Posted inArts & Culture

Phaedra’s Love

PHAEDRA’S LOVE, Defiant Theatre, at American Theater Company. If you think simulated blow jobs, make-believe disembowelment, and people saying “cunt” are provocative, you’re Sarah Kane’s kind of audience member. In her 1996 Phaedra’s Love she transforms the mythological queen into a modern-day, libidinally rapacious royal and recasts her stepson Hippolytus–traditionally a chaste devotee of Artemis–as […]

Posted inMusic

Los Van Van

LOS VAN VAN First megalomaniacal anti-Castro lobbyist Jorge Mas Canosa kicks the bucket, and now Los Van Van make their second-ever Chicago appearance hot on the heels of their first–what’s going on? It ain’t over by a long shot, but it seems that the U.S. government’s inhumane and ineffective Cuban embargo may be on its […]

Posted inFilm

True Romances

Hav Plenty Rating *** A must see Directed and written by Christopher Scott Cherot With Chenoa Maxwell, Cherot, Tammi Catherine Jones, Robinne Lee, and Reginald James. Mr. Jealousy Rating *** A must see Directed and written by Noah Baumbach With Eric Stoltz, Annabella Sciorra, Chris Eigeman, Carlos Jacott, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Brian Kerwin, Peter Bogdanovich, and […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In Milwaukee house painter David Maas, 31, was arrested in May and charged with the theft of 11 statues and figurines from several churches and is suspected of taking 18 others. According to police, he said he wanted to furnish a new version of Noah’s ark that he planned to build. The ark […]

Posted inMusic


HAYDEN In one of his surreal sight gags, Buster Keaton opens his front door and steps right over the threshold onto a busy street. That’s the best image I can think of to describe the tension between public and private that dominates the moody ballads of Toronto singer-songwriter Hayden Desser. His debut, Everything I Long […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Say Potatoe

BARNBURNER: A hot game. This phrase has been adopted by sports announcers nationwide, especially ABC’s Keith Jackson, but it originated in Indiana, where early high school basketball contests were played in barns. BIRD, OSCAR, DAMON: The first basketball game outside Massachusetts was played in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1893, and since then the sport has become […]

Posted inArts & Culture


OBJECTION! The Courtroom drama? Open Eye Productions, at O Bar & Cafe. After an all-too-brief period of inspired innovation in the early 90s, improv has mostly settled back into the rut it was in before: self-indulgent performances, go-nowhere experiments, and shows more entertaining for the performers than for the audience. This fully improvised jury trial […]

Posted inMusic

Pere Ubu

PERE UBU It’s been 20 years since Cleveland’s Pere Ubu released its epochal first album, The Modern Dance (recently reissued by Geffen), and during that time the band has gone through nearly 20 members and almost as many stylistic shifts. If 1995’s Ray Gun Suitcase was a retreat from Pere Ubu’s pop dalliance and back […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Anyone going to a Baubo Performance Project show expecting a polished, completely digested whole will be sorely disappointed. The women in this collective are much too interested in exploring and innovating–in finding new ways to mix dance, theater, music, and performance–to limit themselves to mass-market ideas and modes. Instead their shows resemble sketchbooks, packed as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Illinois Shakespeare Festival The 20-year-old Illinois Shakespeare Festival is the state’s largest repertory showcase for the Bard’s work. Supported by Illinois State University, it’s traditionally served as a stepping-stone for student actors, but this is no mere academic outreach program; its colorful, well-acted open-air productions also feature pro and semipro performers from Chicago’s off-Loop scene […]