NEVER IN MY LIFETIME, Piven Theatre Workshop. If war is hell, civil war is doubly so: there are no identifying uniforms, clearly defined battle zones, or Geneva convention agreements to lend a semblance of organization to the bloodshed. A corpse might be packed with explosives to ambush compassionate comrades intent on burying their dead, an […]
Five years ago the notion of an Iranian cinema meant nothing to most Americans. Prejudiced by coverage of the Islamic revolution, they may have assumed Iranians were only allowed to produce propaganda. Yet since the release of Jafar Panahi’s The White Balloon in 1995, that’s been changing. Now Iranian movies are regarded as vital and […]
Four characters seeking personal gain are nearly sidetracked by altruistic impulses in this emotionally and politically responsible movie set in Iraq during the immediate aftermath of the gulf war–a damning yet idealistic satire about the motives behind U.S. foreign policy. The visuals are wild, the sound track has the audacity to underscore the subtext instead […]
Lead Stories An August London Observer story warned Britons about a new fad in Manhattan: live snakes worn as women’s accessories. Londoners returning from New York reported they had seen “several” or “quite a few” women carrying colorful snakes in their handbags. In August the Department of Energy released new security guidelines in response to […]
LOBSTER BOY!, Calliope Productions, at Duncan YMCA Chernin’s Center for the Arts. The premise of this new musical–inspired by a real-life Lobster Boy–is promising in a campy, Little Shop of Horrors kind of way. A young man suffering from a disease that makes his hands look like claws and his legs end in stumps joins […]
TOTO LA MOMPOSINA Y SUS TAMBORES Cumbia is Colombia’s most popular musical export, but the accordion-driven strain that’s so popular in Mexico these days is a far cry from the enchanting music performed by Toto la Momposina y Sus Tambores, a troupe of musicians and dancers based in Bogota. Toto (who takes her stage name […]
Opponents of the Pilsen TIF score an upset.
This 1965 feature by Swedish director Bo Widerberg (Elvira Madigan) explores the psychodynamics of a renowned filmmaker’s personal relationships. Deep in a creative funk, Keve retreats to his home in a seaside village, accompanied by his circle of bohemian friends, and stumbles into an extramarital affair, only to realize that it doesn’t solve his artistic […]
It’s someone in the supermarket checkout line. It’s a friend from high school or a suitemate from the dorm. It’s a coworker, a neighbor, a member of your book group. Maybe it’s your cousin, your aunt, your sister. Maybe it’s you. One in four American women between the ages of 18 and 65 reported having […]
Rhinoceros Theater Festival This annual showcase of experimental theater, performance, and music from Chicago’s fringe began as part of the Bucktown Arts Fest; now it’s hosted by the Curious Theatre Branch. Taking its name from surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s use of the term “rhinocerontic” (it means real big), the Rhino Fest celebrates its tenth anniversary […]
MANUFRACTURE, Strawdog Theatre Company. A strong contender for worst play of the year (I can’t speak for the millennium), this derivative new work by New York playwright Anne DeMare goes nowhere loudly and tediously, wasting its large cast and the audience’s attention. Indebted to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine to […]
A birthday party for the youngest country in the neighborhood.
JONATHAN RICHMAN Jojo’s hat trick in There’s Something About Mary–he had three tunes on the sound track, wrote the movie’s original music, and appeared on-screen as a goofy Greek chorus–is his most public accomplishment of the 90s, but it’s not necessarily his greatest. His five most recent records, including the all-Spanish Te Vas a Emocionar! […]