Posted inArts & Culture

Storytellers 2001

Storytellers 2001, TinFish Theatre. The well-meaning artlessness of StoryTellers 2001–adaptations of gothic tales, a TinFish Halloween tradition–is typified by the choice of sound track, Broadcast’s The Noise Made by People. Full of gorgeous, spooky horror-movie atmospherics, many tracks are perfect. Others, more upbeat, don’t fit at all. But they pretty much all get used here […]

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A Lie of the Mind

A Lie of The Mind, American Theater Company. Sam Shepard’s 1985 drama marks the moment when one of the nation’s greatest playwrights irretrievably lost his genius. He shoehorns into this saga of two families falling apart all the successful elements from Buried Child, True West, and Fool for Love, creating a formulaic script without poetry […]

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Thalia Zedek

Live Skull and Come were two of the most intense guitar bands of the indie-rock era, but it was the way Thalia Zedek’s anguished wail fought the din that made both bands stick for me–then as now, few vocalists could convey emotional turbulence with such economy and power. After Zedek and guitarist Chris Brokaw split […]

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The Sensitive Swashbuckler and Other Dating Myths

Back at Stage Left fresh from its college tour, The Sensitive Swashbuckler and Other Dating Myths is not your typical late-night improv show. Sure, it’s funny and encourages audience participation–but there’s also an educational component. Conceived by Christian Murphy and Gail Stern, this high-energy hour-long revue explores gender stereotypes, sexual innuendo, miscommunication between the sexes, […]

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Home Truths

The Liquid Moon Chicago Dramatists This is a confusing time to be a straight male. Thanks to the feminist and gay movements, we’re able to be more open and forthcoming in relationships than our fathers were. On the other hand, we can’t be too open or in touch with our feelings because mainstream culture remains […]

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Tales from Mom’s Crypt V: Escape from Tiff’s Mouthful

Tales from Mom’s Crypt V: Escape from Tiff’s Mouthful, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. Todd Schaner and Robert Bouwman’s fifth appearance as the drag-comedy duo Tiff and Mom offers 90 minutes of inspired Halloween silliness filled with puns and bawdy humor. (In a typical–if atypically tame–double entendre, the slutty Mom is dressed as a circus […]

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TRG Music Listings

Music listings are compiled by LAURA KOPEN and RENALDO MIGALDI (classical, fairs and festivals) from information available Tuesday. We advise calling ahead for confirmation. Please send listings information, in-cluding a phone number for use by the public, to Reader Music Listings, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611, or send a fax to 312-828-9926, or send E-mail […]

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Leni Stern

Like a chameleon, guitarist Leni Stern keeps changing her stripes. On the dozen albums she’s recorded under her own name since the early 80s, the Munich-born Stern has led a fusiony two-guitar band starring Bill Frisell, written punchy instrumentals for more traditional jazz combos, and experimented successfully with various guitar effects. On her 1995 disc […]

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Tennis

To those of us who like our electronica charismatic and sexy, most “intelligent” dance music isn’t terribly exciting: narcotic repetition, moody soundscapes that transform in trifles, a focus on minutiae that begets impatience. Every once in a while, however, an act like Tennis comes along and blurs the genre lines enough to suck us in. […]

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No Exit

No Exit, Cuerda Floja Arts Troupe, at Salsa Cafe. Jean-Paul Sartre maintained in this play that “hell is other people,” but in the Cuerda Floja Arts Troupe’s English-language production, hell is also a windowless 60-foot-square room carpeted in orange-and-brown shag rug and furnished with three uncomfortable chairs. The single door is kept locked almost throughout, […]

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Catskills on Broadway

Catskills on Broadway, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. The four veteran comedians performing in Catskills on Broadway certainly know their audience. Before the show began, I overheard people discussing their toupees and exchanging Florida travel tips. Imagine, then, the guffaws when these comics addressed the very same topics in […]