Posted inArts & Culture

Dining on Scraps

Forward Motion Dance Chicago ’97 at the Athenaeum Theatre, October 25; repeats November 5 and 26 By Molly Shanahan The Dance Chicago festival, now in its third year, is a smorgasbord of dance intended to broaden dance audiences by presenting packages of stylistically diverse pieces slickly marketed. Festival promoters Fred Solari and John Schmitz of […]

Posted inMusic

Metropolis Symphony Orchestra

METROPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Having changed its name to the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, the former Symphony of the Shores is hoping to broaden its North Shore audience base to include the city. Founded seven years ago, this orchestra of spunky, mostly youthful players has managed to entice the under-40 crowd with less-than-stuffy fare, often mixing the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Eye of God

EYE OF GOD, Profiles Theatre. In the manner of Pinter and Peckinpah, Tim Blake Nelson’s play is more than a simple chronicle of the tempestuous marriage between an ex-convict and a naive waitress in the small town of Kingfisher, Oklahoma–it’s a complex and intensely dramatic elegy. Hidden beneath its plain language and deceptive aura of […]

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Babes With Blades

Babes With Blades, Footsteps Theatre Company. It was inevitable that Footsteps Theatre’s extensive ranks of fight-trained women, led by resident choreographer Dawn “Sam” Alden, would take advantage of the heightened interest in stage combat sparked in the early 90s by Powertap’s three Night at the Fights shows. Last spring’s workshop performances of an all-female showcase […]

Posted inMusic

Like Soul on Soul With Geri Allen

LIKE SOUL ON SOUL WITH GERI ALLEN Pianist Geri Allen plays the pivotal role in this tribute to Mary Lou Williams, whose music made her a pioneer against sexism and whose career stands as a model for the creative life. The concert’s title comes from Duke Ellington’s description of Williams; when she penned a famous […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

A flock of evening grosbeaks has been seen at a feeder in Highland Park. The first snow buntings have arrived from the tundra, juncos have joined the house sparrows feeding in our backyard, and the leaves on the huge old cottonwood across the alley are turning from green to gold. You don’t need to be […]

Posted inMusic

Spinning Out of Control

Gina Arnold Kiss This: Punk in the Present Tense (St. Martin’s Griffin) George Gimarc Post Punk Diary: 1980-1982 (St. Martin’s Griffin) By Douglas Wolk A friend of mine was active in the mid-80s New York hardcore scene, and I once made the mistake of asking him, in a very general way, what it was like. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Aliens Among Us

Aliens Among Us By Susan DeGrane I met Pat two years ago. The disagreement she was having with another woman–over whether or not aliens desired contact with women who’d had hysterectomies–immediately caught my attention. Pat seemed annoyed when the other woman insisted extraterrestrials only wanted women for their wombs, and the conversation soon dissolved. But […]

Posted inMusic

Steve Lacy

STEVE LACY Forty years ago saxist Steve Lacy became the first musician to seriously investigate the music of Thelonious Monk; in so doing he anticipated the eventual reassessment of the bearish pianist by a jazz establishment that originally wrote him off as an eccentric primitive. To this day Monk’s spirit guides Lacy, a born iconoclast […]

Posted inFilm

4 Little Girls

4 Little Girls This surprisingly humble documentary by Spike Lee may be his best film to date apart from Do the Right Thing. It’s not weighed down by an ounce of flab or hype, and the story it tells is profoundly affecting. On September 15, 1963, four little black girls attending Sunday school at Birmingham’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Lillian

LILLIAN, Goodman Theatre Studio. The most conventional, concentrated, and sentimental of the five monologues British writer-performer David Cale has brought to Goodman’s small stage is Lillian, seven vignettes covering seven years in the life of an endearing survivor who appeared in Cale’s 1993 Somebody Else’s House. Fortysomething when she tells this tale, Lillian compares herself […]

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Holy Days

HOLY DAYS, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, at Footsteps Theatre. In a Rivendell production you can usually count on intelligent, sophisticated performances–and Holy Days is no exception. Eschewing the puerile excess of “Chicago style” tantrum-based theater in favor of taut, close-to-the-vest acting, the four cast members maintain an exquisite focus for 75 intermissionless minutes. This is one […]