Posted inArts & Culture

First Breath: About Face Youth Theatre

FIRST BREATH: ABOUT FACE YOUTH THEATRE, About Face Theatre. This remarkable collaboration between About Face Theatre and kids from Horizons Community Services gives audiences an inspiring glimpse into the lives of queer teenagers. Eric Rosen’s intelligent staging uses percussive rhythms, high-energy music, and kaleidoscopic shifts in narrative style to shape their stories and poems. And […]

Posted inFilm

Pieces of the Action

Run Lola Run Rating ** Worth seeing Directed and written by Tom Tykwer With Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Armin Rohde, and Joachim Krol. By Jonathan Rosenbaum A low-budget no-brainer, Run Lola Run is a lot more fun than Speed, a big-budget no-brainer from five years ago. It’s just as fast moving, the music […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories In April the Unique Recoveries collection agency in Bombay, India, hired six eunuchs to embarrass debtors into paying up by dancing around and threatening to expose their genitallessness. Unique’s director said he expects his business to expand and that he plans to hire 100 more eunuchs. In Bombay many eunuchs earn money by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Same Time, Next Year

SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR, Headstrong Theatre. Bernard Slade’s smarmy 70s-era dinner-theater standard comes off as both immoral and uptight. Immoral because it sentimentalizes adultery: George and Doris, married but not to each other, meet once a year for 25 years for a weekend fling, with minimal effects on their families. And uptight because even the […]

Posted inMusic

Local Record Roundup

Local Record Roundup A-SET The Science of Living Things (Tree). A-Set, at least on this pleasantly surprising debut EP, is the recently transplanted Albert Menduno, a product of the California hardcore scene who’s changed his attitude as well as his latitude. The affected croon in which he sings his catchy, slightly baroque melodies reminds me […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In Store: enormous shop of horrors

Fantasy Costumes Headquarters may never compete with Disney World, but it’s a block-long wonderland packed with everything from the sublime to the ridiculous. The sublime includes Mardi Gras ensembles with brilliantly hued sequined and feathered masks; faux-jewel-encrusted velvet Renaissance costumes for bride, groom, and attendants; and a black-and-white Ascot outfit like the one worn by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Kendra Shank

KENDRA SHANK New York-based singer Kendra Shank has built a career in jazz the old-fashioned way. Like musicians from Coleman Hawkins to the Art Ensemble of Chicago, she established herself in Europe–she lived and worked in Paris for most of the 90s, then headed back to the States in 1997 to enjoy her reputation. She […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Police Scanner

Wednesday, June 23, 11:15 AM Dispatcher: 252, the wagon’s down, we have a disturbance with a mental talking to herself, 44– State. I’ll get ya an assist. 252: What wrong with talkin’ to yourself? Unidentified Caller: As long as you don’t get any answers. Thursday, June 24, 11:50 AM 1554: Hold me down with 56 […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Simple Jim and His 4 Fabulous Friends

Simple Jim and His 4 Fabulous Friends, Lifeline Theatre. Eric Lane Barnes’s play details the adventures of a slow-witted stonecutter’s son, Simple Jim, and his four companions: a libidinous frog, a motormouth cowgirl, a cocksure archer, and a robot who can count everything. Barnes–who wrote the full-length musical Fairy Tales–is clearly no stranger to folk […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I’m in dire need of help. Me and my friend are both 15, girls, and bi. We’re bored with “traditional” masturbating. We’ve tried porno (which is great, but it only took me so far), random objects, even each other! Then we stumbled on her mom’s vibrator. It was a big blue jelly dildo that vibrated. […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Laura, Free Associates, at the Ivanhoe Theater. The hard-boiled 40s dialogue and characters of this classic noir, about a detective who falls in love with an apparent murder victim, would seem to make it a perfect target for the Free Associates’ genre satire. But the company plays it fairly straight, producing a rather stodgy, mothballed […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Smoker-Short Annual Quintet

SMOKER-SHORT ANNUAL QUINTET Perhaps Chicago drummer, bandleader, and composer Damon Short should title his next album “Short Shrift”: too often that’s exactly the treatment his work has received. The smartly textured, even delicate hybrid of improvisation and composition Short has cultivated for the last 20 years has flowered in the 90s in the humid atmosphere […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Singin’ in the Rain

SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, Drury Lane Oakbrook. Two dimensions could barely contain the energy of MGM’s nearly flawless 1952 musical. The one thing it lacked was depth–which this popular 1985 screen-to-stage spin-off provides in the form of a third dimension. Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s witty screenplay, about Hollywood’s golden age, and the vintage Jazz […]