Posted inArts & Culture

Angry White Guy Reads the Paper

Angry White Guy Reads The Paper, WNEP Theater. Improv can be bent into innumerable forms, but the basic method is almost always the same. Troupe members gather information via free association, audience suggestion, found text, or similar outside source–raw material that might be likened to, say, iron ore. Then the rest of the troupe processes […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Monsters from the Id

Monsters from the Id, at WNEP Theater. In one sketch in this collection of 13, written and performed by Second City training center alums, a job-placement counselor for mediocre superheroes advises a client to get into construction work. The client considers. He agrees. He becomes Construction Worker Man. The end. If only there were such […]

Posted inArts & Culture

You Never Know

You Never Know, Light Opera Works, at McGaw YMCA Child Care Center Auditorium. You’d never know that Cole Porter wrote this 1938 musical comedy–his first after a crippling fall from a horse–in excruciating pain. Nothing could be more carefree than this charming trifle about a baron and his manservant who change places; a penthouse suite […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Book of Days

Book Of Days, Piven Theatre. Lanford Wilson revisits familiar territory–the Ozark Mountains–in this 1998 play, now making its local premiere at Piven under Jennifer Green’s able direction. Set in the small town of Dublin, Missouri, in the heart of “tornado alley,” Wilson’s work is essentially a morality play within a morality play. Ruth (Marcia Reinhard), […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Deeply Rooted Productions

Artistic director Kevin Iega Jeff and co-artistic director Gary Abbott have come up with a second part to Move!, premiered just over a year ago, and will preview Move!–Movement Two at the company’s first engagement at the Dance Center of Columbia College. A piece that celebrates the vitality of movement, it runs the gamut from […]

Posted inMusic

The Straight Stories

Ray Davies at the Vic, October 2 Modern life has always been too much for Ray Davies. In the 60s, when his peers were writing songs of social and sexual rebellion, his band the Kinks wallowed in nostalgia for Victorian England. In the 70s, living in New York City, he fretted over the gas crisis, […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Reader to Reader

Outside Beijing’s Forbidden City, where my wife and I were on vacation, there were crowds of hawkers and hustlers and touts, including one incredibly ancient guy with a battered, hand-painted sign reading, in Chinese and English, “Massage.” He heard us talking and approached us crooning, “One dallah massage. One daah-laaah.” We said no, and he […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“We think the ultimate solution to global warming will be bottom up, not top down,” says Chicago-based financial activist Richard Sandor in the Joyce Foundation’s 2000 annual report. “Countries like the UK are starting their own programs to reduce greenhouse gases, while corporations like Ontario Power and BP/Amoco are setting internal caps on emissions. The […]