Posted inArts & Culture

From the Mississippi Delta

From the Mississippi Delta, Congo Square Theatre Company, at Chicago Dramatists. From Mississippi to Minnesota, the circle of love is unbroken in Endesha Ida Mae Holland’s vibrant testament to the struggle for equal rights. Her saga stands for many survival stories as “Phelia” escapes the killing fields of Greenwood, Mississippi; earns fame, bought by courage […]

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Go Away–Go Away

The European Repertory Company’s U.S. premiere of this contemporary Russian play features such extraordinary performances that the piece is utterly absorbing despite its flaws in construction. Playwright Nikolay Kolyada’s imitation of Chekhov is not only sincere flattery, it’s reasonably accomplished: he succeeds in creating two characters as nuanced and fully human as any from the […]

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Friday 1/25 – Thursday 1/31 25 FRIDAY Chicago Critical Mass’s annual polka ride hits a bunch of south-side landmarks: the site near Harrison and Clinton where the Great Chicago Fire allegedly started; bakeries run by Holsum Bread and Huck Finn Donuts; the Midway Airport parking garage. This year’s 13-mile ride, the third, ends up at […]

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Blues in the Night

Blues in the Night, Musical Theatre of Chicago, at the Theatre Building. One heavenly number in this company’s debut production almost redeems Craig Gibson’s uneven staging of Sheldon Epps’s supple revue, a salute to classic blues. Depicting a vaudeville veteran fighting loneliness, Beth Leavell tears into Bessie Smith’s “Wasted Life Blues” with lacerating conviction. You […]

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TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts ABOVE GROUND Free Street: Producing Arts for a New Generation presents a theatrical show directed by Franco de Leon about underground hip-hop, with the Platter Pirates DJ Crew, Chicago Tribe Breakdancers, Phaze II Breakdancers, video artist Konee Rok, and muralist Won Yup Kim. Fri 2/1 and Sat 2/2, 7:30 PM, Storefront […]

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Night Moves

Released in 1975, near the end of Arthur Penn’s most productive period (which began in 1967 with Bonnie and Clyde), this haunting psychological thriller ambitiously sets out to unpack post-Watergate burnout in American life. Gene Hackman plays an LA detective tracking a runaway teenager (Melanie Griffith in her screen debut) to the Florida Keys while […]

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John McLean

By the time he issued his debut album, Easy Go (Premonition), this past autumn, guitarist John McLean had appeared as a high-profile sideman on more than 20 discs by fellow Chicagoans–including Grazyna Auguscik, Patricia Barber, Terry Callier, and Jeff Stitely. So even though the local scene is already lousy with terrific guitarists (from Bobby Broom […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Quills, Trap Door Theatre. This sly fictionalization of the Marquis de Sade’s last days (written by Doug Wright, who also scripted Philip Kaufman’s 2000 film) starts out with calculated ambiguity: performance styles that strike a ginger balance between artificiality and emotional commitment and dialogue that veers from lyric grandiloquence to buffoonish comedy routine make it […]