Posted inArts & Culture

C’Mon

C’Mon, at the Playground. With his white short-sleeved dress shirt, black pants, black midwidth tie, portly physique, and wide-eyed stupefaction, solo performer Michael Lehrer could easily pass as the colorless mail-room guy who goes postal one day. And after hearing what he has to say, we might understand. Through seven characters–among others, a gay rapper, […]

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Schadenfreude; and The Acquaintances

Schadenfreude, at Wing & Groove Theatre, and the acquaintances, at Wing & Groove Theatre. Amidst a bevy of late-night sketch-comedy revues, Schadenfreude’s latest offering is refreshing. While other troupes are preoccupied with sex, drugs, and bodily functions, this high-caliber company shows there’s more to life to laugh about, presenting an hour-long show that hilariously combines […]

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Hamlet

Hamlet, Court Theatre. Charles Newell’s staging of Shakespeare’s masterpiece–a production described in a press release as “physically and emotionally aggressive” (as opposed to passive?)–is an intelligent, sometimes exciting, but ultimately unmoving rendition of the work. Alternately ingenious and gimmicky, it’s distinguished by John Culbert’s striking lighting, Narelle Sissons’s spare set (the front of the stage […]

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Cop on a Mission

Marco Mak’s 2001 gangland thriller starts off on familiar ground but twists and turns into unexpected developments, as a Hong Kong police inspector goes undercover, wins the confidence of a top gang lord, and becomes richer and more powerful than he could ever be as a cop. Mak, an editor turned director, gives the film […]

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Sons of Sepharad

Cantor Alberto Mizrahi has the kind of rich, ardent voice and heart-on-his-sleeve bel canto delivery that could make an Italian tenor envious–and in fact he did court the stage early in his career, performing in both operas and musicals. But his theological and cantorial training–to say nothing of his love for Jewish music–turned out to […]

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TRG Music Listings

Rock, Pop, etc. concerts BLUE LIT SOULS performs as part of the museum’s “First Fridays” reception. Fri 3/1, 6-10 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago. 312-280-2660. BUSH, DEFAULT Sold out. Tue 3/5, 7:30 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine. 773-275-6800 or 312-559-1212. CHICAGO A CAPPELLA performs American popular songs in a program called […]

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Sunshine Fix

The thing everybody wants to know is, does the Sunshine Fix sound like the Olivia Tremor Control? Bandleader Bill Doss was half of OTC’s braintrust, and what he takes with him on the Sunshine Fix’s debut LP, Age of the Sun (Emperor Norton/Kindercore), are the ultracatchy hooks, the gear-shifting bridges, and those elaborate 60s-style harmonies. […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Stories Debating at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in February, a professor of University College in London argued that human evolution is over because modern lifestyles and medicine are preserving virtually all genes, not just the “fittest” ones. Professor Steve Jones said that despite modern improvements, brain size and musculature are stagnating, and because […]

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Super Supreme Deluxe: The Honeyslide Story

Super Supreme Deluxe: the Honeyslide Story, Honeyslide, at the Playground. The Honeyslide ensemble report that they employ “a variety of musical samplings to create and develop characters with perspectives that are unconventional and unexpected.” And indeed, several of the sketches here feature a sound track–the funniest bit locates us in a store whose employees dance […]

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The Dumb Waiter

The Dumb Waiter, Theatrevolution. In Harold Pinter’s grimly comic one-act, two gunmen await their instructions. Ben ranks higher than Gus, who’s been complaining lately about working conditions, questioning the company’s policies, and generally making trouble. Ben tries to keep order as they wait in a shabby rented room to make their next hit, but Gus […]

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Working on the Railroad/Ice Charades

Working on the Railroad “There are more ingredients of wrongful conviction in this one case,” Steven Drizin was saying, “than in any other case I have ever seen or the Center on Wrongful Convictions has ever seen. There is unprecedented police misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, defense incompetence, prejudicial pretrial publicity, junk science, questionable lab work, defective […]

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Still Got It

Celestine Harvey’s up early, applying makeup and selecting her clothes. “If I’m going to be seen,” she says, “I want to be seen looking right.” At noon she and more than 300 other south-siders will start pouring into Taste Entertainment, a nightclub in Englewood near 63rd and Lowe, for the Wednesday-afternoon dance set, an informal […]