Posted inArts & Culture

Faces Behind Fences

House of Bondage at Stephen Daiter, through December 12 The Photograph Transformed at the Chicago Cultural Center, through January 24 By Fred Camper Apartheid has legally ended in South Africa, but it comes alive with searing vividness in 39 mid-60s photographs by Ernest Cole, on view at Stephen Daiter (along with eight photographs of Africa […]

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Sunshine and Play

SUNSHINE and PLAY, Barclay Theatre, at Strawdog Theatre. Programming is not one of the things director Wilson Alexander Aguilar does well. Pairing Samuel Beckett’s bleak, minimalist Play with William Mastrosimone’s sloppy, self-indulgent slice of life Sunshine is like mixing scotch and V-8. It doesn’t help matters that Aguilar can’t seem to shake a funereal pace […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

JIM CARROLL 12/4, LOUNGE AX Poet Jim Carroll earned his rocker badge mostly on the strength of his 1980 debut album, Catholic Boy, a solidly fierce piece of art punk that included the accidental standard “People Who Died”–the Impotent Sea Snakes have covered it, for chrissake. But his teenage-junkie memoir, The Basketball Diaries, and the […]

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The Invasion of Desire and the Resistance to That Invasion and The Nowhow (And How to Now It)

The Invasion of Desire and the Resistance to that Invasion and The Nowhow (and How to Now! It), Curious Theatre Branch and Theater Three, at the Lunar Cabaret. Mickle Maher’s background as a member of Theater Oobleck and other experimental groups is enough in itself to suggest that the playwright-performer is something of a tease. […]

Posted inMusic

Ursula Opppens with the Arditti String Quartet

URSULA OPPENS with the ARDITTI STRING QUARTET Between them American pianist Ursula Oppens and England’s Arditti String Quartet probably have performed more of the music of our time than anyone else. Both came up in the mid-70s and have remained steadfast champions of the new; Northwestern professor Oppens has even earned the nickname “Saint Ursula” […]

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Chucho Valdes

CHUCHO VALDES During a brief thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations under Jimmy Carter’s administration, Latin-jazz heavies Irakere managed not only to make several festival appearances in this country but also to take home Cuba’s first Grammy. Now that things have finally warmed back up, the group and its founding pianist, Jesus “Chucho” Valdes, are once again […]

Posted inNews & Politics

My Side of the Story

pavilon.qxd Dear Ms. True, Congratulations to Kari Lydersen and the Reader for a fair, reasonably accurate, and well-written article on the emotional Uptown Wilson Yard issue (“Living Room or Work Space,” November 20). However, I cannot say the same for our alderman of the 46th Ward. Alderman Shiller (46th) accused me, personally, as a private […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Vanessa Redgrave

The greatest actress in the English-speaking theater is also the most politically engaged. That’s why Vanessa Redgrave comes to Chicago this weekend not as the star of some prestigious, expensive Shakespeare tour but for an incredibly low price as the opening attraction of “Stand Together for Human Rights,” a conference sponsored by Amnesty International USA, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Defending Scott Turow

urdangen.qxd To the editor: With cocounsel, I represented Alejandro Hernandez at two of his three trials. He was a codefendant of Rolando Cruz, the subject of your November 13 cover story. I am fond of Rolando, and he’s made impressive progress given his decade of sensory deprivation on death row. He has been an articulate […]

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Wrong For Each Other

Wrong For Each Other, Brittany Productions, at Victory Gardens Theater. Canadian playwright Norm Foster’s connect-the-dots romantic comedy is the sort of lightweight fare that used to pass for heady entertainment when an evening of theater meant a trip down Golf Road to catch B-grade Hollywood talent at the Mill Run in Same Time, Next Year […]

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Yerma

By the time Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca, born a century ago this year, was murdered by Franco’s fascists in 1936, he’d written among other things a stack of well-regarded surrealist poetry and a trilogy of thematically related plays, Blood Wedding, Yerma, and The House of Bernarda Alba. The central play, Yerma, concerns a young […]

Posted inMusic

Boxhead Ensemble

BOXHEAD ENSEMBLE The contract between sound and light on celluloid is usually binding: certain passages are assigned to specific images, John Williams gets paid, and everyone goes home. But it wasn’t always that way. The musicians who accompanied motion pictures before the advent of talkies weren’t bound to play the same thing the same way […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ruthless!

Ruthless!, Effective Theatre and Porchlight Theatre, at the Athenaeum Theatre. This hilarious showbiz spoof by playwright-lyricist Joel Paley and composer Marvin Laird combines sharp one-liners and savvy in-jokes with plot twists and characters lifted from The Bad Seed, Gypsy, and All About Eve. Talented but temperamental third-grader Tina Denmark snags the title role in her […]