Posted inArts & Culture

Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

BIG RIVER: THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Director Marc Robin’s rendition of Roger Miller and William Hauptman’s 1985 Broadway hit (the show’s second local production this season is a winning revival with a rich emotional texture one doesn’t usually associate with dinner theater. Robin and his cast capture both the exuberant […]

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Erykah Badu

ERYKAH BADU The fat, hard-hitting groove that opens “Penitentiary Philosophy,” the first track on Erykah Badu’s new Mama’s Gun (Motown), might be explained by something called the D’Angelo Effect. It was laid down by musicians like Pino Palladino, Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, and James Poyser–all crucial players on D’Angelo’s paradigm-setting Voodoo–and both records were cut at […]

Posted inMusic

Interaction Figures

Residents Icky Flix (East Side Digital) Beastie Boys Video Anthology (Criterion Collection) By J.R. Jones More than any other art form in America, popular music has been transformed by advances in consumer electronics. The introduction of the long-playing album and the 45 rpm single in the late 40s drove a wedge between jazz and pop, […]

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Billy

Billy, Chicago Theatre Company. A ten-year-old African-American boy, Billy, is harassed by a white teenage girl in 1937 Mississippi; when he fights back, he accidentally kills her with his pocketknife. Once the sheriff finds him, he’s convicted of first-degree murder and put to death. The narrative has rich possibilities, but David Barr’s adaptation of Albert […]

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New Pornographers

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS It’s a bit of a stretch to call a band featuring members of assorted Canadian indie-pop acts a “supergroup,” but this one sure made a super record–a giddy tumble of pure pop whose frothiness is balanced by a density worthy of Phil Spector. The hook-crammed Mass Romantic (on the Vancouver label Mint) was […]