Posted inMusic

This Ain’t No Disco

The Disco Box (Rhino) By Douglas Wolk The cover of the 1977 album Cerrone’s Paradise shows the eponymous French disco producer crouching on a black tile floor, dressed in a white jumpsuit unzipped to the waist. Behind him is a small white refrigerator, and next to that a little jar of white powder lies spilled. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

In-Del-ible

[Re: “Del Close,” March 12] Dear editor, If you look closely at the sidewalk in front of 703 Howard Street (Evanston side), the painted footprints and name of Del Close can still be discerned. It was at this location, around 1980, where I saw a production of the Practical Theater Company with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pick-ups and Hiccups

PICK-UPS AND HICCUPS, Boom Chicago, at Live Bait Theater. In the five years since its inception, Boom Chicago has jump-started the careers of many of Chicago’s most gifted improvisers, who can now be seen onstage at Second City and ImprovOlympic, among other venues. The Amsterdam-based Boom Chicago is also one of the best-paying gigs around, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Mythical Motherland

Willie Doherty at the Renaissance Society, through April 18 By Jill Elaine Hughes The tone and subject matter of Willie Doherty’s latest installation, True Nature, at the Renaissance Society came as something of a shock to me. Instead of the bombed-out buildings, rusty burned-out cars, and other remnants of Ireland’s guerrilla war for which this […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Polaroid Stories

POLAROID STORIES, Trap Door Theatre. Playwright Naomi Iizuka’s grisly, haunting portrait of Minneapolis gutter punks would be significant if only for the fact that it’s one of the first plays to dramatically depict homelessness. And Iizuka resists the urge to sentimentalize her subject: her characters are shameful, self-absorbed, and destructive. Nor does she waste time […]

Posted inFilm

Dragon Town Story

Dragon Town Story Wu Chien-lien dominates this 1997 costume drama, shot on location in northern China, about an ice maiden seeking revenge against the warlord who massacred her clan. Posing as a married couple, she and a hired assassin infiltrate the warlord’s lair and befriend his family, and director Yeung Fung-leung rises above plot machination […]

Posted inFilm

Ravenous

Ravenous This dark fantasy-adventure set in the Sierra Nevada in 1847 is at its best when it’s least overtly allegorical–and fortunately that’s most of the time. Guy Pearce plays a strangely hapless captain whose inadvertent heroism during the Mexican War gets him dispatched to a desolate outpost where the soldiers have too much time on […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Polish Movie Springtime

Polish Movie Springtime Polish Movie Springtime, a festival of classic and contemporary Polish films presented by the Society for Arts, continues Friday, March 19, through Friday, March 26. Screenings will be at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence, and the Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee. Tickets are $5 to $7; a $12 pass admits […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Bluebeard

BLUEBEARD, Defiant Theatre, at Victory Gardens Theater. Charles Ludlam was an aesthetic anarchist, ridiculing “seriousness” in the theater and reveling in Z-grade schlock. Yet his skill as a playwright and his knowledge of theater history allowed him to combine elements from Aristophanes and commedia dell’arte with drag shows and sci-fi thrillers to deconstruct the sexual […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Realms of the Senses

Jan Erkert & Dancers at the Dance Center of Columbia College, March 11-13 Dances From the Heart Hedwig Dances at the Athenaeum Theatre, through March 21 By Terry Brennan Dance–which is only a set of moving bodies–is naturally abstract. Traditional dance forms like ballet often try to tell a comprehensible story by using mime, gestures, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

RedSongs

REDSONGS, Theatre of Totality, at the Athenaeum Theatre. This company’s first production is an uncomfortable cross between preadolescent pornography and a therapy session. Theatre of Totality founder Nicholas Koroyanis wrote and directed this dense, pseudopoetic story of a bisexual man tormented by women, Catholicism, and self-hatred. A waffling sexual fantasy, the script is a mess […]

Posted inMusic

The Roots

THE ROOTS On their fourth album, Things Fall Apart (MCA), Philadelphia’s Roots navigate the divide between hip-hop’s cynical underground and its hedonistic mainstream by barreling straight down the middle, largely oblivious to the expectations aimed at them from both sides. Since 1987 the Roots have been the very incarnation of a deep love of hip-hop, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Laetitia Sonami

LAETITIA SONAMI Americans’ love affair with technology has veered into obsession over the past few decades, as we stake nearly all our cultural faith on the newest electronic this and computerized that. “Circuitry will save us,” we chant, pointing and clicking our way into a gimmicky, amoral, randomized universe offered up as utopia. Thank heaven […]