Posted inArts & Culture

Violet

VIOLET, Apple Tree Theatre. Strong and true, this prizewinning, emotionally textured 1997 musical by composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist Brian Crawley mines every feeling behind its sturdy songs. A midwest premiere, Eileen Boevers’s staging electrifies. Based on Doris Betts’s story “The Ugliest Pilgrim,” Violet recalls Sondheim’s Passion as it paints a down-home portrait of a […]

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Charlie Hunter & Adam Cruz

Charlie Hunter & Adam Cruz Charlie Hunter’s devotees have doubtless heard more than enough about his eight-string guitar technique. True, Hunter’s astonishing–he plays sly improvisations on the top five strings and fully independent bass lines on the bottom three, and sends each line out through a separate amp–but that parlor trick is responsible for so […]

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Baby Jane Dexter

BABY JANE DEXTER New York cabaret star Baby Jane Dexter returns to Chicago this week with a new show, The Real Thing–a collection of love songs Dexter calls “an intimate opera,” which suggests she’ll be doing less talking and more singing this time around. That’s not necessarily good: Dexter’s open-hearted, big-mouthed spontaneity is a natural […]

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Joan Crawford Goes to Hell!

JOAN CRAWFORD GOES TO HELL!, Sweetback Productions, at the SweetCorn Playhouse. It’s hard to parody excess. But David Cerda in his 90-minute takeoff on La Crawford adds hell to histrionics, sending Joan to perdition where Lucifer–Mr. DeVille–forces her to review her life as if it were a B movie. Even there the self-crowned Queen of […]

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Caught in the Net

Captured at www.nasinet.org/faq95b.html Internet Virtual Bigfoot Conference “I.V.B.C.” Frequently Asked Questions Is “Bigfoot” real? And if you believe it is real, what is your best evidence for believing so? Whether or not “bigfoot” is real, the “bigfoot phenomenon” is real. The “bigfoot phenomenon” is the certain fact that we continue to receive “bigfoot” sighting reports, […]

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Billy Branch

Billy Branch Blues harpist Billy Branch has always been mindful of his role as a keeper of the flame. He can evoke the better part of the Chicago harmonica canon in a single solo: He might start with a few of John Lee Williamson’s rollicking arpeggios, then segue into burnished Little Walter-style jazz licks, tempered […]

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Destructive Attitudes

Destructive Attitudes Dear Reader: I hope your article on the danger of HIV transmission through steroid needle sharing [April 23] has the intended effect–getting people who are injecting to stop sharing needles. But I fear that some of the rhetoric in your article (not to mention the monstrous cover drawing) will have the (I hope […]