Posted inArts & Culture

The Incident

THE INCIDENT, Next Theatre Company. One of the most harrowing movies I’ve ever seen is The Incident, by director Larry Peerce and screenwriter Nicholas Baehr. This 1967 film–a gritty, documentary-style study of urban angst–starred newcomers Martin Sheen and Tony Musante as two hopped-up thugs who terrorize the passengers on a New York subway. Trying to […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Little Victories

LITTLE VICTORIES, Scrap Mettle Soul, at Margate Park Community Center. A company with roots in Park District programs and nonprofits like Lakefront SRO, Scrap Mettle Soul produces “plays based on locally gathered oral histories… performed by the people of the community…for the people of the community,” according to its mission statement. Artistic director Richard Geer […]

Posted inFilm

Beautiful Devastation

*** Directed and written by Shinji Aoyama With Koji Yakusho, Masaru Miyazaki, Aoi Miyazaki, and Yohichiroh Saitoh. By Fred Camper Last week the New York Times published an article on Sara J. Rudolph, a survivor of the infamous 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls, one of them Rudolph’s older sister. While the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts TOBIAS BERNSTRUP performs at a group exhibition entitled “Disco.” Sat 5/12, 5:30-10:30 PM, Arena Gallery, 311 N. Sangamon. 312-421-0212. BLINK-182, ALKALINE TRIO, ATARIS All-ages show; sold out. Wed 5/9, 7 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212. CATHY BRAATEN Free concert. Fri 5/11, 12:15 PM, Randolph Cafe, Chicago Cultural […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Christian Marclay

CHRISTIAN MARCLAY Once you’ve learned to treat records as pliable sound sources–to be spun backward, skipped across, or interrupted–it’s a short step to see them as sculptural objects. For over 20 years Christian Marclay has been shuttling back and forth between the two, part experimental DJ and part fine artist. Born in California but raised […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Theater People: Sean Ferrell surrenders

Playwright Sean Farrell has spent the best years of his life daydreaming. A self-described late bloomer, Farrell bounced around boarding schools in the northeast during his teenage years and reluctantly came to Chicago in 1987 to attend Loyola, the only college that accepted him. During his first year he came so close to failing that […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Pride’s Crossing

Pride’s Crossing, Famous Door Theatre Company, at the Theatre Building. A strong ensemble carries this production through the script’s difficulties, notably playwright Tina Howe’s failure to resolve her central question: why would the unconventional Mabel Tidings, the first woman to swim from England to France, be so disastrously conventional in her choice of a husband? […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Deaf to History

Night Battles Live Bait Theater By Kerry Reid “Biography is the mesh through which our real life escapes,” observes Oscar Wilde in Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love. History often seems an industrial-size fishing net, gathering up all manner of statistics, movements, beliefs, and half-remembered stories from the briny deep of the past. Some evidence […]

Posted inArts & Culture

In the Boom Boom Room

In the Boom Boom Room, Artistic Home Ensemble, at the Cornelia Arts Building. You’ve got to slog through a lot of waste to get to the heart of David Rabe’s rambling, cliche-ridden play about a young dancer trying to survive in a brutally misogynist world. Set in 1968, this 1974 work follows pure-hearted Chrissy as […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Scott Fields Ensemble

SCOTT FIELDS ENSEMBLE Few guitarists have taken up the challenge of free improvisation, at least relative to saxophonists or drummers. And because there have been correspondingly few masters in the field, emerging artists tend to veer toward one of only two canonical styles: the jagged, brittle abstraction of Derek Bailey or the equally fervid (but […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Neither Here Nor There

By Cheryl Ross Israel is a boxing champ in Zacatecas, Mexico, but he has bigger dreams–he wants to go to the U.S. and become middleweight champion of the world. Despite his mother’s pleas to stay home–her husband went north seeking riches and never returned–Israel moves to Chicago to train for the title. He wins the […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Stories Over a six-day period in April, aerosol cockroach foggers accidentally ignited in three separate homes, blowing out windows and causing other damage. In Los Angeles and Trenton, New Jersey, residents were severely burned; the incident in San Diego caused $50,000 worth of damage to the home, but there were no reported injuries (cockroaches […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Call Me Madam

It will be interesting to see how this 1950 political parody, being performed as part of the “Ovations!” concert series, will play in 2001. Written for Ethel Merman by songwriter Irving Berlin as a follow-up to Annie Get Your Gun, it spoofs such still timely targets as partisan bickering, pocketbook diplomacy, and the corrupting influence […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Funnier on the Way Out

Funnier on the Way Out, 50¢ Chili, at Phoenix Ascending Theatre. The five members of this new sketch-comedy troupe have plenty of improv experience. Too bad it hasn’t helped them recognize what’s been done before or inspired them to be more creative. Funnier on the Way Out might better be called “Funnier the Last Time […]