Posted inArts & Culture

The Dogs

The Dogs, Billy Goat Experiment Theatre Company, at the Broadway Armory. The locale is a dingy farmhouse kitchen on the southern border of Texas, but scholarly playgoers may quickly sense something familiar in Robert Barrie’s tabloid tale of an abandoned wife who strives, with some assistance from her brother-in-law, to make a living for herself […]

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The Banality of Evil

Metamorphosis Lookingglass Theatre Company at the Ruth Page Center In the Penal Colony Court Theatre By Jack Helbig Back when I was in high school, Franz Kafka was one of those writers, along with Hermann Hesse, Albert Camus, and a handful of others, whose prose style was so deceptively simple it was used to introduce […]

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Calendar

Friday 11/17 – Thursday 11/23 NOVEMBER By Cara Jepsen 17 FRIDAY The last of the many events inaugurating the Goodman Theatre’s new $46 million, 170,000-square-foot downtown complex is open to all, and it starts tonight at 5, when an outdoor “moving sculpture” collaboration between Jellyeye Drum Ensemble and designer Mark Bazzant will take place in […]

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The Whipping Boy

The Whipping Boy, Griffin Theatre Company. I wouldn’t normally endorse corporal punishment, but this is one show that needs to be whipped into shape. Director Jonathan Berry’s revival of a play the Griffin Theatre Company describes as one of its more successful children’s productions has limited appeal, though William Massolia’s stage adaptation of Sid Fleischman’s […]

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Apt Pupils

Enlightening Materials at Artemisia, through November 25 By Fred Camper I never would have guessed this was a student show–the superb craftmanship of the work, and its sometimes mysterious allusiveness, fooled me at first. In an art scene that increasingly seems strangled by the rich variety of cultural histories surrounding us, these 22 metal sculptures […]

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A Midsommer Nights Dreame

A MIDSOMMER NIGHTS DREAME, Velvet Willies, at Chicago Actors Studio. Elizabeth Bagby’s somewhat new wave costuming, with aristocrats in prep-school getups and fairies in Westwood trash wear, has probably been done dozens of times (Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing seems one obvious influence). Reversing sex in some casting is a full-blown Shakespearean tradition, and […]

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Frosty

FROSTY, Emerald City Theatre Company, at the Apollo Theater. The familiar snowman is still “a jolly, happy soul” in this new children’s musical: Alyn Cardarelli’s book and lyrics and Steve Goers’s music are original, but the song “Frosty the Snowman” inspires the plot. Samantha and James plan to win the science fair by bringing a […]

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Race at Center Stage

Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit Pegasus Players The Nat King Cole Story (Unforgettable) Black Ensemble Theater By Kelly Kleiman In a 1988 article, feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh tries to list the everyday benefits of being white, the conditions she did not earn but which “I have been made to feel are mine by birth, […]

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Orishas

ORISHAS Livan “Flaco-Pro” Aleman, a Cuban expat living in Paris, originally conceived Orishas as a fusion of son and hip-hop that would feature rappers from Havana’s bustling scene. But he ended up fleshing out the group without ever leaving France. Lusty-voiced sonero Roldan Rivero and tough MCs Yotuel and Ruzzo, all of them fellow Cuban […]

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The King and I

THE KING AND I, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Skimping nothing on talent and design, Dominic Missimi’s flawless revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1951 delight succeeds on every front: as musical theater, spectacle, comedy, and heartbreaking story. Detailing an improbable romance between the fiercely dedicated king of Siam and Anna, a protofeminist English governess, the work […]

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Roy Hargrove

ROY HARGROVE The often brilliant young trumpeter Roy Hargrove came a cropper with his latest album, Moment to Moment (Verve)–a syrupy, strings-laden ballads collection that could put coffee to sleep. I can see why the project might have appealed to him: jazzmen have used orchestral backdrops to flatter their arioso playing ever since Charlie Parker […]

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Flood

Flood, Alchymia Theatre. Nobelist Günter Grass actively resists the label “political writer,” but this 1955 play–one of his often-overlooked early absurdist dramas–suggests that’s what he is. Flood is pure agitprop, an obtuse biblical allegory that recasts Noah and his family as German nationals picking up the pieces of their shattered lives after a cataclysm. Frustrating […]

Posted inMusic

The Hideout’s Hiatus

The Hideout’s Hiatus One look at the lines for Lounge Ax’s final shows, snaking out the door and all the way around the corner to the currency exchange on Fullerton in the middle of January, led a lot of people to think a huge vacuum would be created. And nature abhors a vacuum. Yet some […]