Posted inArts & Culture

China Dance Theater

Hybrids can be strange two-headed monsters, and the program being presented by the 52-member Beijing-based China Dance Theatre, making its North American debut in Chicago, promises to be no exception. The 12 pieces, called collectively “August Rising,” are “modern” (that is, Western) interpretations of “traditional” (Chinese) dance movements and concepts, sometimes of recent vintage–Ode to […]

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Damn the Torpedoes!

Damn The Torpedoes! Stockyards Theatre Project, at the Heartland Studio Theater. Disney meets A Clockwork Orange in Jill Elaine Hughes’s rather rudderless tale of six offenders locked in the detention center of Whimsey World, a theme park housing a cartoon-worshiping cult. A repressed British couple, a trailer-park mom and her four-year-old son, a stoner Pepperdine […]

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Steve Turre

STEVE TURRE With his long braided ponytail and Fu Manchu beard, Steve Turre cuts a striking figure, and his resume is as colorful as his image. In the 70s he worked with one-man traveling circus Rahsaan Roland Kirk, in the late 80s he played for Dizzy Gillespie in his flamboyant United Nation Orchestra, and throughout […]

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C.M. Von Hausswolff

C.M. VON HAUSSWOLFF Even electronic-music minimalists like Ryoji Ikeda or Pan Sonic augment their tones with the occasional oscillating pulse or pounding beat, but Swedish sound artist C.M. von Hausswolff is almost always content to work on a single hum. Recordings like the aptly titled Basic (Table of the Elements, 1998) and the forthcoming Strom […]

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Montage A Trois

Montage A Trois, Backstage Theatre Company, at Gallery 2828. The Backstage Theatre Company’s second production–an anthology of three one-acts–only indicates the distance the troupe has yet to go. In Jeff Helgeson’s Ulterior Motives, a tradesman with larcenous intent chats up a gallery owner, while the lecturer in Jane Anderson’s Tough Choices for the New Century: […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

The promise, and the crossed fingers. “The right of displaced [CHA resident] families to return to the mixed-income developments [that will replace most public housing] is guaranteed in a contract signed Oct. 17 by the CHA and the Central Advisory Council, a group of elected tenant leaders,” writes Brian Rogal in the Chicago Reporter (November/December). […]

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The Resurrectionists

THE RESURRECTIONISTS, Boxer Rebellion Theater. You couldn’t ask for better material than the sordid saga of William Burke and William Hare, grave robbers in Edinburgh in the 1820s who provided cadavers to renegade anatomist Robert Knox, a man who defied laws against human dissection in the name of scientific progress. A well-timed cholera epidemic gave […]

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The Straight Dope

OK, you printed my question with nothing other than a jab at my intelligence [January 19]. [Morb wanted to know if ringworms exit a patient’s nostrils en masse upon application of anesthesia. I pointed out that ringworm is a fungus, not a worm.–C.A.] Apparently, the article referred to tapeworms, not ringworm. Sorry–I’m not as familiar […]

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Nnenna Freelon

NNENNA FREELON An interesting thing happened to vocalist Nnenna Freelon on her way to becoming a big deal: in 1994, after three albums, Columbia dropped her like a bad habit. Two years later she hooked up with a much smaller label, Concord Records; freed of overweening producers intent on “packaging” her natural gifts, she’s bounced […]

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Saint Joan of the Stockyards

SAINT JOAN OF THE STOCKYARDS, Prop Theatre Group, at Bailiwick Repertory. Bertolt Brecht’s transmutation of the Maid of Orleans’ struggle to the harsh underbelly of Chicago’s meatpacking industry in 1904 receives a thoughtful but occasionally stilted revival for Prop’s 20th anniversary. Adapter Stefan Brun directs an intelligent cast, including Jenny Magnus as a fiery Joan […]

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Calendar

23 FRIDAY Before he died in 1997, Chicago imagist Roger Brown willed his studio and home–and the contents therein–to the School of the Art Institute. Among other things, the Roger Brown Study Collection at 1926 N. Halsted boasts an impressive array of artwork (including imagist, folk, and outsider art), furniture, textiles, and travel souvenirs, plus […]

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Orion Chamber Ensemble

ORION CHAMBER ENSEMBLE All the members of the Orion Chamber Ensemble are women, a fact that would’ve raised eyebrows as recently as the 1970s and still distinguishes it from most other chamber groups. But the Orion’s real defining feature is the intellectual curiosity of its players, reflected in a large, eclectic repertoire; last year Chamber […]

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Streeterville

Streeterville, TimeLine Theatre Company, at the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ. Depending on your point of view, George Wellington “Cap” Streeter was either a total wacko or an unqualified visionary. In the summer of 1886, Civil War veteran Streeter ran his ship aground on a sandbar east of Chicago Avenue and claimed the land […]

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European Union Film Festival

The fourth annual European Union Film Festival continues Friday through Sunday, February 23 through 25, at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Admission is $7, $3 for Film Center members. For further information call 312-443-3737. Films marked with a 4 are highly recommended. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23 Before the Storm This […]