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The Comedie of Errors

THE COMEDIE OF ERRORS, Velvet Willies, at Hi Ricky Upstairs–West Loop. Virtually indestructible, this early work–Shakespeare’s shortest play–is the ur-comedy of mistaken identities and family reunions. The Bard adds poetry to Plautus’s preposterous machinery: two sets of identical twins, servants and masters, are entangled in a plot involving a bag of gold. The only way […]

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Spot Check

JULIE DOIRON & THE WOODEN STARS 6/2, SCHUBAS & borders on michigan Canadian singer-songwriter Julie Doiron played bass in Eric’s Trip, a band that never quite lived up to its potential–though it spent six years trying. Her third full-length, a collaboration with a Canadian pop band called the Wooden Stars, was released last year by […]

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Dreams of Baby

DREAMS OF BABY, Equity Library Theatre Chicago, at Breadline Theatre. It’s no surprise that a play about an expectant mother’s anxieties peaks in the delivery room. The Equity Library Theatre Chicago cast and technical team all come together to make this scene in Mary Lathrop’s comedy work. Supported by sound designer Todd Hissong’s witty musical […]

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Shannon Wright, Waxwings

SHANNON WRIGHT, WAXWINGS There’s nothing like playing quiet acoustic music in noisy rock clubs to make you want to yell. On her gorgeous 1999 debut, Flight Safety, Shannon Wright presented her sometimes pretty, sometimes oblique melodies with a hushed, folky simplicity. She kept her fragile voice well within its limitations, tracing the contours of each […]

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Bolshoi Ballet

In 1959 the Bolshoi Ballet, renowned then as it is now, came to New York and performed Leonid Lavrovsky’s version of Romeo and Juliet, created in 1940. Set to the Prokofiev score, Lavrovsky’s choreography underwhelmed critic Edwin Denby, who compared the ballet’s pace to “that of an army’s indoctrination lecture.” Part of the problem was […]

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Teddy Edwards & Frank Wess

TEDDY EDWARDS & FRANK WESS As the signal instrument in jazz from the mid-50s through the early 70s, the tenor saxophone attracted thousands of young players–so obviously not all of them could go on to cut a top-selling record or earn a page of their own in the history books. That, more than anything else, […]

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Chicago Blues Festival 2000

After last year’s outpouring of complaints about the lack of big-name talent at the Chicago Blues Festival, the Mayor’s Office of Special Events has put together a heavy-hitting main-stage lineup that should help restore some of the respect journalists, musicians, and fans have lost for the free fest in recent years. Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, […]

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Out of the Darkness

Out of the Darkness Cornell Williams calls 1968 a “garbage can year.” It’s the year he lost both his eyesight and his father. “The only thing that I found good in ’68 was the music,” he says. For the last two decades, music has been his livelihood as well as his solace: under the name […]

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Calexico

CALEXICO John Convertino and Joey Burns have played together for so long in so many contexts–behind Victoria Williams, Richard Buckner, Barbara Manning, Lisa Germano, and Giant Sand mastermind Howe Gelb as well as in their own band, Calexico–that they can each turn on a dime while it’s still in the other’s pocket. Their virtuosity lets […]