Posted inArts & Culture

The Doctor in Spite of Himself and Sganarelle, or the Imaginary Cuckold

The Doctor In Spite of Himself and Sganarelle, or The Imaginary Cuckold, Stage Two Theatre Company, at Estonian House, Deerfield. For this fifth annual homage to Moliere, Timothy Mooney has adapted two works into “American English” and takes on the title roles, which the French writer himself played. Mooney’s witty wordplay and richly rolling rhythms […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Beware the Agents of Viacom

To the editor, You managed to miss a lot of the crucial issues in your article on the protests against The Real World [August 3]. Although you touched upon resistance to media conglomerates, you failed to mention that residents are extremely angry that the Chicago Police Department has chosen to protect Viacom, a multinational corporation, […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Rokia Traore

ROKIA TRAORE Rokia Traore has always sounded incredibly diminutive alongside most of her fellow Malians, whether Ali Farka Toure with his bluesy circular grooves or Salif Keita with his sophisticated polyrhythmic pop. At her Chicago debut last year she was a study in restraint: as her mostly acoustic band simmered quietly, her gentle warble was […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Ousman Sembene, the greatest of all African filmmakers (and one of the finest fiction writers on the continent as well), directed this upbeat 2000 comedy from Senegal, about a sassy, self-made woman who manages a filling station. Faat-Kine supports two illegitimate children by different fathers, along with her mother, and she’s not about to take […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Wine Seller

THE WINE SELLER, Baum House, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Chicago playwright Jason Sheldon seems to have forgotten nothing about his years as a dishwasher, server, and manager at a pointlessly trendy restaurant in rural Ohio, re-creating the doomed establishment and its personnel with nostalgic zeal. The alcoholic owner gets mired in gambling debts to a […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

You recently called a person who wants to wait to have sex “some sort of saving-yourself-for-something-or-other sociopath.” Come on, Dan. Do you really think saving yourself for the right person is stupid? I’m a 25-year-old hetero male who made the choice to wait until I got married. Sound stupid? I don’t think so. Do you […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Singles Going Steady

Fillet of Solo Festival Live Bait Theater, through August 25 By Justin Hayford Solo performance sometimes seems the bastard child of “real” theater. Solo artists typically wind up with late-night or off-night gigs, often on someone else’s set under someone else’s lights. Chicago monologuists have learned that if they want to do their work in […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Ken & Jim Show

THE KEN & JIM SHOW Bassist Ken Haebich and saxist Jim Gailloreto, both veterans of several musical demimondes–mainstream Chicago jazz, classical chamber composition, and of course the wedding circuit–have come up with a flexible format for this concert series, capitalizing on the variety of their experience without drawing directly on any of it. For a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Zeni Geva

ZENI GEVA Before Japanese rock was fashionable, before metal was respectable, Zeni Geva combined math, metal, and psychedelia with such ferocious abandon and deadly precision that they commanded a devoted following in the Chicago underground–Steve Albini collaborated with them on All Right, You Little Bastards (1995) and Jim O’Rourke recorded with founding member KK Null […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Fillet of Solo Festival

Live Bait Theater’s showcase of one-person shows features new work by a slew of familiar fringe faces, among them Stephanie Shaw, Mark Gagne, Quincy Wong, and David Kodeski. The event allows Live Bait the opportunity to launch its second performance space, the Bucket, designed specifically for solo work; shows also take place on the theater’s […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Valentina Lisitsa and Alexei Kuznetsoff

VALENTINA LISITSA AND ALEXEI KUZNETSOFF It’s a compliment to any piano duo to say they play like a married couple. And Ukrainian-born pianists Valentina Lisitsa and Alexei Kuznetsoff, who’ve been performing together for close to 20 years, have actually been a married couple for more than a decade–though it’s tempting to see their romantic relationship […]

Posted inArts & Culture

As You Like It

As You Like It, First Folio Shakespeare Festival, at the Peabody Estate at Mayslake. The Forest of Arden has never felt more authentic than in First Folio’s outdoor staging, accompanied by the tunes of cicadas and crickets. In Shakespeare’s delightful comedy, Rosalind (Ann Noble Massey) is exiled to the forest after she falls in love […]