Posted inArts & Culture

This Far By Faith

THIS FAR BY FAITH, ETA Creative Arts Foundation. What started in 1997 as a simple play with music has now evolved into a full-blown musical. Of course, the story always leaned in that direction: an Afrocentric minister and his estranged pop-idol son reunite after facing duplicitous, power-hungry greedheads in their respective congregations. This latest incarnation […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Nuts & Mints

NUTS & MINTS, New Millennium Theatre Company, at Boxer Rebellion Theater. Some days it’s hard to be a woman. For bride-to-be Alicia (Amy Rath), the challenge is particularly daunting on the eve of “the most important day of her life.” Suddenly she’s surrounded by harbingers of domestic doom–a mother assuring her that married life means […]

Posted inFilm

Backwaters

Shower Rating ** Worth seeing Directed by Zhang Yang Written by Liu Fen Dou, Yang, Huo Xin, Diao Yi Nan, and Cai Xiang Jun With Zhu Xu, Pu Cun Xin, Jiang Wu, He Zheng, Zhang Jin Hao, Lao Lin, and Lao Wu. By Jonathan Rosenbaum In these pages last week I wondered whether adapting Marcel […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Beyond Hope

Closer Steppenwolf Theatre Company By Adam Langer I don’t believe one can show greater respect than to weep for a stranger… –Jose Saramago, All the Names The final scene of Patrick Marber’s clinical examination of late-90s sexual and romantic alienation takes place in Postman’s Park, at a memorial honoring ordinary citizens: Elizabeth Boxall, for example, […]

Posted inMusic

One of the Roamin’ Kind

One of the Roamin’ Kind Like many professional musicians, singer-songwriter Chris Mills inhabits the lower echelon of a class the Utne Reader recently christened the “modern nomads,” whose home is “everywhere–and nowhere at all.” He rents an apartment in Logan Square, but the night we talk, he’s in the middle of a short Canadian and […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sir Charles Thompson

SIR CHARLES THOMPSON Some are born to greatness, others have greatness thrust upon them, and still others thrust it upon themselves–pianist Charles Thompson, for instance, granted himself a sort of knighthood in the early 40s simply by adding “Sir” to his name. Presumptuous, perhaps, but not entirely unjustified: Thompson’s sparse chords and light touch recall […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Ding! 4 Plays About Automatic Response

DING! 4 PLAYS ABOUT AUTOMATIC RESPONSE, at the Playground. This quartet of one-acts–the debut of 13 unfledged actors–begins promisingly with two popular David Ives playlets smoothly directed by Clayton Faircloth. In Words, Words, Words Ives subverts the preposterous idea that over eternity three monkeys would eventually type Hamlet. Desperate to make good, his chimps casually […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Time Changes Everything

TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING, Saint Sebastian Players, at Saint Bonaventure Church. There’s something sweet and appealing about this new play, in which two brothers–one a slick Chicago lawyer, the other an unpolished dirt farmer–are reunited when their mother dies. It isn’t the story. Chicago playwright Jonathan Hagloch lets his plot wander and amble too long before […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

I am a 32-year-old white male, six-foot-one, 220 pounds. I am heterosexual and live in the Bay Area, where I earn a passable blue-collar income. The problem: I have been involuntarily celibate for four years. I can’t even get a girl to go out with me. I’m always turned down with lines like, “Well, I’m […]