Posted inArts & Culture

Framing Chaos

Boxing Joseph Cornell Neo-Futurists at the Neo-Futurarium, through June 19 Timepiece Rachel Rosenthal Company at the Dance Center of Columbia College, May 13-15 By Carol Burbank It’s the perfect marriage–eccentric artist Joseph Cornell and the Neo-Futurists. Cornell’s surreal boxes and collages made his reputation as a mysterious, somewhat wacky visionary. Greg Allen and company, if […]

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Playing It Safe

Morning Star Steppenwolf Theatre Company Mizlansky/Zilinsky or Schmucks Steppenwolf Theatre Company By Adam Langer As the Steppenwolf Theatre Company settles into middle age, with generous corporate sponsorship provided by Sara Lee, Sprint, and Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group, it would be foolish to expect the brash, adventurous spirit of its youth. After all, a controversial […]

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City File

Can we borrow it back when Governor George “Bet ‘Em” Ryan goes into action? According to “Arts Wire Current” (April 20), the 1997 Better Government Association report “The Tourism Industry in Chicago: It’s the Arts, Stupid” helped the Coalition of Philadelphia Neighborhood Associations defeat a measure that would have introduced slot machines, video poker, and […]

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Discomforting Looks

Jose Luis Cuevas: What Is Our Strangeness? at Aldo Castillo, through May 29 By Bertha Husband Mexican artist Jose Luis Cuevas has been well-known since the 1950s for his depictions of society’s outcasts; essays on his work describe his figures as “grotesque,” “shocking,” or “horrifying.” But this exhibition at Aldo Castillo Gallery, his first in […]

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Audrey Morris

AUDREY MORRIS A singer doesn’t have to nurse idiosyncrasies to have style–just listen to Audrey Morris. Morris doesn’t deflate her material with affected nonchalance or smother it with histrionics; instead she delivers classic songs, some quite old and many nearly forgotten, with great musical intelligence and a literate, naturalistic approach to the lyrics. Morris has […]

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Confessional

Confessional, Eclipse Theatre Company, at the Chopin Theatre. Tennessee Williams wrote Confessional (titled Small Craft Warnings in its revised version) late in his career–which might account for its resemblance to a reunion of his favorite personalities from other plays. Converging in Monk’s seamy waterfront bar are a dominating earth mother, a languid hustler, a fey […]

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Art 1999’s DIY Attitude/Cripple May Leap to Royal George/Cullen, Henaghan Are Back

Art 1999’s DIY Attitude From a sales perspective Art 1999 Chicago was an unqualified success. “Business was great,” says Roberta Lieberman of the Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, expressing a view shared by other exhibitors. But in the days leading up to the fair’s opening night on Thursday, May 6, founder Thomas Blackman and his roster of 214 […]

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Deeply Rooted Productions

I can’t think of a better match than singer Roberta Flack and Deeply Rooted Productions, the Chicago troupe Kevin Iega Jeff founded in 1995, two years after he left New York to head the Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, which promptly folded after a painful decline. Flack’s soft yet generous contralto, smooth but a little […]

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Dahab

This 1953 Egyptian musical is sprawling, heterogeneous, and somewhat uneven, but it’s worth seeing for the lively performance of child star Fayruz and for director Anwar Wagdi’s close attention to class differences. Fayruz has been compared to Shirley Temple, but as the title character, an unwanted child adopted by a struggling street musician, she reminds […]

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Uncomfortable Spaces

Bruce Nauman at Donald Young, through June 26 Christopher Furman: The Janus Machine at the Chicago Cultural Center, through June 20 By Fred Camper Bruce Nauman is a protean artist who’s made sculptures, videos, installations, drawings, and neon works for more than three decades, achieving a position near the top of the art-world heap (bolstered […]

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The Straight Dope

How would I go about putting a curse on someone? With voodoo, preferably? Is there someone I would have to contact, or could I do it all at home? Thanks in advance. –A quiet loner in northern California PS: If you’re unable to give out curse instructions (because of legal problems, I’d presume), could you […]

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Dancing With The Past

DANCING WITH THE PAST, Factory Theater Company, and FACTORY MATCH GAME ’99, Factory Theater Company. The Factory Theater’s first productions since taking control of the space formerly known as Footsteps are very different–one is a serious play about three sisters coping with their mother’s death, the other a camp homage to a daytime TV show. […]

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Jim O’Rourke

JIM O’ROURKE That Jim O’Rourke’s two concerts this week–which he says will be his last in Chicago this year–are going to be completely different from one another won’t surprise his fans: O’Rourke’s resistance to doing the same thing twice has become somewhat of a calling card. On Friday, opening for tropicalia pioneer Tom Ze (see […]

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Days of the Week

Friday 5/21 – Thursday 5/27 MAY By Cara Jepsen 21 FRIDAY Author Vikram Seth comes to Hyde Park tonight to read from his latest, An Equal Music. The plot centers on a violinist and pianist who fall in love over Beethoven: boy gets girl, boy loses girl, girl starts to go deaf. He’ll start at […]