Contact, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre. Director-choreographer Susan Stroman’s Broadway hit boasts a Tony for best musical, but despite a skimpy script by Stroman and John Weidman, this is a dance concert marketed as a musical to attract a mainstream audience. Performed to recorded music (including classical, big-band jazz, hard rock, and […]
To the editor: I am writing today in response to Deanna Isaacs’s Culture Club article of 12 April 2002 entitled “Sweetback Stabbers?” I found her reportage excellent and the article well written. As a long-standing member of Sweetback Productions, however, I feel it is incumbent upon me to express my distaste with some of the […]
A radical idea–a city should look like a city. From the Metropolitan Planning Council’s recommendations for the new Chicago zoning code (“Issue Brief,” February): “MPC proposes that areas within a quarter mile of transit hubs (rail stations and intersections of high-ridership bus routes) be designated transit-oriented development districts. Such districts would: require ground-floor commercial uses […]
Sylvia, Will Act for Food, at the Viaduct Theater. Adopting a stray dog gives a middle-aged man a new lease (leash?) on life but complicates his marriage. Playwright A.R. Gurney writes the dog as a person (the agile, perky, pug-nosed Jessica Browne-White), not only intensifying the bizarre love triangle but giving voice to the emotions […]
The theater scene’s biggest casting call won’t happen this year. Director Chuck Smith says that’s not a bad thing.
Russian chess coach Valentina Lokhova shows them how it’s done.
Does fresh produce eliminate? In other words, does your lettuce continue to breathe, process oxygen, and produce waste products? I have often noticed a bitter, for lack of a better word, organic chemical taste on lettuce, apples, and other produce. The appearance and relative strength of this taste appears to correspond with the length of […]
At 76, pianist Randy Weston is one of the last true bebop-era legends. But the composer of jazz standards like “Hi-Fly,” “Berkshire Blues,” and “Little Niles” has never been one to rest on his laurels. Back in the 50s he expanded on the individualistic accomplishments of Thelonious Monk, adopting his tricky rhythmic phrasing and jagged […]
Death’s Dream Kingdom and the Wasteland, Adler Danztheatre Project, at Belle Plaine Studio, through April 27. The show starts as we wait in the lobby. We can easily pick out a few actors in Magritte-like garb, but not until one of them says “Let us go then, you and I / When the evening is […]
Pundit, Poet, Polemicist
Friday 4/19 – Thursday 4/25 APRIL 19 FRIDAY He hasn’t put out a rap CD and won’t be joining the Harvard posse at Princeton, but Olive-Harvey College professor Armstead Allen has been a driving force in African-American studies ever since he hosted the field’s first get-together back in 1977. Today the school’s 25th annual black […]
Drunk and Drunker, Corn Productions, at the Cornservatory. Many of the sketches in this revue might have been written by slackers or stoners in a high school drama class. Though the scenes are somewhat more polished, they’re rife with easy jokes in poor taste about social rejects, people with mental defects, drinking, drugs, and sexual […]
Although composer and alto saxophonist John Zorn is well-known for juggling styles within a single band–Naked City’s raucous melange of hardcore, surf music, and film sound tracks, for example–one of the keys to his success is the way he compartmentalizes his musical interests, simultaneously pursuing several disparate and intensely focused projects. Over the last two […]
Bailiwick Repertory and the Lesbian Theatre Initiative have teamed up to present the first edition of what they hope will be an annual multidisciplinary lesbian-centered fest showcasing drama, stage combat, poetry, comedy, and music by artists from around the country as well as Chicago. The event runs through May 4 at the Bailiwick Arts Center, […]
Engram Sepals (Melodramas 1994-2000) **** (Masterpiece) Directed by Lewis Klahr. Lewis Klahr begins the description of his new series, “Engram Sepals (Melodramas 1994-2000),” with a quote from the iconic Hollywood director Douglas Sirk: “The word ‘melodrama’ has rather lost its meaning nowadays: people tend to lose the ‘melos’ in it, the music.” And though Klahr […]