any medium. […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Living Room and Show

The Living Room and Show, ImprovOlympic. The differences between ImprovOlympic partners Charna Halpern and Del Close are nowhere more apparent than in these two shows. Where Halpern is all warmth, smiles, and clear-headed competence, dispensing free drinks and pointed maternal wisdom, Close is the quintessential portrait of the artist as an old grouch, with a […]

Posted inMusic

Freakwater

FREAKWATER Nick Tosches once called the postwar era “the beginning of the end of timelessness.” In this frantic new age of mass media, he wrote, art has a shelf life, and the next big thing becomes a moldy oldie faster than the leaves can turn. Yet over the last decade Freakwater, the country quartet fronted […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Theatre of Moscow Southwest

Theatre of Moscow Southwest Last seen here in 1996, Russia’s Theatre of Moscow Southwest returns this week to the University of Illinois at Chicago, whose theater department has a long-established exchange program with the foreign troupe. Known for producing visually striking, dramatically intense shows on a tight budget, the Muscovites specialize in Russian theater and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Glass Menagerie

THE GLASS MENAGERIE, Writers’ Theatre Chicago. A new take on this oft produced masterpiece is rare. But somehow director William Brown–working in the back of a Glencoe bookstore–has fashioned a version of The Glass Menagerie so heartfelt and fresh it moistened even this jaded critic’s eyes. Of course, in a play as poetic as this […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mos Def/ Mood/ All Natural

MOS DEF/MOOD/ALL NATURAL In the late 80s New York’s Native Tongues crew–De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Jungle Brothers–injected hip-hop with a dose of worldliness, introducing a broad array of subject matter that put the old boasters to shame. And when the posse re-formed a few years back, it avoided the easy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

You Be the Judge

rader.qxd To the Editors: I am writing concerning Jeffrey Felshman’s article about IVI-IPO (“Fighting Over Scraps,” Reader, November 7, 1997). My husband, David, and I have been involved in independent politics for many years and have been members of IVI-IPO for 13 years. We have been on the organization’s state board of directors for most […]

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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

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 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

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 […]