Get your Best of Chicago tickets! Line-Up Announced >>

Posted inArts & Culture


Owners, Strawdog Theatre Company. Though easily the least complex of her plays, Caryl Churchill’s first full-length work nonetheless merits some interest as a harbinger of things to come. Like many of her early works, Owners is set in working-class London in the 1970s, and the character of Marion–an ambitious, self-involved executive–sets the stage for Churchill’s […]

Posted inMusic

Techno Recluse

Techno Recluse “The techno scene is supposed to be forward thinking, but I don’t think that happens all that much,” says Chicago house giant Cajmere, who performs here this weekend as his techno alter ego, Green Velvet. “When I got into the music, you always wanted your stuff to sound different and refreshing. I know […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Days of the Week

Friday 5/14 – Thursday 5/20 MAY By Cara Jepsen 14 FRIDAY Scientist Richard Dawkins, best known for coining the terms “memes” (units of cultural evolution) and “selfish genes” and for claiming that religions are best understood as “viruses of the mind,” has been exploring the links between art, science, genetics, language, and reality. He’ll read […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Wild Child Butler

WILD CHILD BUTLER He’s been gigging all over the country since the 1950s, but blues harpist George “Wild Child” Butler hasn’t budged an inch from the style he learned growing up in rural Alabama–where, he says, he made his first harmonica out of an old tobacco can half filled with gravel. On last year’s Lickin’ […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Caress of Steel

Whisper: Jaume Plensa at Richard Gray, through May 28 By Jill Elaine Hughes Like most sculptors of international reputation, Jaume Plensa primarily creates public sculpture–a genre all too often conceived with a certain detachment and sterility to satisfy public (or corporate) tastes. But Plensa’s work, now being shown at Richard Gray Gallery, suits both the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Richard II, Poet King

RICHARD II, POET KING, Gilead Theatre Company, at the Chopin Theatre. Arrogant and sybaritic, Richard II nevertheless moved England from disorder to prosperity in 22 years, then lost the throne through power plays and hubris. Six hundred years after his death, Chicago theater has been giving the monarch his dramatic due: his death haunts Henry […]

Posted inArts & Culture


GINUWINE Soul singers just ain’t what they used to be: if you put contemporary star Ginuwine in front of a live soul band from the 60s, he’d get the hook faster than James Brown could say “good God!” The D.C. native claims Michael Jackson and the Artist as two big influences, but on his second […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Howard Levy

HOWARD LEVY Multi-instrumentalist Howard Levy shape-shifts at will–from Balkan folk flutist to spiky jazz pianist to the quirky fusioneer who spent the first half of this decade with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones–but he’s best recognized as one of the world’s most inventive harmonica players. Using a lowly Marine Band blues harp, he attacks bebop […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Jolson: The Musical

JOLSON: THE MUSICAL, at the Shubert Theatre. This London-born touring production seeks to dramatize the life of vaudeville star Al Jolson in the snappy, schmaltzy style of one of the corny, wisecracking musicals popular in his heyday. But the artistic and psychological complexities of Jolson–a cantor’s son turned blackface crooner whose unabashed emotionalism made him […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Good Doctor

THE GOOD DOCTOR, Headstrong Theatre. There’s a strange coupling here of Anton Chekhov, unblinkingly accurate in his observation of quirky mortals, and Broadway-savvy Neil Simon, ever ready to crush the truth with a punch line. It’s as if the slick American jokester, who wrote this play based on Chekhov tales, were trying to camouflage his […]

Posted inArts & Culture

That Sinking Feeling: The Master of Disaster Remastered/BS

That Sinking Feeling: The Master of Disaster Remastered, Free Associates, and BS, Free Associates, at the Ivanhoe Theater. The Free Associates are pretty much geniuses when it comes to recognizing the potential for long-form improvisation in various genres. Whether they’re ransacking David Mamet’s bag of tricks (The Scryptogram) or goofing on Brian Friel’s pastoral Irish […]