Slackers The ska craze of a few years back has gradually subsided, and no one who loves the music would call that a bad thing: now that the true believers have the scene all to themselves again, a good band has nothing to negotiate but its own creative arc. For the Slackers, a seven-man combo […]
Free to Be…You and Me, Laboratory Theatre, at the Performance Loft, Second Unitarian Church of Chicago. The sensibility of this show, conceived by actress Marlo Thomas and friends including Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg, is so refreshing to those parched by right-wing “family values” that even a weak production would be welcome–and this is a […]
Friday 3/16 – thursday 3/22 MARCH By Cara Jepsen 16 FRIDAY Since stepping down as host of Chicago Tonight, John Callaway has been spinning a set of plates that includes lecturing, hosting and editing WTTW’s Chicago Stories, and working on his one-man show, John Callaway Tonight. This last chronicles his experiences after he dropped out […]
RANDY WESTON’S AFRICAN RHYTHMS & THE MASTER GNAWA MUSICIANS OF MOROCCO In the late 60s and early 70s, jazz musicians popularized Albert Ayler’s notion that “music is the healing force of the universe”–which puts them about four centuries behind the Gnawa people of Morocco. The Gnawa believe that all human beings resonate to one of […]
The House of Lily, Steppenwolf Theatre Company. It takes only a few speeches for us to realize that the three characters here are not talking to one another but to themselves–and that soliloquizers tend to reiterate phrases significant to them and leave genuine information unarticulated. But the real problem is that playwright Lydia Stryk isn’t […]
A Look at How and Why We Dye
The Peace Museum board suddenly finds itself a brand-new home: the golden dome in Garfield Park.
Little Footsteps, Attic Playhouse. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a woman gets pregnant, and her husband gets scared. Ben, who’s prone to juvenile one-liners, isn’t much of a man: as Joanie confides to the audience, “My friends ask me why I want another baby when I already have one” (just in case we […]
Papa’s Child, ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Presented under the auspices of the ETA Youth Performance Workshop, Papa’s Child is an hour-long biography of Chicago musical-theater actress Etta Moten Barnett, now 99 years old. The daughter of a traveling minister, she won the leading role in the Broadway production of Porgy and Bess, appeared in the […]
Danielson Famile at Schubas, March 2 Christians are creepy. Especially the blond, blue-eyed, straight-toothed, squeaky-clean ones. They’ve got that look in their eye–at once smug, condescending, and utterly vacant. They don’t have to know anything about the world. They don’t have to care. They know they’re going to heaven and you’re not, not unless you […]
Saving Grace, at ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Superior performances and deft direction turn Gail Parrish’s overfamiliar story–a child tries to follow her dreams while her mother seeks to squelch them–into a surprisingly satisfying evening. The piece has both too much and too little content. It’s crammed with every imaginable family-drama conflict and device–strict mother versus […]
ROCK, POP, ETC. includes hip-hop, dance music and electronica, funk, reggae, zydeco, cabaret, contemporary R&B, and some international pop. FOLK & COUNTRY includes bluegrass and traditional Irish music. BLUES, GOSPEL, R&B includes traditional rhythm and blues, boogie-woogie, and deep soul. JAZZ includes ragtime, swing, and fusion. INTERNATIONAL includes Indian classical music, African music, salsa, and […]
GOLDEN BOY, Consuming Specs Theatre Company, at the Cornservatory. When Clifford Odets wrote Golden Boy in 1937, both he and the Group Theatre were in desperate need of a hit. Two years earlier Odets had gone from the toast of the town–three of his plays were running on Broadway simultaneously–to persona non grata, when his […]
Have kilts, will travel.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY AND RUMPLESTILTSKIN: SIZE DOESN’T MATTER (A LOVE STORY), Sirmarbleeye, at the Chicago Actors Studio. Andrew Gregory Krzak’s surrealistic comedy about the Statue of Liberty’s torrid love affair with Rumplestiltskin has all the makings of a theatrical fun ride: an insane story line, lots of pop-culture references, a smattering of intellectual humor, […]