“M’ai,” according to director Anne Bogart, is a Japanese term for “the quality of space between two people.” M’ai is essential in martial arts–where a strong awareness of it can mean life or death–and in theater. Bogart investigated that concept over a period of two years while creating Cabin Pressure, her fascinating but sometimes flat-out […]
Wabash Avenue jewelers are standing firm as they fight to remain in their traditional setting.
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, Apple Tree Theatre. In 1990, eight years before he wrote Ragtime, Stephen Flaherty composed a very different score for this one-act fairy tale about a French Antilles peasant girl and the rich boy she loves to the unreciprocated end. Joined with Lynn Aherns’s supple lyrics, Flaherty’s warm calypso melodies echo the […]
Smart Move Many educators take their classes to museums, but the University of Chicago is taking the museum into its classes. Last month the university’s David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art opened the first of three special exhibits curated by faculty and students. “While this sort of thing does happen from time to time, […]
The turn of a millennium happens once every 30 generations; we should thank our lucky stars many of us will get to experience it . . . next year. Or course that wee miscalculation hasn’t stopped everyone and her brother from creating a special NYE-Y2K event complete with balloon drop, party hats, midnight toast, and […]
The Japanese performance collective Dumb Type basks in the cold light of pure reason as its members contemplate the space between life and death in OR, a title that refers to both operating rooms and binary systems–which of course don’t offer any choice other than A or B, life or death. With its assaultive lighting, […]
A Dysfunctional Dixie Christmas, Free Associates, at the Ivanhoe Theater. Over the last seven years the Free Associates have perfected their long-form, improvised Tennessee Williams spoof, bringing a magnifying glass to the playwright’s themes and character types. Although little has changed in the production’s format since the last time I saw it (three years ago), […]
Opera hits the small-time with William B. Fosser’s ingenious creations.
POCKET OPERA COMPANY OF CHICAGO The Pocket Opera Company of Chicago wants to take new operas to the masses. Though the four works it has performed since 1993, all by founder and U. of C. professor John Eaton, are pretty highbrow adaptations–of material like Don Quixote and the Book of Genesis–the company’s stagings have been […]
FIT TO BE TIED, Frump Tucker Theatre Company, at Bailiwick Repertory. The subject matter is not what we expect of a situation comedy: lonely rich kid Arloc is afraid to find out the results of his AIDS test, so he kidnaps a chorus boy from the Radio City Musical Hall Christmas extravaganza. No sooner is […]
You meet Asyrians in the strangest places.
Clark Street was busy on a Friday night with cars vying for parking spaces and pedestrians crisscrossing from galleries to restaurants and back again. I was looking for a hydrant or a loading zone so my friend and I could make a quick stop at the video store. I spotted an open meter right in […]
Departing Guild Complex director Michael Warr contemplates the road ahead.
PAPA M, QUIX*0*TIC On his new and best album, Live From a Shark Cage (Drag City), guitarist David Pajo has changed more than the name of his solo project. On past recordings as M and Aerial M, and to a lesser extent in his work with Slint and Tortoise, he’s shown a fondness for circular […]
THE SANTALAND DIARIES, Roadworks Productions, at Victory Gardens Theater. Poison mistletoe and toxic ivy bedeck David Sedaris’s two commentaries, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello. Once more purging the Christmas spirit from even the most sentimental concepts, these dramatic monologues fester with yuletide angst, offering a cunning contrast to Geoffrey M. Curley’s gaily decorated […]