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Posted inArts & Culture

42 Riverside Drive

42 Riverside Drive, Bailiwick Repertory. For a script that tries to cloak its characters’ most inconsequential actions and motivations in a shroud of mystery, TV writer Michael Carey’s first attempt at a play isn’t particularly suspenseful. Nor is it as dark and brooding as it purports to be: Carey’s Mamet-on-Prozac dialogue fails to add anything […]

Posted inArts & Culture

On Exhibit: a secret society shows itself

A year ago this month I was abducted by a tough-looking character with a filterless Camel dangling from his lips. He placed a callused hand on my shoulder and said, “Come with me.” I hesitated. “Don’t worry,” he said. “You won’t get hurt.” He brought me to a nondescript storefront in East Pilsen, where I […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew, Wing & Groove Theatre. Tumbleweeds and gunfight at high noon are about the only Wild West cliches missing from Wing & Groove’s fiery, funny Taming of the Shrew. Director Andrew Gall has transported Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes to an American frontier town during the Gold Rush–an interesting but not […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Carnegie Hall Jazz Band with James Moody

CARNEGIE HALL JAZZ BAND WITH JAMES MOODY In 1943, Duke Ellington premiered Black, Brown and Beige at Carnegie Hall–and then never played the entire thing in public again. The first of his suites, it was also the most ambitious composition in jazz’s first half century, a 50-minute programmatic attempt to follow African-Americans from slave ship […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Thomas Lehn & Gerry Hemingway

THOMAS LEHN & GERRY HEMINGWAY When it comes to free improvisation, analog synthesizer is not the first instrument that comes to mind–but given its vast sonic potential, maybe it should be. Just like a saxophonist or pianist, a synth player must be intimate with his machine, must know from experience and practice how to manipulate […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beautiful People

Beautiful People Writer-director Jasmin Dizdar, whose comedy-drama refers at one point to the much-touted first half hour of Saving Private Ryan, could teach Steven Spielberg a thing or two about the use of dramatic irony. The large ensemble of characters in the story, which is set in London and Bosnia, includes a physician demoralized by […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Gustavo Ceratic

GUSTAVO CERATI As singer and guitarist for the Buenos Aires trio Soda Stereo in the 1980s and ’90s, Gustavo Cerati helped launch rock en espa–ol. Not that the group ever incorporated native traditions into its music, the way Cafe Tacuba or El Gran Silencio later would–most of Chau Soda (Sony Latin), a two-CD set from […]

Posted inNews & Politics

All Mixed Up

The caption for the photo in last week’s story on Black Sphota Cocoon had the subjects reversed: Arie Thompson was on the left and Kim Crutcher was on the right. Also, Gene Callahan, a longtime aide to Senator Alan Dixon, called to inform us that in the second part of our recent story about the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Cable Box

Format Half hour of sketch comedy by the Cirque du Squirrel ensemble under the direction of auteur Dale Chapman. Program promotes yucks through “dick jokes and infantile bathroom humor.” Target Demographic Men, 25 to 39, who rhapsodize about their first viewing of Porky’s—-and the women who love them. Thematic Concerns Celebrating the prophetic powers of […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Epithetically Speaking

Dear sir: In his review of About Face Theatre’s Christopher Shinn play Four [Section Two, February 25], Justin Hayford’s nonchalant use of the term “wigger” to describe a character is disturbing. A contraction of the words “white” and “nigger,” this is a racist epithet denoting a person who appears Caucasian and supposedly “acts black,” i.e., […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Christmas on Mars

Christmas on Mars, Great Beast Theater, at the Lunar Cabaret. Harry Kondoleon’s absurdist comedy throws four people into the same condo, where the promise of a new baby brings hope of healing old wounds. Can relationships blossom from the compost of four battling agendas? We’re thrown headlong into the furious resentment between pregnant Audrey (Michelle […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“Every time I see a group of workers, it seems their wages are falling,” writes local labor lawyer Tom Geoghegan in Illinois Issues (February). “Case one: A big trucking company closed terminals all over the Midwest and started up again under a new name. The company with the new name signed a new contract with […]