Posted inArts & Culture

Whiskey in Blue

Whiskey in Blue, Curious Theatre Branch, at the Lunar Cabaret. As a rule, Beau O’Reilly is a master of exquisite detail, a playwright with a golden ear for naturalistic dialogue. But he’s also a man of surprises, and in his latest full-length work–a grim, haunting portrait of a pair of hard-livin’, heavy-drinkin’ vagrants–he also uses […]

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Brute Farce

The School for Scandal Chicago Shakespeare Theater By Justin Hayford When Richard Brindley Sheridan’s The School for Scandal–that seemingly tissue-thin comedy about hypocritical aristocratic scandalmongers–premiered in London in 1777, it was a bona fide theatrical sensation. It enjoyed a lengthy run at the 2,300-seat Drury Lane, prompting the Gazeteer to gush that Sheridan “has happily […]

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Eleventh Dream Day

Eleventh Dream Day While Eleventh Dream Day’s 17-year history certainly qualifies the band as rock veterans, the term would seem to imply that they’ve settled into a groove, sticking to what they do best. But although EDD’s seventh album, Stalled Parade (Thrill Jockey), doesn’t experiment as heavily with color and texture as 1997’s Eighth, it’s […]

Posted inMusic

Commercial Break

Commercial Break When most sailors are at sea, they look forward to care packages sent from home, but Doug Lefrak admits that while he was aboard the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier that patrolled the waters near Taiwan in 1995, he was most excited about the arrival of his subscription to Billboard. Lefrak had booked […]

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Into the Woods

INTO THE WOODS, Porchlight Theatre, at the Athenaeum Theatre. Exuberantly acted and beautifully sung, Porchlight’s latest foray into the oeuvre of Stephen Sondheim is nonetheless a disappointing follow-up to its superb revival of his Merrily We Roll Along. The subtlety and emotional honesty of that production give way here to a broad comic approach that […]

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Warping the Power of Icons

Joe Baldwin Retrospective at Law Office, through December 10 By Fred Camper Joe Baldwin’s 12 witty, paradoxical paintings at Law Office, made over the last five years, constitute the strongest debut show I’ve seen this year. But had I seen one of these paintings on its own, I don’t think I would have felt the […]

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Preston Reed

PRESTON REED Acoustic guitarist Preston Reed practices a flamboyant “self-invented” style, characterized by percussive techniques and simultaneous rhythm and melody lines that dance and ricochet around each other. He has precise, note-by-note control of his timbre, whether hammering on the fretboard with both hands, fingerpicking, or blending the two in a deft, contrapuntal dialogue that […]

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Pat Martino

PAT MARTINO Guitarist Pat Martino has pulled off two pretty good tricks in the last couple decades. First, he cheated death: in 1980, in his mid-30s and at the height of his career, he survived a brain aneurysm and the subsequent surgery. Then, having lost most of his memory and motor skills on the operating […]