Posted inArts & Culture

Manson: The Musical

MANSON: THE MUSICAL, Annoyance Theatre. When I first saw this musical about Charles Manson and his “family” in 1990, the show had a dark, subversive quality–accentuated by the Annoyance’s raggedy digs–that added to its power and comedy. Nine years later, the many jokes about oral sex are frankly a little tired. And the Annoyance folks […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Blood Knot

THE BLOOD KNOT, Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago, at Heartland Studio Theater. It’s not easy to stage Athol Fugard’s metaphorical play about the conflicts between white and black South Africans: his convoluted and poetic politics make the plot’s logic of fear difficult to follow. And actors need to tread lightly between the play’s often conflicting […]

Posted inMusic

Music of the Baroque

MUSIC OF THE BAROQUE For years Music of the Baroque has been among the most consistently intelligent and accessible ensembles in Chicago. And even when it’s financially strapped–this season its revival of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo was canceled due to poor advance ticket sales, and the group will mount only seven programs–it lavishes as much attention on […]

Posted inFilm


Bone A home invasion goes awry in this stingingly provocative 1972 movie about a Beverly Hills TV personality, his wife, and their encounter with a philosophical would-be thief and rapist. Threatened by the stranger, the heavily leveraged couple–who say their son is in Vietnam as if this makes up for their failings–take the opportunity to […]

Posted inMusic

Dave Myers & Kim Wilson

DAVE MYERS & KIM WILSON Guitarist and bassist Dave Myers was a founding member of the Aces, a band that in the 50s freshened Chicago blues with the swing and harmonic sophistication of jazz. Left to himself, though, he specializes in just the kind of down-home Delta shuffle the Aces helped make commercially obsolete. Lately […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Chambermaid

The Chambermaid Originally titled The Chambermaid on the Titanic, this 1998 French film by Bigas Luna is at once a delightful piece of romantic whimsy and a meditation on the duplicity inherent in storytelling. Horty, a French foundry worker, wins a trip to Southampton to witness the sailing of the Titanic; a ship’s chambermaid knocks […]