Posted inArts & Culture

The Grandmama Tree: A Folk Fable

THE GRANDMAMA TREE: A Folk Fable, ETA Creative Arts Foundation. The rather conventional idea that young people could learn a thing or two from old-timers gets a fairly witty and inventive treatment in Benard Cummings’s “folk fable.” Young, well-meaning Alfonso is hiding out in the woods after shooting his pregnant girlfriend’s brother, apparently in self-defense. […]

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Motherson and Relative Comfort

MOTHERSON, Bailiwick Repertory, and RELATIVE COMFORT, Bailiwick Repertory. By now many concur that sexual orientation is not a choice. Still, homosexuals acknowledging their nature to family and friends often face fear and confusion. Playwrights Jeffrey Solomon and Gina Schien explore the dynamics of coming out in these Pride 2000 productions. “Bradley, this is your mother […]

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Hippolytus

HIPPOLYTUS, Janus Theatre, at North School Park Amphitheatre. If academics call Euripides the father of psychological realism, it’s because his characters are a bit more three-dimensional and regular-guyish than those of other Greek tragedians. But Janus Theatre director Terence Domschke seems to believe that Euripides’ Hippolytus, a highly stylized saga of Queen Phaedra’s love for […]

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Group Efforts: many-track minds

“Here we go, some action,” says Bob Gross, shifting forward in his seat. “This is the Lake Shore, running late.” Gross and other members of the 20th Century Railroad Club keep an eye on Chicago’s train traffic from a private clubhouse–a room on the ninth floor of an office building overlooking the Amtrak yards at […]

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The Illusion

The Illusion, Piven Theatre Workshop, Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Nearly four centuries after its premiere, Pierre Corneille’s L’illusion comique continues to beguile viewers with its enigmatic reflections on the nature of love–filial, romantic, and mercantile. Tony Kushner’s adaptation likewise emphasizes the contemplative side of the tale, about a father who seeks news of his estranged […]

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Roy Haynes Trio

ROY HAYNES TRIO Drummer Roy Haynes is so full of youthful energy–and such a hip sartorial stylist–that it’s almost impossible to believe he turned 75 in March. But it’s true: Haynes first recorded half a century ago, with pianist Bud Powell, and since then he’s appeared on a laundry list of classic sessions so overwhelming […]

Posted inMusic

Bloodshot Eyes the Future

Bloodshot Eyes the Future In the late 80s, artists who defied the Nashville formulas with music that was either too traditional (Ernest Tubb worshiper Junior Brown) or too amped up (biker-era Steve Earle) often disappeared into the commercial chasm separating country from rock. That all began to change around 1993, when the fan base for […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Natural Selection

Michael Solot’s review in the June 2, 2000, Reader of John Colapinto’s book As Nature Raised Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl was riveting. There was however a similar article in the Saturday, May 13, 2000, issue of the Chicago Sun-Times by Seth Hettena of the Associated Press titled “Study: Gender identity […]

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Honor Thy Father

There’s no doubt that the four solo performers in Tellin’ Tales Theatre’s Honor Thy Father love their dads. Autobiographical monologues by Beth Ann Bryant-Richards, Judith Harding, Tekki Lomnicki, and Lotti Pharriss make plain the speakers’ pride and devotion. But their obvious affection doesn’t prevent the women from addressing their frustration, anger, and struggles for recognition […]

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Pump Boys and Dinettes

PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Even urban theatergoers can feel nostalgic for an idealized rural milieu. That’s the appeal of this wildly popular blue-collar musical revue set in a friendly truck stop, the Double Cupp diner on Highway 57, where two spunky waitress-sisters and four good ol’ service station attendants serve up […]

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TRG Music listings

Music listings are compiled by LAURA KOPEN and RENALDO MIGALDI (classical, fairs and festivals) from information available Tuesday. We advise calling ahead for confirmation. Please send listings information, in-cluding a phone number for use by the public, to Reader Music Listings, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or send a fax to 312-828-9926, or send E-mail […]

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Buckets O’ Beckett

BUCKETS O’ BECKETT, Irish Repertory of Chicago, at Victory Gardens Theater. For four years, beginning in 1992, Splinter Group produced a festival of Samuel Beckett’s shorter, less familiar plays. “Buckets o’ Beckett” eventually became popular enough that in 1996 the company produced a marathon of Beckett’s work–18 of his 19 plays crushed into an all-too-brief […]

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Slammin’ Sammy/Theology Takes a Seat

Dan McGrath says there’s no conspiracy. But where’s his evidence? Where’s the proof that a tight little cluster of Tribune Company overlords, whose chain of command descends to the Cubs clubhouse and the Tribune sports department, isn’t jerking the hapless satraps at the bottom? Satraps like manager Don Baylor and sports editor Dan McGrath. Dan, […]

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Qadishtu (Sanctified Women)

Qadishtu (Sanctified Women), Still Point Theatre Collective, at the Lunar Cabaret. Combining her personal narrative with that of Mary Magdalene, playwright-performer Anita Stenger Dacanay unifies theater and religious ceremony. This 75-minute piece involves the audience in readings, sharing of food (“the flesh and fluid of the goddess”), and blessings. The problem is that these moments […]